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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
The Section Web Site has Moved
The Section web site has followed me to UNC- Chapel Hill. I think I have most of it working properly at this point, but please let me know if encounter any problems. The homepage for the section web site is now located at: http://www.unc.edu/depts/polisci/statepol/. From there, you will find links to SPPQ, the Annual State Politics and Policy Conferences, and other information about the State Politics and Policy Section. Again, send me an e-mail (email@example.com) if you have any problems, questions, or suggestions for the site.
From the Section President
This year, the State Politics and Policy Section experienced a major transition: the first change in editorship for State Politics and Policy Quarterly since the journal’s inception in 2000. Chris Mooney, who founded the journal and served as its editor for the first six years of operation, decided against many pleas to the contrary to hand over the reigns to others and move on to other professional endeavors.
It simply is not possible in a few short paragraphs to comment satisfactorily on Chris’s contributions to the journal or to the Section. Suffice it to say that SPPQ would not exist or enjoy its current status as a quality academic outlet without Chris’s vision, creativity, and plain hard work. The inclusion of SPPQ in the Social Science Citation Index and the institutionalization of the Section’s annual conference are but two examples of Chris’s recent successes on behalf of the scholarly community.
To recognize Chris’s outstanding achievements and to show our appreciation for his work, the Section will present Chris with an award at the upcoming business meeting in Philadelphia and, immediately after, will host a special reception in his honor, in collaboration with the Policy Studies Organization and Public Policy Section. Please plan to attend both events so that you might congratulate Chris firsthand for his accomplishments and also cheer him on with all his future projects. The Section business meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 31, in Pennsylvania Convention Center 106A, and the reception will follow at 7:00 pm in 108A.
While we all will miss Chris as editor of SPPQ, we are most fortunate to have three superb replacements: Richard Winters, David Lowery, and Ronald Weber. On behalf of the Section, I extend a hearty welcome and thanks to Dick, Dave, and Ron for their willingness to take on such a demanding task and for what surely will be a terrific job with the journal. To bring us up to date on all the activities related to SPPQ, Chris and Dick will make presentations at the Section business meeting.
In this regard, I would like to acknowledge the distinguished team of scholars who served with me on the SPPQ Editor Search Committee: Christopher Mooney (Chair), James Garand, Kenneth Meier, and Carol Weissert. Thanks to Chris, Jim, Ken, and Carol for a really great job.
As SPPQ is flourishing, the Section itself also remains quite healthy. As of July 6, 2006, the Section had 542 members, ranking seventeenth in size among thirty-four organized sections of the APSA.
One recurring issue about membership is the matter of student memberships and the confusion over whether this type of membership includes a subscription to SPPQ. Chris and I both received a number of messages from our graduate student members asking why they were not receiving the journal and complaining that the distinction in membership privileges was not clear. To correct the problem, I asked the APSA to make a simple change to their list of Section dues on their website, specifying that student memberships in the State Politics and Policy Section do not include the journal. I also would like to appoint an ad hoc committee to look more broadly at student memberships, a matter we can begin to discuss at the upcoming business meeting.
In addition to a robust membership, the Section just hosted another very successful annual conference at Texas Tech University, organized by Nelson Dometrius, Brian Gerber, and Cherie Maestas. The meeting was truly superb, including a strong program of quality papers and discussion, not to mention an evening of fun and really great barbecue. Thanks and praise go to Nelson, Brian, and Cherie for organizing such a wonderful event. David Leal and Andrew Karch currently are organizing next year’s meeting at the University of Texas in Austin. By all means, please plan to participate. This annual meeting has become my favorite in the profession, and I highly recommend it.
