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An Organized Section of the American Political Science Association
Page Maintained by
and Policy Section Newsletter
Prepared by Thomas M. Carsey
At last year’s Section meeting held during APSA, we discussed converting the newsletter to an exclusively electronic format. The costs of producing and mailing a printed newsletter seemed to outweigh the benefits given the wide access our members have to e-mail and the Internet. The resources expended printing and mailing the newsletter were deemed more effectively spent in other areas.
So, last year, Michael Berkman produced the first electronic-only Newsletter which was distributed via e-mail. Following the Section meeting, that newsletter was posted to the newly founded Section web page. The web page is located at: http://www.fsu.edu/~statepol and the direct link to the newsletters is at: http://www.fsu.edu/~statepol/section/news.htm
This year, I decided to send out a brief message about the newsletter pointing readers to the specific link on the web where the entire newsletter is posted. We all receive too many lengthy e-mail messages and/or attachments already and I did not want to contribute to that. I look forward to receiving any comments or reactions from Section members to this approach.
From the Section President
In a short time, we members of the APSA’s Organized Section on State Politics and Policy will gather in Philadelphia to recognize the achievements of our award winners and to attend the panels sponsored by the section. I commend to your attention the six panels and a poster session on State Politics organized by this year’s section representative to the APSA’s program committee, Paul Brace of Rice University (See below for more information). Paul has organized panels ranging across the various sub-constituencies of the organized section and gotten a large number of our most well-known and established members to participate as paper-givers, panel chairpersons, and/or discussants. It is critical that section members attend as many of these panels as possible in that panel allocations at future meetings will be partly determined by attendance at the panels at the Philadelphia meeting. So please check out the panel listings in the preliminary program published in the June issue of PS to determine which panel sessions to attend. I especially want to draw your attention to the poster session on State Politics which is scheduled for 10 AM on Saturday, August 30. Paul has scheduled seven presentations for that poster session and I am sure the poster presenters would welcome your stopping by to ask questions and listen to their brief presentations.
We have a number of items on the agenda for our Section Business Meeting (See below for more information). One important item will be consideration of a proposal by Chris Mooney, the editor of State Politics and Policy Quarterly from the University of Illinois--Springfield. Chris will present a proposal to the Section to link membership in the Section with an annual subscription to the journal (Click Here for the Full Text of the Proposal). This proposal will involve deciding whether to increase the section dues and by how much to support the journal. This proposal has received a favorable recommendation from the section’s Executive Council and will be on the agenda of the business meeting.
And, the Organized Section is also putting on a Short Course on The Uses of Public Opinion Data in State Politics and Policy Research beginning at 9:30 AM on Wednesday, August 27, at the Philadelphia Marriott (See below for more information). I am still accepting reservations for a few more spots in this short course. So if you have not contact me about this, please do so soon.
As I conclude my two-year term as President of the Organized Section, I am pleased to report that the section has over 460 members and is financially healthy. I think we are well-institutionalized within the American Political Science Association. We have just issued a call for paper proposals for a fourth annual State Politics and Policy conference and are seeking competitive bids from institutions and individuals that would be willing to hold a fifth annual conference in 2005. More information on both of these events is provided below. All in all, I congratulate you on your loyalty as a section member and look forward to many years of continued association with you and other practitioners of the study of state politics and policy.
Paper Award Winners Announced
Several awards will be given out at the Section meeting at APSA this year.
The award for the Best Paper given on a Section panel at the 2002 APSA meeting goes to David Lowery, Virginia Gray, and Matthew Fellowes, all the University of North Carolina for a paper titled "Sisyphus Meets the Borg: Understanding the Diversity of Interest Communities."
The award for the Best Graduate Student Paper given on a Section panel at the 2002 APSA meeting goes to Seth Masket of UCLA for his paper titled "Building Better Partisans: What California's Experience with Cross-Filing Teaches Us About Party Effects."
Finally, the second annual SPPQ award for the Best Paper given on the topic of State Politics and Policy given at any professional meeting in 2002 has been won by Raymond Wolfinger of the University of California-Berkeley, Ben Highton of the University of California-Davis, and Megan Mullin of the University of California-Berkeley for their paper titled "Between Registering and Voting: How State Laws Affect the Turnout of Young Registrants." This paper was presented at the 2002 APSA meeting.
Congratulations to all of our award winners! Also, thanks to the selection committees for their hard work.
Panels/Events at the 2003 APSA
Section Short Course: The Section is holding a Short Course on The Uses of Public Opinion Data in State Politics and Policy Research at the upcoming APSA Meeting in Philadelphia. The Workshop will be held at one of the main convention hotels on Wednesday, August 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This workshop will focus on a number of recent ways scholars have chosen to employ public opinion data in state politics and policy research. The presenters will report upon the various measurement techniques employed, the validity of their measures of state public opinion, the venues in which public opinion data are best employed, and the overall problems in employing public opinion data in state politics and policy research. The presenters will provide hands on applications of their data for the participants and generally highlight the most appropriate ways to incorporate public opinion data in their research. Our Short Course presenters will include: Paul Brace (Rice University), Barbara Norrander (University of Arizona), Gerald Wright (Indiana University), Robert Erikson (Columbia University), John McIver (University of Colorado), Michael Berkman (Pennsylvania State University), and Eric Plutzer (Pennsylvania).
