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American Political Science Association State Politics and Policy Conference

When Jun 07, 2018 08:00 AM to
Jun 09, 2018 05:00 PM
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Can State Politics Transcend Partisan Gridlock?

National-level party polarization, policymaking gridlock, and ever-increasing economic inequality have contributed to a widely-held public perception that American politics is dysfunctional and incapable of addressing the pressing problems of the day. With federal politics seemingly stymied, many are looking to state governments to step in to fill the policymaking gap and address citizens’ concerns.

We seek proposals across a range of questions about state politics and policy, many of which have long been central to state politics. In an era of heightened gridlock in Washington, are the states filling the policymaking void? As they make policy, to what extent are state courts, bureaucracies, and legislatures contributing to or restraining economic inequality? Are these institutions responsive to the preferences of all citizens or just a few? What role do organized interests play in fostering gridlock or in inhibiting democratic responsiveness? What reforms and lessons do states offer—to each other, to the U.S. federal government, and to other countries—in their capacities as “laboratories of democracy”? Does the natural variation found in the states provide us with lessons that might tell us something about the nature of gridlock and polarization at the national level?”

We are considering a modest registration fee, and graduate student poster presenters who are members of the State Politics section will be eligible for a travel stipend funded, in part by the Carsey Fund.

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