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SIAM Officer Elections

The Nominations Committee has advanced one name for the position of chair-elect and four names for three available positions on the SIAM Executive Committee for a term from 2018 to 2021.  In addition to the names advanced by the nominating committee, our bylaws state that a member may seek a position through a petition signed by at least 25 section members.  If you seek to add your name to the ballot, please send the name and accompanying endorsements of 25 members to both current section chair Eric Zeemering (zeem@niu.edu) and nominations committee chair Kim Nelson (knelson@sog.unc.edu) on or before February 9, 2018.

The election for SIAM offices will be open from February 10, 2018 until March 8, 2018.  On February 10, members will receive a ballot that can be completed online.  We value your participation in the selection of officers for the future leadership of our section.  If you have any questions about the election process, please do not hesitate to contact section Chair Eric Zeemering, Nominations Committee Chair Kim Nelson, or SIAM Secretary Jayce Farmer (jayce.farmer@unlv.edu).

Nominee for Chair-Elect (2018-2020) (Elect 1)


Christine Palus, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Villanova University.  She is currently serving as Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Christine’s work is published in such outlets as the American Review of Public Administration, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, State and Local Government Review, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, and Urban Affairs Review.  She recently co-edited (with Richardson Dilworth) the Guide to Urban Politics and Policy in the United States.  Christine and her co-author Susan Yackee (University of Wisconsin-Madison) received the 2016 Beryl Radin Award for the Best Article in JPART.


Nominees for Executive Committee (2018-2021) (Elect 3)


Christopher V. Hawkins is associate professor of public administration at the University of Central Florida where he also serves as the director of the graduate program in urban planning. His research on urban politics, regional governance, and local economic development and sustainability policy has been published in Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, State and Local Government Review, Urban Affairs Review, Journal of Urban Affairs, Urban Studies and other journals. He received his Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from the Florida State University.


Kimberly Nelson is the Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Associate Professor at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Her research and teaching interests focus on local government management, local government form and structure, and innovation in local government.  Her research has been published in leading journals including Public Administration Review, The American Review of Public Administration, Urban Affairs Review, and State and Local Government Review. She recently co-authored a book with Carl Stenberg titled, “Managing Local Government: An Essential Guide for Municipal and County Managers.”


Stephen Percy is the Dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs and Professor of Political Science at Portland State University, having arrived at PSU in 2014.  While at PSU he has chaired the Strategic Planning Development Team as part of campus strategic planning efforts and the Implementation Advisory Committee for Campus Public Safety. He has held previous positions at the University of Baltimore (Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Professor of Public Affairs) and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Director of the Center for Urban Initiatives and Research, Professor of Political Science, and Interim Dean of the Zilber School of Public Health). In all leadership positions he has actively pursued initiatives to promote university-community engagement.  His work in community engagement in Milwaukee is outlined in two co-authored books:  A Time for Boldness: A Story of Institutional Change and Creating a New Kind of University: Institutionalizing Community-University Engagement. His research interests include public policy and policy implementation, intergovernmental relationships, urban politics, disability rights policy, and university-community engagement.


Dr. Anne R. Williamson is the Victor and Caroline Schutte/Missouri Professor of Urban Affairs in the Department of Public Affairs of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  She also serves as the Director of the L. P. Cookingham Institute for Urban Affairs at UMKC. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Williamson served in leadership roles at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and in the private sector. An expert in housing policy, community development, citizen participation, and public budgeting, she seeks to bridge scholarship and practice in her teaching, research, and service.

IJPA (Indian Journal of Public Administration) Call for Articles

Theme Note for IJPA (Indian Journal of Public Administration) Special Issue 2018

Independent Regulatory Authorities in Indian and/or Comparative Perspectives

What are the cause-effect puzzles in independent regularity authorities (IRAs)? In other words, why IRAs? First, the causal nexus. The purpose could be the desire to liberalise, constitutionalise, and federalise the system of majoritarian democracy as was the case in the US Constitution (1787) and The Federalist (1787) authored by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, among the makers of the American Constitution. Moreover, the move towards IRAs may also be pushed by governmental conflict of interest, overload, and dysfunctionality as it happened in the wake of the crisis of welfare states and social democratic regimes as well as those with considerable social policy expenditures in various parts of the world during the late 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. It all gathered momentum with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and collapse of communism, the end of the Cold War, and capitalist globalisation that followed. The IRAs became attractive in the context of the transition from government to governance and in the quest for mutual autonomies of the government, the civil society, and the market, their accountable and transparent functioning in network governance, and their non-partisan administration.

