Here’s a collection of photo highlights from the APSA 2015 Annual Meeting. Share as you please.
Meet the 2015 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Scholars. View this brief 2015 RBSI photo-documentary and learn more about the RBSI summer research experience.
The 2015 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI), under the direction of Paula D. McClain, was held at Duke University from June 1-July 2. Twelve students participated in the graduate and research methodology training program by completing two courses and conducting original political science research. Rodney Hero, APSA president, was on hand to speak at the closing banquet on July 2, 2015. Join us on Saturday Sept 5, 10:15 am-12 pm at the APSA RBSI Poster Presentations at the 2015 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA in the Hilton Grant Ballroom.
Dangerous minds: ‘Public’ political science or ‘punk’ political science?
The end of another academic year and my mind is tired. But tired minds are often dangerous minds. Just as alcohol can loosen the tongue (in vino veritas) for the non-drinkers of this world fatigue can have a similar effect (lassitudine veritas liberabit). Professional pretensions are far harder to sustain when one is work weary but I can’t help wondering if the study of politics has lost its way… heretical to hear or music to the ears of the disenchanted?
What is the core role of a professional political scientist in the twenty-first century? Where do our social and professional responsibilities lie within and beyond the discipline? How does political science differ, if at all, from the broader social sciences in terms of defining principles and values? On what criteria should we judge success and failure? How is the external context in which political science operates changing and what role is the discipline playing in terms of shaping or informing that context? These are the questions that have concerned me for some years and that I have engaged with in my writing on the concept of ‘engaged scholarship’. But Jeffrey C. Isaac’s recent editorial ‘For a More Public Political Science’ in Perspectives in Politics—in my opinion possibly the best political science journal in the world—jolted me out of my end-of-semester weariness.
Read the full article ‘For a More Public Political Science’ in Perspectives in Politics at Cambridge Journals.
Psst, wanna change the law? Lobby this little-known government office after it’s passed.
by Simon F. Haeder and Susan Webb Yackee, Monkey Cage
When Americans think about lobbying, they usually think about lobbying legislatures. Take the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According the Center for Responsive Politics, the ACA was one of the most lobbied bills in Congress over the last decade with more than 1,250 organizations registered on more than 5,000 issues.
But what’s missing from this discussion are the hundreds of groups that lobbied an obscure office in the White House to influence the regulations implementing the ACA: the President’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Since the 1960s, the meat of policymaking has steadily shifted from crafting statutes to writing and issuing regulations — and both the news media and a great deal of academic scholarship seems to have missed that shift.
Yet how a law is put into practice can matter almost as much as whetherthere’s a law at all. We’ve recently seen examples of the power of executive-branch rules and regulations in everything from Obama’s attempt to change immigration policy to the provision of ACA subsidies that led to the recent Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell. For example, the Dodd-Frank legislation, which passed in the aftermath of the Great Recession, contained more than 300 provisions that required or authorized new agency rulemaking.
In a forthcoming study in the American Political Science Review, we uncover suggestive evidence that when interest groups lobby OIRA, they influence the legally binding regulations that result. Specifically, we find that when groups send a consistent message to OIRA officials, that rule is more likely to change.
Measuring Electoral Integrity around the World: A New Dataset
Pippa Norris, Richard W. Frank and Ferran Martinex i Coma
Many contentious elections end in disputes about alleged fraud, irregularities, and malpractices. How do we know when these claims are valid and when they are false complaints from sore losers? This article describes a new dataset developed by the Electoral Integrity Project. Based on a survey of election experts, the research provides new evidence to compare how national contests around the world are meeting international standards of electoral integrity. The questionnaire includes 49 key indicators clustered into 11 stages of the electoral cycle, as well as generating an overall summary Perception of Electoral Integrity (PEI) 100-point index. The evidence displays high levels of external validity, internal validity, and legitimacy. The PEI datasets allow researchers to gauge the perceived quality of elections worldwide. This study summarizes the PEI’s research design, compares the quality of elections around the globe, and illustrates how electoral integrity is linked with both democracy and development.
Measuring Electoral Integrity around the World: A New Dataset, by Pippa Norris, Richard W. Frank and Ferran Martinex i Coma, appears in PS: Political Science & Politics Volume 47 / Issue 04 / October 2014, pp 789-798
Pippa Norris is the Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Laureate Research Fellow and professor of government and international relations at the University of Sydney, and director of the Electoral Integrity Project. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Richard W. Frank is research fellow and project manager for the Electorial Integrity Project in the department of government and international relations at the University of Sydney. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ferran Martínez i Coma is research fellow in the department of government and international relations at the University of Sydney. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Nonprofits and Advocacy: Engaging Community and Government in an Era of Retrenchment edited by Robert J. Pekkanen, Steven Rathgeb Smith, and Yutaka Tsujinaka, defines advocacy and clarifies the differences among advocacy, lobbying, political activity, and education, as well as advocacy measurements.
Should a nonprofit advocate for its mission and its constituents with a goal of affecting public policy? What are the limits of such advocacy work? Will such efforts fundamentally jeopardize nonprofit work? What can studies of nonprofit advocacy efforts reveal? Editors Robert J. Pekkanen, Steven Rathgeb Smith, and Yutaka Tsujinaka recognize the urgent need for relevant research and insight into these issues as direct and indirect government services are squeezed by federal cutbacks.
About the Book
Providing a critical look at the multidimensional roles and advocacy efforts of nonprofits, this volume will be valued by scholars, students, leaders, and activists—many of whom advocate for the interests of their organizations while delivering services to their organizations’ constituents. The research is also relevant for policymakers involved in cross-sector public policy initiatives as they strive to provide more efficient public-private solutions to challenging governance issues.
About the Editors
Robert J. Pekkanen is an associate professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and adjunct associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. Steven Rathgeb Smith is executive director of the American Political Science Association and affiliate professor in the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. Yutaka Tsujinaka is the president-elect of the Japanese Political Science Association and a professor of political science in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Tsukuba.
Learn more about the book and how to order here.
Leonard P. “Len” Hirsch, a senior policy adviser at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington for 26 years and founder of the organization representing LGBT employees of the federal government known as Federal GLOBE, died June 12 at the National Institutes of Health Hospital in Bethesda, Md. He was 59.