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An Organized Section of the American Political Science Association
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and Policy Section Newsletter
Prepared by Thomas M. Carsey
From the Section President
I must start this year’s letter by drawing special attention to the vital role Chris Mooney has played for our Section and for the study of state politics and policy more generally. As many of you know, Chris is planning to step down as Editor of State Politics and Policy Quarterly sometime this year. Part of me is convinced that we should simply not allow him to do so. Tough luck guy, you can’t quit! However, while I will gladly entertain a motion to this effect at the upcoming business meeting, I doubt the feasibility of such an effort. In any case, there can be little doubt that SPPQ simply would not have happened without Chris. It was his idea. He got the initial funding. He did all the planning and preparation prior to initial publication. And as any of you who have received his copy-edited manuscripts covered in red ink know, he has devoted truly vast amounts of time to making the journal the success it has become. Indeed, SPPQ has become a model for how new journals should be started.
Chris also played a central role in establishing our annual spring conferences on state politics and policy, meetings that are now fully institutionalized. And it was on Chris’ initiative that SPPQ has become linked with the Section through our dues structure. We are a vastly better, stronger, and more vibrant field within the discipline than we were 10 years ago. SPPQ and its strong links to the Section, along with the spring conference, have been vital markers and sources of this improvement.. Chris has played a lead role – indeed, the lead role – in all of these developments. And until now at least, Chris Mooney has been SPPQ. He has almost single-handedly manufactured significant collective goods that we all benefit from. On behalf of the Section, I offer him our deepest and sincerest thanks. However, I hope that many of you will take the time to individually communicate your appreciation for Chris’ good work to him while at the APSA Meeting. He deserves it.
Don Haider-Markel of the University of Kansas has done a superb job of preparing our Section’s panels for the upcoming APSA Conference in Washington. I hope that you will all attend two, three, or more of these panels. And, as I noted lasted year, please remember that the number of panels we are allocated next year depends to a considerable degree on how well our panels are attended this year. These panels are a vital collective good that we all benefit from. I don’t think that you would be a member of the Section unless you believed this to be true. But many other scholars who work on state politics and policy are not members of the Section and do not attend our panels. So, please remind them that Mancur Olson did not set out to write a guide to ethics, but was instead describing a challenge to be overcome. Attend some panels, and take some friends with you! More to the point, the panels Melinda has prepared are well worth your time and attention.
Assuming that your excellent attendance does indeed lead to an abundance of state politics and policy panels at the 2006 APSA Meeting, I am pleased to announce that Kathleen Bratton of Louisiana State University has agreed to represent the Section on the Program Committee. I hope that you will all give her a great deal of work to do organizing the 2005 panels.
Shortly after we leave Washington, the in-coming President of the Section will appoint committees to consider nominees for best paper awards to be announced at next year’s meeting. If you see or hear a good paper at the Chicago meeting, please let us know, and don’t be shy about self-nominations.
The Section’s business meeting in Washington will be held on Thursday, September 1 at 6PM, followed by a reception at 7PM for Deil Wright, the winner of our Biannual Career Achievement Award. Please see the program for the location of these events. New officers will be nominated and elected at the business meeting. Best paper awards also will be given. And announcements of past and future activities will be made. More importantly, the business meeting and reception provide an excellent occasion for you to see your state politics and policy colleagues.
Thanks to all of you, and I look forward to seeing you in DC.
Paper Award Winners Announced
Several awards will be given out at the Section meeting at APSA this year. Remember, as you attend panels this year, keep your eyes open for papers to nominate for next year's awards!
The award for the Best Graduate Student Paper given on a Section panel at the 2004 APSA meeting went to Justin H. Phillips, UC San Diego, "Does Market Competition or Electoral Competition Drive State Tax Policy."
We also give an award for the Best Paper given on a section panel at the 2004 APSA. That award goes to Stephen C. Craig, Michael Martinez, Jason Gainous, and James G. Kane, University of Florida,"Winners, Losers, and Perceived Mandates: Voter Explanations of the 1998 Gubernatorial and 2000 Presidential Elections in Florida."
The forth annual SPPQ award for the Best Paper given on the topic of State Politics and Policy given at any professional meeting in 2004 was won by Paul Brace, Rice University, and Brent Boyea, University of Texas at Arlington, for their paper, "State Supreme Court Decision-Making: A Re-Evaluation of the Electoral Connection."
Finally, we are presenting the Career Achievement Award this year to Deil Wright, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Congratulations to all of our award winners! Also, thanks to the selection committees for their hard work.
Panels/Events at the 2005 APSA
Section Meeting: The annual Section meeting will be held on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. Please consult the Final program for the specific location.
Section Reception: Every time we give a Career Achievement Award, we have a reception immediately following the Business Meeting. If you can make the Business Meeting, please still come to the Reception (7:00 p.m.) in honor of this year's Career Achievement Award winner, Deil Wright, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
APSA Panels: During the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in Washington D.C., the State Politics and Policy Section will be sponsoring or co-sponsoring a total of eight panels, which are listed below.
Controversies Preceding, Related to, and Over the Future of the 'No
Child Left Behind' Act
The APSA website also lists several Posters under the heading State and Urban Politics. Click Here to see their titles. There may be other state politics posters under other headings, so be sure to stop by.
Please plan to attend the panels sponsored by the State Politics and Policy Section. From a scientific perspective, the panels are outstanding. From a practical standpoint, attendance determines the Section’s panel allocation for the next annual meeting.
Fifth Annual State Politics Conference at Michigan State Continues a String of Very Successful Meetings
The 2005 State Politics and Policy Conference was held on May 13-15 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, Michigan. The Conference was sponsored by the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, and State Politics and Policy Quarterly.
The Conference was organized around 10 panels, covering a range of issues on state politics/policy, and two roundtable discussions (one on publishing in political science and another on data resources for state policy specialists). There were forty five paper presentations and a total of 86 participants representing 40 different universities to the meetings. Please visit the SPPC 2005 Website for a complete listing of panels and to download any of the conference papers
In addition to the professional discussions and contacts which the meeting provided, the 2005 SPPC continued the tradition of promoting memorable social interactions. The Kellogg Center maintained its reputation of serving delicious food and wine at all of the meals, breaks, receptions, and after-hour events. And, the post-Convention trip to the Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball game was definitely a special event!
Many thanks to everyone who attended the meetings and to all of the MSU graduate students who assisted with transportation and other convention-related activities. A special thank you to my fellow conference organizers– Bill Jacoby and Liz Gerber– who gave their time, effort, and support.
Looking forward to seeing everyone at the 2006 SPPC in Lubbock, Texas!
Warm regards to all,
Sixth Annual State Politics Conference Headed to Texas Tech
Come join us for fun and scholarship at the 6th Annual State Politics and Policy Conference at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. The conference is sechedule for May 19th – 20th. The conference theme is “Paths of Influence: Institutions and Processes Fostering Representation in the American States.” We encourage scholars with an interest in representative processes, institutions, and outcomes in sub-national politics, both within the United States and beyond to apply. A stipend will be awarded for each paper presented to help defray the costs of travel. In conjunction with the conference, Texas Tech will host a one day symposium on May 18 to focus on issues of redistricting. This symposium will integrate social science and legal scholars with political practitioners and representatives of the news media to explore redistricting issues. The Call for Proposals is now available, with a deadline to apply of December 15th. Questions about the conference may be directed to Nelson.Dometrius@ttu.edu, Cherie.Maestas@fsu.edu or Brian.Gerber@mail.wvu.edu.
Want to Host the Seventh Annual State Politics Conference?
The State Politics and Policy Section of American Political Science
Association announces a Call
for Proposals to host the Seventh Annual Conference on State Politics
and Policy. The section president, David Lowery, has appointed a committee
to solicit proposals for hosting future conferences and coordinate
among those institutions wishing to host them. The committee consists
of Tom Carsey, Florida State University (chair), Caroline Tolbert,
Kent State University, and Christopher Mooney, University of Illinois
The Annual Conference on State Politics and Policy provides scholars
interested in state politics - broadly defined - the opportunity to
gather and share the latest research developments in the field. Its
mission is to expand the breadth and depth of scholarly knowledge
about politics, policy, and policymaking as these processes unfold
at the state level.
Previous conferences have taken a variety of forms in trying to meet these goals. In addition to the traditional conference format of paper presentations and panels, past conferences have featured at range of innovations, including graduate student poster sessions, being held in conjunction with a parallel conference (e.g., on term limits), presentations and speeches by state elected officials, and so forth. Those proposing to host the 2007 conference may want to look at the Web sites of these earlier conferences or contact the previous hosts for more information. All of this information is available at: http://www.fsu.edu/~statepol/conferences/conferences.htm
Past Conferences on State Politics and Policy have been presented by the host university with budgets of usually around $15,000-$25,000. This includes a $200-300 per paper stipend and certain conference meals that were provided by past hosts to conference attendees. The host of the 2007 conference does not necessarily need to follow these traditions, but the proposal should make clear what (if any) services the host intends to provide for conference attendees.
Proposals for hosting the Seventh Annual Conference on State Politics and Policy should consist of a 2-4 page document that includes the following information:
Proposed theme of the conference (if any)
Proposals should be submitted to the selection committee chair, Tom
Carsey at Florida State University. All proposals should be submitted
by November 1st, 2005, to guarantee full consideration. The committee
hopes to make a decision early in 2006.
Report on State Politics and Policy Quarterly
The 2004-05 academic year has been very exciting for State Politics and Policy Quarterly. In addition to publishing four excellent issues (including a special issue on “Electoral Redistricting”- check it out), two important steps were taken in the development of SPPQ as a major academic force:
o SPPQ Included in the Social Science Citation Index
Furthermore, what you probably don’t know is that Thompson/ISI is very selective about which new journals it includes in the SSCI. New journals are scrutinized closely before they are included, and it typically takes many volumes of publication (if ever) to be included. The fact that SPPQ has been picked up in only its fifth volume is testimony to the high quality scholarship that our field is producing. This is a red-letter event for SPPQ and the state politics field!
o SPPQ On-Line Archive Goes Live
Looking forward, two events will be occurring in the next academic year that section members need to keep in mind:
o Library Marketing in 2005-06: We Need Your Help!
The single best way to convince your acquisitions librarian to subscribe to SPPQ is for you, as a professor or graduate student, to repeatedly and doggedly ask him or her to do so. You probably do not even know whether your library subscribes (since you have SPPQ on your shelf), so we have posted a list of university subscribers on the SPPQ web site. If your library does not subscribe to SPPQ, please encourage them to do so- and don’t give up until they actually do it! You needn’t feel bad about doing so, since we are incredibly affordable compared to almost any other journal they carry. And most important, SPPQ provides excellent value for the money!
To bolster your efforts, this summer and fall, we here at SPPQ will be doing a mass mailing of a new brochure to university libraries, state legislative reference bureaus and other specialized institutions, and section members, along with other direct marketing activities. But remember, the best salespeople for SPPQ are you—our readers, reviewers, and authors. Please let me know if you have any questions or need any help on this.
o New Editor Search—Proposal Deadline October 1, 2005
If you have any interest in making a bid for this exciting and fulfilling opportunity, please contact any of the search committee members to discuss it. Also, please consider nominating scholars for the position who you feel would be qualified and interested in the job. The deadline for proposals is October 1, 2005.
Christopher Z. Mooney, Editor