We begin with the following two propositions regarding the IRAs: (i) although they are common to both the presidential and presidential-federal governments and  parliamentary and  parliamentary-federal governments, they are more in tune with the former; and (ii) their incidence has  tended to multiply in all types of political systems since the onset of privatisation and globalisation during the 1980s and 1990s.

Patterned after the British parliamentary and Commonwealth parliamentary-federal models in Canada and Australia, India was not particularly enamoured of the IRAs.  India thus largely relied on parliamentary control of the executive through parliamentary debates, questions, committees, and confidence vote in the government of the day to ensure accountability, transparency, and efficiency of governmental performance.

Yet some mechanisms of regulatory exercise were put in place in the Constitution and the laws of the land. The examples are the Election Commission of India under Article 324 of the Constitution for legislative  elections at Union and State levels and the presidential and vice-presidential elections, Union and State Public Service Commissions for civil service recruitments under Articles 323 to 315, the Auditor and Comptroller General of India for accounts of both orders of governments under Articles 148 to 151, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under RBI Act, 1934, with subsequent amendments.  Beyond these instrumentalities, there is of course the final recourse to the judiciary and the popular electoral mandate and its quinquennial or mid-term renewal.

The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC-II) Report (2008) gives a list of six major professional self-regulatig authorities operating in India, each formed under respective Acts of Parliament (year within brackets): Bar Council of India (1961), Medical Council of India (1956) presently being reformed as Medical Commission of India, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (1949), Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (1959), Institute of Company Secretaries of India (1980), and Council of Architecture (1972) (Government of India 2008:113). The ARC-II has recommended to make their council as well as committee more inclusive by supplementing the professional members by lay members from the civil society at large to be nominated by the government in consultation with the concerned regulatory agency.

Another wave of IRAs came with a rush in the early 1990s. In 1991, there came the paradigm shift in the economic policy regime towards neoliberalism (bureaucratic deregulation, privatisation, and business liberalism nationally and globally) under the P.V. Narasimha Rao Congress minority government.   The effects of these economic reforms are evident in areas such as industrial licensing, financial sector reforms in banking, stock market, telecommunication, electricity, companies affairs, security and exchange, insurance, coal, petroleum, etc.  In all these sectors new IRAs have mushroomed under parliamentary statutes with varying degrees of autonomy.   Various sectors of national economy, which were earlier managed under direct ministerial and bureaucratic control have now been placed under IRAs, reporting to the Parliament annually (Singh 2003:215-222). Among the new financial regulatory bodies in India, besides the RBI whose origins go back to British India, there are Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority ( PFRDA), Forward Markets Commission (FMC), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC), Project Exports Promotion Council of India, Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Board (FDIPB), etc.  In various sectors of national economy such regulatory authorities include Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), etc.

An examination of various Acts under which the IRAs are set up would show that the most autonomous among them is the CERC. The Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998, set up the CERC as a corporate body consisting of a chairperson and three other members appointed by the Union government on the recommendation of an independent selection committee. The incumbents of CERC are required to be persons with knowledge and experience and capability in the field of engineering, law, economics, commerce, finance or management. The chairperson is to be appointed from amongst persons who are or have been judges of the Supreme Court or Chief Justices of a High Court. All appointments to the commission must  be made after consultation with the Chief Justice of India. The Act takes care to ensure the independence and autonomy of the chairman and members of the commission by guarantying them security of service and emoluments. The Act also enables the state governments to set up State Electricity Regulatory Commissions to ensure their integrity and autonomy to depoliticise the pricing and distribution of power.  Moreover, in domain of monetary policy the Reserve Bank of India has also enjoyed exceptional autonomy, though a recent amendment to the RBI Act has made the position of the Governor from being the arbiter to the first among the equals in the expanded Monetary Policy Committee chaired by him and consisting of the RBI Governor, Deputy Governor, and Executive Director plus three Independent Directors appointed by the Union government based on nominations by a committee comprising the Cabinet secretary, RBI Governor, Economic Affairs Secretary, and three experts from the field of economics/banking/monetary policy. Other IRAs consist of experts in the concerned technical field or administration but lack the mandatory judicialisation via a chair with high judicial  background.

The United States presidential-federal system, featuring (i) separation of powers among the Congress, Presidency, and the Supreme Court, (ii) federal division of powers between the national and state governments, (iii) a powerful federal second chamber in the Senate; and (iv) the consequential multiplied effects of institutional checks and balances, is the locus Classicus of the IRAs in comparative government and politics. Four distinct phases of the evolution  of IRAs in the USA are often delineated. First, there is the late 19th/early 20th century creation of the first independent regulatory commission, the Inter-State Commerce Commission. Second,  the New Deal era witnessed increasing number of federal  agencies, many of them regulatory in  nature and geared towards economic recovery from the Great Economic Depression; several have continued to examine the role of competition in various industries. Third, there was the rise of social regulatory policy in the 1960s and 1970s relating to health, safety or equal opportunity. Fourth, there came the era of de-regulation and various attempts at regulatory reforms that began during the Ronald Regan presidency during the 1980s and after (Furlong 2008: 1694-1697).