For the upcoming APSA Meeting, Kathleen Bratton has done an excellent job of organizing the Section’s panels, particularly in working with other sections to increase our panel allocation from four to seven through the creative use of co-sponsorship. Thanks to Kathy for success with such a challenging task, particularly in light of the high number of submissions relative to places on the program for our Section. In this regard, I strongly encourage you to attend those sessions, not only because of the intellectual merit of the panels, which is obvious, but also because panel allocations still are tied largely to panel attendance. Our four-panel allocation simply does not reflect the quality of our work or the size of our field. Thad Kousser graciously has agreed to represent the Section on next year’s APSA Program Committee and will be accepting proposals soon. Let’s plan to keep Thad busy as well, and thank him for agreeing to contribute to the Section.
Finally regarding the APSA Meeting, the Section will be presenting two awards for outstanding scholarship (listed below) and will be electing three new officers to the Executive Council to replace the three members whose terms are expiring. Kevin Smith, Caroline Tolbert, and Mark Rom will be ending their service on the Executive Council, and while serving as the Nominating Committee, have selected Frederick Boehmke, Nancy Martorano, Charles Shippan as their replacements. Thanks to Kevin, Caroline, and Mark for their excellent service and warm collegiality, and to Frederick, Nancy, and Chuck for their willingness to serve.
I look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia to celebrate the vital contributions of Chris Mooney, to welcome our new editors Dick, Dave, and Ron; and to converse with each other in a way that email just does not match. See you soon in Philly!
Melinda Gann Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Paper Award Winners Announced
Every year, the State Politics and Policy Section and SPPQ hand out several best paper awards. These awards recognize top quality scholarship at it pre-publication stage.
The award for best paper presented at the 2005 APSA meeting to goes Todd Donovan, Caroline Tolbert, and Daniel Smith for their paper entitled "Do State-Level Ballot Measures Affect Presidential Elections? Gay Marriage and the 2004 Election."
The Section also has an award for the best graduate student paper presented at the previous APSA conference. The selection committee chose not to make that award this year.
The selection committee for the Section awards consisted of Cherie Maestas (Chair), Kerry Haynie, and Paul Teske.
The SPPQ award for the best paper on state politics presented at any conference in 2005 goes to Gary Cox, Thad Kousser, and Mathew McCubbins for their 2005 APSA paper entitled "What Polarizes Parties? Preferences and Agenda Control in American State Legislatures."
The selection committee for the SPPQ award consisted of Craig Volden (Chair), Frederick Boehmke, and Anne Marie Cammisa.
Congratulations to all of the award winners, and a special thanks to those who served on the awards committees. Please keep these awards in mind as you attend panels at APSA and other conferences – please nominate the papers you feel might be worthy of winning next year.
Panels/Events at the 2006 APSA
Section Business Meeting: Every year we hold a business meeting for the Section to discuss any plans or proposals that might come up. We also distribute the paper awards at this meeting. This year, the Section Business Meeting is set for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 31, in Pennsylvania Convention Center 106A.
Section Reception: This year we are holding a special reception following our Section Business meeting. The main purpose of the reception is to honor Chris Mooney for his outstanding contribution to the Section, in particular, his great effort in starting and editing State Politics and Policy Quarterly. The Reception is set for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 31, in Pennsylvania Convention Center 108A
APSA Panels: Through creative use of co-sponsorship, the State Politics and Policy Section is affiliated with seven panels at this year’s APSA convention in Philadelphia. Remember, the number of panels each section receives next year at APSA will depend heavily on attendance at panels this year.
29-1 Party Governance and Campaign Finance in State Legislatures (Saturday,
We'll see you in Philadelphia!
Sixth Annual State Politics Conference at Texas Tech a Big Success
The Sixth Annual State Politics Conference was held this year on May 19-20 at Texas Tech University. The theme of the conference was "Paths of Influence: Institutions and Processes Fostering Representation in American States." This theme facilitated the presentation of a broad range of papers exploring connections between the public and their polities. In all, the conference featured thirty-five papers presented at traditional panels, eight graduate student posters presented at a wonderful session, a concluding round-table discussion on the state of state politics research, a sister conference on May 18 on redistricting, and some excellent Southwester food! The papers from the conference are still available online at: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/politicalscience/2006Conference/2006conference_program.htm.(The papers themselves may be moved to the State Politics Section website in the future.)
