Constructing the Policy Agenda in Advanced Industrial Democracies
Drs. Bertelli and O’Brien’s research explores how “women’s issues” are defined and represented by political parties in advanced industrial democracies. To conduct this research, they constructed a dataset on the presence of policy agendas related to women and the gender breakdown of the primary actors who construct party’s policy agendas. They also examined how party loyalists versus the general population influence policy and how parties use women’s issues to appeal to both core supporters and swing voters. One notable finding is that the presence of female actors within a party helps to explain connections between parties’ efforts to represent women and public opinion.
Bertelli and O’Brien presented a paper called “Partisan Representation of Women in European Parliamentary Democracies” based on their research to the European Political Science Association in 2014. A paper entitled “Parties, Gender, and the Representation of Citizens’ Priorities in Parliamentary Democracies” is also forthcoming.
Effective Service Delivery: Leveraging Private Resources for the Public Good
This research studies lessons learned over the past three decades about the impacts of the use of private organizations to deliver publically-funded services, and develops recommendations for using this knowledge to design more effective public-private governance arrangements. Looking at data for refuse and solid waste collection, human services, and infrastructure, Drs. Bostic and Graddy reviewed the impacts of contracting and partnerships arrangements with private organizations, reporting findings on performance, service quality, and cost. They then explored the implications of these findings for public policy and management, and provided recommendations for improved public-private governance arrangements and the effective use of private organizations in public service delivery. This work also considered the sector of the private agent (business or nonprofit) as an important dimension of effective public-private service delivery. This research will be published in a forthcoming book.
Examining Strategic Sustainability Plans and Rigorous Sustainability Actions in California Cities
Recent California laws established regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the use of renewable energy and energy-efficient buildings. Drs. Tang and Kwon’s research assesses how cities are developing strategic sustainability plans to comply with these new regulations and standards. They surveyed over 25% of California cities to see how many have plans, what factors influence the design of city plans, and whether plans have been implemented and enforced. They found that the biggest challenge in developing a plan was a perceived lack of time, funds, or political interest. Drs. Tang and Kwon argue that state and federal government can encourage cities to develop plans by providing technical and financial support and encouraging knowledge sharing and collaboration between cities. Read more about Tang and Kwon’s research here.
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