In the United Kingdom, as elsewhere, the trend of public service reforms during the late 1970s , 1980s, and  1990s known collectively as ‘new’ public management, has also brought  about the phenomenon of what the political scientists have called the ‘regulatory state’, meaning a state with an operating philosophy of acting ‘at a distance’ on policy domains.  Obsessed with the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, the state in the UK seeks to act via instruments such as accounting and audit.  Mischael Power (1997) calls the British version of this phenomenon ‘the audit society’ mentality.


Furlong, Scott, ‘Regulatory Policy: Role and Importance’, Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, ed. Evan M. Berman, New York: Tayor & Francis, 2008: 1694-1697.

Government of India. Second Administrative Commission, Ninth Report: Social Capital: A Shared Destiny, Chapter 5; ‘Self-Regulatory Authorities, pp. 113-130. New Delhi, August 2008. (Chair  M. Veerappa Moily).

Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, and John Jay. The Federalist, New York: Basil Blackwell, 1987, 2nd edition. First published 1787.

Power, Michael. The Audit Society: Rituals of Verifications, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Singh, M.P. ‘Economic Liberalization and Federalization in India: Mutually Reinforcing.  Responses to Global Integration,’ in Lazar, Harvey, Hamish Telford, and Ronald Watts, eds.  The Impact of Global and Regional Integration on Federal Systems: A Comparative Analysis, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003: 191-238.

CALL FOR PAPERS: On selected aspects of IRAs due by 31 March 2018 in 3000 to 5000 words with an Abstract in 150 to 200 words and four to five Keywords. Email to Editor, ijpa2012@gmail.com


Mahendra Prasad Singh


5th Annual Deil S. Wright Symposium Schedule

5th Annual Deil S. Wright Symposium

Local Government and the States: The Shifting Dynamics of State-Local Relations

Friday, March 9, 2018


8:45 AM – 9:00 AM

Welcome & Introduction

Russ Hanson, Indiana University

Eric Zeemering, Northern Illinois University


Remarks on the Legacy of Deil Wright

Kim Nelson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

The Position of Local Governments in the U.S. Federal System


Municipal Government and its Role in a State-Local System: Evidence from Panel Data

Agustin Leon-Moreta, University of New Mexico


Do State Spending Priorities Constrain or Promote Local Government Sustainability Policies?

Jayce L. Farmer, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Power, Protest, and Participation: Understanding the Municipal Takeover of Flint, Michigan

Ashley E. Nickles, Kent State University


Do Local Governments with Higher Citizen Ratings on Service Quality Have Higher Service Performance Transparency? Evidence from U.S. Local Governments

Jie Tao, University of North Texas

Brian K. Collins, University of North Texas


10:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Morning Break


10:45 AM – 11:00 AM

Audience Discussion: Fifty State Profiles on State-Local Relations


11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

A New Look at State Preemption

John Kincaid, Lafayette College Moderator


State Preemption and the Ghost of Judge Dillon

David Swindell, Arizona State University,

Carl Stenberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

James Svara, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



Diffusion Quarantine: The Use of State Preemption to Prevent the Spread of Innovations

Daniel J. Mallinson, Penn State Harrisburg


Municipal Policy and Fracking Discretion in the States

Brian K. Collins, University of North Texas


12:15 PM – 1:30 PM

Lunch Break


1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Rescaling Governance for State-Local Relations: Regional Intergovernmental Organizations

Jen Nelles, City University of New York – Hunter College, Moderator


Leading Actors: The Role of Local Elected Officials on Boards of Regional Intergovernmental Organizations

Jay Rickbaugh, University of Pittsburgh


RIGOs and Civic Engagement

George W. Dougherty, Jr., University of Pittsburgh


Balancing Local and Regional Interests Using Cultural Heuristics

Thomas Skuzinski, Virginia Polytechnic University


Modeling State-Local Coordination of Water Quality Management at the Regional Scale for the Lake Champlain Basin

Christopher Koliba, University of Vermont

Patrick Bitterman, University of Vermont


3:15 PM – 4:15 PM

Panel Discussion: The Shifting Dynamics of State-Local Relations


Irv Halter, Director

Colorado Department of Local Affairs


Cliff Lippard, