Policy Tools, Compromise, and Quarrels in the U.S. Congress
Members of Congress support new bills for a variety of reasons, and the text of draft bills reflect these preferences, such as the needs of their constituents or the support of campaign contributors. The particular language used in bills provides insight about why House and Senate members prefer one draft over another and about the bargains struck between chambers as legislators navigate conflict and compromise to pass a mutually-supported bill. By analyzing iterations of draft bills throughout the negotiation process, Dr. McCann’s research aims to develop a political bargaining theory to explain the conditions under which one chamber might gain the upper hand over the other, when there might be greater policy consensus versus a longer negotiation processes, and the sequencing of House and Senate policy offers.
In the Face of Failure: The Persistence of Pro-Social Motivations under Conditions of Negative Feedback
Public management research has identified Public Service Motivation (PSM) as a common characteristic of individuals who choose to enter careers in public or nonprofit service (versus the private sector). Dr. Resh’s research tests the notion that individuals who are more PSM-oriented and who identify more strongly with the mission of their organization are more likely to persist in their work efforts even when their policy outcomes are viewed as “failures.” Dr. Resh also examines whether negative feedback creates conditions in which self-interest is more likely to crowd out altruistic motivation or PSM. The findings from this research will shape recommendations for how to better create public and nonprofit sector recruitment, retention, and personnel policies. Dr. Resh also aims to use this research to develop a theory of how context and feedback affect the motivation of people who implement policy.
Improving Urban Governance through Community Development Agreements
New forms of community development agreements called Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) and Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) have recently emerged in urban governance. These community development agreements represent a new way to manage urban development that supports dialogue between community stakeholders to create consensus for land use and policies. Dr. Schweitzer’s research will explore how these new agreements are being implemented and whether they achieve their stated goals using two CBAs and two PLAs as case studies. Findings from this research can be compared to traditional urban governance procedures to form recommendations for the best design and use of community development agreements.
Government Transparency Laws: Why Do Some Legislators Over Comply?
Dr. Wood’s research centers of government transparency requirements and the legal framework that holds officials accountable to the public. She has observed that in some cases, candidates for legislative offices have over complied with laws that mandate information disclosure, for example disclosing campaign contributor information even for contributors who gave less than the minimum amount required for disclosure. While these legislators might be trying to demonstrate a commitment to transparency and good governance by over complying, these acts might be viewed as a violation of privacy for contributors desiring to remain anonymous. Dr. Wood’s research will examine this phenomenon to see if legislators are more likely to over comply when they are in competitive races for reelection, using information requests and disclosures from the 2014 California State Assembly and Senate races.