Section Meeting: The annual Section meeting will be held Thursday, August 28, 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. in Room 305 of the Philadelphia Marriott. A number of important issues will be considered, including the election of new council members and a new Section President. Also, Chris Mooney, SPPQ Editor, will be presenting a proposal regarding a potential merger between SPPQ and the Section (Click Here for the Full Text of the Proposal). The meeting will be followed immediately by a reception hosted by the Section.
Jewell to Receive Career Achievement Award: The Section's Third Career Achievement Award will be given to Professor Malcolm E. Jewell (University of Kentucky). The Award is given every biennium to a political scientist who has made a significant lifetime contribution to the study of politics and public policies in the American states. The award will be presented to Professor Jewell during a Section-sponsored reception at the upcoming APSA Meetings on Thursday, April 28, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., Room 306, Philadelphia Marriott. This event is open to all Section members, as well as to the friends and acquaintances of Professor Jewell. Please try to stop by the reception and honor Professor Jewell for his contributions to our field.
APSA Panels: This year the Section is sponsoring or co-sponsoring six panels. Please try to attend these panels as our allocation for next year will depend in part on attendance this year. Web links to the APSA preliminary program for the panels are listed below.
Impact of Term Limits on State Legislatures and State Legislators
Elections for Officers
The Section will be electing several officers at its 2003 meeting. These include electing a President and three council members, all of whom will serve two-year terms, and one council member to serve the remaining year of Melinda Gann Hall's term. Melinda has stepped down in order to take on the task of organizing the Section's program for the 2004 APSA meeting (Thanks Melinda!).
Anyone interested in serving or nominating someone to serve should contact the Chair of the Nominations committee, John McIver (University of Colorado) at firstname.lastname@example.org, by August 11, 2003. Other members of the committee are Margie Ferguson (IUPUI) and Tom Holbrook (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). Thanks to all for their service.
Third Annual State Politics Conference in Tucson a Big Success
On March 14 and 15, 2003, the University of Arizona and State Politics and Policy Quarterly co-sponsored the 3rd Annual State Politics and Policy Conference, which was held at the Westward Look Resort in Tucson, Arizona. The mission of the conference was to provide scholars interested in state politics and policy - broadly defined - the opportunity to gather and share the latest research developments in the field. We also wanted to provide mentoring to our graduate students in this field. The underlying motivation for the conference was to bring together a distinguished group of political scientists, economists, and policy analysts. I received over 130 proposals from scholars and students at institutions all over the United States and many from other countries. The final program consisted of 40 papers, 90 participants/attendees, and represented over 30 universities, colleges, and schools. I am delighted to note that 18 of the participants were graduate students, who received additional stipends to subsidize the expenses of the conference. In addition to the typical stipend given to all paper presenters, I also was pleased to offer resort lodging at a significantly reduced rate for everyone.
The quality of the papers was outstanding and we had many thought-provoking discussions throughout the week-end (Click Here to see all the papers online). I was especially pleased with the feedback from the many graduate students who participated in the conference—I received an overwhelming amount of positive comments from graduate students who said they experienced meaningful mentoring opportunities and were given thoughtful and constructive feedback on their research. Everyone thought the poster sessions were a great success. In addition to the scholarly exchanges, we also enjoyed great food, terrific scenery and weather, and wonderful conversation with our colleagues. Many also commented that the reception at Bill Mishler’s home was fantastic.
Based on the tremendous feedback I received, I would have to say that the conference was a huge success. Of course the success of the conference was in large part due to the participants who attended the panels and poster sessions, presented top-notch research, and engaged in the question and answer part of every panel. In addition to the participants, there were many people who contributed much of their time and support. In particular, I must thank the following people for their help in making the conference a success: Denise Allyn, Brad Jones, Tom Carsey, Kris Kanthak, Bill Mishler, Chris Mooney, Barb Norrander, Ron Weber, and Teena Wilhelm. Financial support was provided by the Department of Political Science and the Office of the Dean of Social Sciences at the University of Arizona. The University of Arizona Bookstore, the New York Times and SPPQ provided lots of extras for participants, including free T-shirts and copies of SPPQ. Lastly, I owe a great deal of gratitude to the wonderful staff at the Westward Look Resort. THANK YOU TO ALL!
PS: my massage at the Resort was wonderful—thank you for the thoughtful gift!
Fourth Annual State Politics Conference Headed to Kent State
The Fourth Annual State Politics Conference will be held April 30-May1, 2004 at Kent State University. Go to the 2004 Conference Homepage for more information. The "Call for Papers" has been issued, and the deadline for submitting proposals is November 14th, 2003.