The Texas Tech meeting continued the tradition of mixing experience scholars with young professors and graduate students in a stimulating exchange of research ideas and information. The discussion was lively, but always collegial. Nelson, Brian, and Cherie were wonderful hosts. The facilities were first-rate and the event ran like clock-work. The bar for future conferences remains set very high.
Doing the Texas Two-Step: the University of Texas at Austin to Host the Seventh Annual State Politics Conference
The Seventh Annual State Politics and Policy Conference will be held at the University of Texas at Austin on February 23-24, 2007. The theme, "Policymaking in the American States: Causes and Effects," is designed to attract scholars with a diverse set of interests. Papers on specific policy areas, political institutions, and political behavior will all be welcomed. More information about the conference, including a Call for Papers, can be found on the Section web page at: http://www.unc.edu/depts/polisci/statepol/conferences/conferences.htm.
The conference theme, “Policymaking in the American States: Causes and Effects” is deliberately broad in order to cast a wide net and attract scholars with a diverse set of interests. Papers on specific policy areas, political institutions, and political behavior will all be welcome. The conference organizers are also receptive to papers that examine sub-state governments, intergovernmental relations, and the operation of federalism outside the United States. Review essays that analyze an existing body of research on an aspect of state politics and that establish a clear research agenda based on that analysis are also encouraged.
The conference organizers welcome participation by all social scientists interested in the study of public policy at the state or local level. Proposals by graduate students, young scholars, and members of the APSA Organized Section on State Politics and Policy are especially welcome. Stipends will be awarded to paper presenters to cover a substantial portion of their travel expenses.
Interested participants should submit a one-page proposal (approximately 350 words) that (1) provides a title for the paper, (2) indicates the key research question to be addressed, (3) describes the methodological approach to be employed, and (4) briefly explains the theoretical significance of the study. Qualitative and quantitative, single state and multi-state studies will all be considered. The most important elements of a successful proposal are a strong theoretical foundation and a compelling research design. Papers that develop and test general hypotheses about political phenomena and policymaking are especially welcome. The conference organizers also invite scholars to volunteer their services as panel chairs and discussants.
All proposals must be received by September 30, 2006. All proposals must include the following information about each author (or chair/discussant): full name; position/rank; institutional affiliation; email address; mailing address; and telephone number.
The conference organizers strongly encourage participants to submit their proposals electronically, using a very brief email cover letter and the proposal attached as a Word or PDF file. Please include the word “Proposal” and the last name of the first author in the subject line.
Please direct proposals and other conference-related inquiries to:
David Leal or Andrew Karch
Eighth Annual State Politics Conference set for Temple University
The location has already selected for the Eighth Annual meeting as well. The site selection committee, chaired by Tom Carsey, received two excellent proposals for the 2007 meeting and hated to turn down either one. The folks at Temple graciously agreed to delay by one year, so we will be headed by to Philadelphia in 2008. Specifically, the Eight Annual Conference will be hosted by The Institute for Public Affairs and the Department of Political Science at Temple University, the State Politics section of APSA, and State Politics and Policy Quarterly. The theme, "Elections and Representative Democracy in the States," reflects Temple's developing strengths in the study of elections, public opinion, legislative representation, and public policy, and is intended to invite participation by a broad range of scholars
The hosts for the 2007 conference are Michael Hagen (primary contact) (email@example.com), Joseph McLaughlin (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Dana Barron (email@example.com). Please contact them if you have any questions.
Report on State Politics and Policy Quarterly
From Founding and Outgoing Editor, Christopher Mooney
The 2005-06 academic year has been very exciting for State Politics and Policy Quarterly. In addition to publishing four excellent issues and increasing steadily in institutional subscriptions and citations, the journal has made an important step toward true institutionalization—the transition from the founding editor to a new editor(s—in this case).
