Bedrosian Center Research Presentations: Anthony Bertelli

September 17, 2013
12:00pm to 1:30pm

The Bedrosian Center funds several grants for USC Price faculty research on governance issues. Preference for the awards is given to research focused on collaborative governance, relationships between governance and planning, and government accountability issues. As a condition of the grant, each principal investigator was asked to give a presentation of his or her findings. Today Anthony Bertelli will present findings on his project.

Public Policy Investment: A New Approach to Studying Policy Priorities

Anthony Bertelli, Professor

This research seeks an international collaboration around a new theory and method for analyzing attention to public policy topics by governments. The project will address some of the enduring questions of democratic government: why do governments choose some public policies and not others? Why do they prioritize one issue over another, and what causes them to change their priorities? Despite a robust literature, these questions have proven surprisingly hard to answer. The challenges escalate because political officeholders have to balance competing considerations: they must respond to public concerns so government can get reelected, but also must maintain a reputation for competent government even if it entails pursuing policies that are temporally unpopular. A novel approach which we call “public policy investment,” will provide a theory of how governments incorporate both these requirements to produce a form of statecraft that assists in their reelection.