The proposed conference theme, public policy in the American states, is broad and should allow a diverse range of paper presentations on both procedural policy-making and substantive policy issues. See the “Call for Papers” for more information on the conference theme and deadlines. The first day of the two-day meeting will be on Kent State's campus and the second at the Sheraton Suites Cuyahoga Falls conference facilities, giving participants easy access to their rooms. We will provide lunch and dinner for all conference participants, and transportation from the conference hotel to the Kent State campus. We will offer a stipend to all paper presenters to cover a significant portion of their expenses.
The Sheraton hotel overlooks consecutive waterfalls on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, and all rooms have a river view. It is located next to a park in a safe area, and is within walking distance to numerous shops, restaurants and coffee houses. All rooms at the Sheraton are suites with a living room and a sleeping area. The hotel will provide reasonably priced shuttle transportation from both Cleveland International Airport and the Akron/Canton Airport. The room rate includes a full buffet breakfast each morning.
We have planned many events for the conference, including dinner and speakers at the University of Akron on Friday evening, a walking tour of the May 4th, 1970 Memorial on Kent State's campus, a catered picnic in the scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and an optional outing in downtown Cleveland on Sunday, for baseball, museums, or sightseeing (the Cleveland Indians 2004 schedule has not yet been released, but our plan is to organize a ballpark afternoon). The hotel is a 10-minute drive from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which has hundreds of miles of hiking and running trails, and the historic tow-path trail that is 20 miles stem to stern. The tow-path follows the route of the historic Ohio and Erie Canal, with a series of locks used to tow horse-drawn barges from Lake Erie to Akron in the nineteenth century. We have planned free-time on Saturday afternoon for golf, hiking, shopping, etc.
Kent State University (35,000 students) is located in Kent, Ohio, approximately a 15 minute drive from the hotel in Akron/Cuyahoga Falls. The main campus is ideally situated in the northeastern section of the state, in rolling terrain dotted by spring-fed lakes and in close proximity (15-30 minute drive) to two major urban areas, Akron and Cleveland. The main campus is composed of more than 826 acres and 113 buildings. The university also boasts a 291 acre-airport and an 18-hole golf course. Flying lessons can be arranged, as can 18 holes of golf.
Note also that the conference will overlap with the University of Akron's annual Joint Project on Term Limits April 29-30, 2004, which includes numerous scholars and members of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some conference panels, meals and speakers are being coordinated between the University of Akron and Kent State. Participants will be able to enjoy both conferences in one exciting weekend.
Want to Host the Fifth Annual State Politics Conference?
By all accounts the Annual State Politics conferences have been a success. More information about past and future events can be found on the Annual Conference website. Wouldn't you like to host one of these events at your university soon? The Section has established a committee to help coordinate the scheduling of future State Politics Conferences. The committee, currently chaired by Tom Carsey, works to assist those who want to host a conference. The committee's mission is to help coordinate the scheduling of future conferences. An official Call to Host the 2005 conference has been posted. Proposals should be sent no later than November 1, 2003 to Tom Carsey (email@example.com) to insure full consideration.
Report on State Politics and Policy Quarterly
Having just shipped off the page proofs for Volume 3, Issue 4 of State Politics and Policy Quarterly, it is my pleasure to report that the official journal of the section is thriving as it moves into toddlerhood. A check of the Tables of Contents for the first three volumes (see the SPPQ website: http://ilsc.uis.edu/sppq/) shows the wide range of topics and scholars that the journal has published. We strive to publish articles that are theoretically important, empirically rigorous, and well written, and I believe we have succeeded.
As we move into our fourth year of publication, I have two important items to report.
First, after working energetically for four years to create the SPPQ’s Data Resource and “The Practical Researcher” section, Associate Editor Kevin Smith (University of Nebraska- Lincoln) will be stepping down from his post in the summer of 2004. We are in the process of searching for a new associate editor. See the full announcement about this search at: http://ilsc.uis.edu/sppq/call_for_editor.htm. Please contact me with any nominations (including self-nominations) for this important post.
Second, our contract with the University of Illinois Press to publish SPPQ expires in October 2004. I have put together a committee to select a new publisher. Over the next several months, we will be soliciting bids to publish SPPQ from a variety of publishers. Our main criteria for selecting a new publisher are that it:
My early discussions with potential publishers leave me very optimistic that we will be able to enter into a contract with a publisher that will meet these criteria.
Finally, I will be presenting a proposal at the Section Business Meeting at APSA regarding a potential merger between SPPQ subscription and Section membership (Click Here for the Full Text of the Proposal). I look forward to hearing your thoughts about this proposal.
Please continue to think of SPPQ as your outlet of choice for publishing your best research on state politics and policy.
New Section Website Launched
The State Politics Section has re-launched its website (something you already noticed if you found this newsletter online!). The new State Politics Section Home is located at: http://www.fsu.edu/~statepol/ and is maintained by Tom Carsey. Like all websites, this one is still under construction. However, you will find links to official Section news, all of the Annual State Politics Conferences, SPPQ, and other useful links. You can sign up on the State Politics Listserv. Also, links to the Second and Third Conferences include drafts of all of the papers presented at those conferences. Plans for expanding the content of the website to possibly include state politics teaching materials, research links, and a working papers archive are underway.