Last year, we developed a process for an open and international search for a new editor, as I described in my 2005 report to the section. The search committee was composed of former editors, former and current section presidents, and the current editor:
• Christopher Z. Mooney, University of Illinois at Springfield,
This committee received and reviewed four excellent proposals from top scholars in the field. In November 2005, they offered the editorship for 2006-2010 to the team of Dick Winters (Dartmouth College), Ron Weber (University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee), and Dave Lowery (University of Leiden). I wish to thank all those involved in the search process, especially those on the search committee and those scholars who submitted proposals. Lots of hard work went into this process, and I think a good outcome resulted.
Also note that while we have new editors in place, you will not be rid of me quite yet. I while continue to be responsible for issues through Issue 4, Volume 7 (Winter 2007). Furthermore, I have agreed to stay on indefinitely (but hopefully not eternally) as the business manager for SPPQ.
In this my last report to the section about SPPQ, let me make a few brief personal observations. This month as I made my last decision on a fresh manuscript (I have several R and R’s out, so get busy you guys…), I was again struck by the incredible amount of hard work on a voluntary basis that scholars around the country and around the world have devoted to making SPPQ a success. It is no small thing to start a scholarly journal of any stripe, and to launch one so successfully as we have launched SPPQ is really a marvelous thing. It not only shows the high quality of the intellect and professionalism of the scholars who study state politics today, but it also shows that the entire political science discipline has come to realize what an exceptional venue the American states are to study political behavior and policymaking. It has been deeply gratifying to me personally that so many people value SPPQ so highly that they continue to offer their time and energy to help make it a continuing success. Thanks to all of you, and good luck to the new editors!
Christopher Mooney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
From the New Editors: Ron Weber, Dave Lowery, and Dick Winters
We assumed the co-editorship of SPPQ this past June 1st. The “Gang of Three” looks forward to working with those in the subfield to produce and improve on an already first-rate academic journal. Two of us bring substantial editorial leadership experiences to this task, and each of us is committed to investing time, effort, and care in the review process and in the production of SPPQ.
It may take three of us to reproduce the thought, meticulous care, and focus that Chris Mooney brought to the editorship in the first six volumes of SPPQ. WE look forward to joining you at the reception scheduled for Thursday, August 31st at 7:00 PM at APSA (see note above) to honor Chris and his hard work.
After just six weeks, one of the qualities that has struck us as very encouraging has been the rapid returns and thoughtful reviews that we have received from members of the subfield. We will rely for our manuscript reviews broadly on members of the subfield, on political scientists and others from other relevant subfields, and certainly on the members of the SPPQ Editorial Board.
Six weeks in to the process, our thinking is that very few journals promise a set of high quality external reviews of submitted manuscripts, and the reviews of three senior members of the subfield as editors. This is a luxury that a SPPQ can offer to those writing in the area and we expect to maintain that record.
We have received a number of manuscripts already and the review process is actively underway. The managing editor’s office will be at SPPQ, Dartmouth College, Silsby Hall 6108, Hanover, NH, 03755; or at email@example.com. We appreciate hard-copy submissions per the instructions at the SPPQ web site (http://www.press.uillinois.edu/journals/sppqsub.html) that can be supplemented by e-mail submission.
One of the luxuries that three co-editors can bring to SPPQ is physical presence at all political science meetings. One or more of us will be at the annual meetings of the regional political science associations. A charge that we take seriously is to stimulate and encourage manuscript submissions. That’s best done in person, so you will see us often and just about everywhere.
A successful academic Quarterly is a collective enterprise. The foundation of the collective endeavor is the work of those in the subfield. This work is most generally expressed in manuscripts that report on research results. We seek other contributions as well – ideas and content for special topical issues for SPPQ; reviews and analyses of useful practices and methods that might appear in The Practical Researcher forum in SPPQ; nominations for the SPPQ Best Paper Award; and panel and research report submissions for the Section’s Annual Conference. As Garrison Keillor might conclude, “Let’s stay in Touch.”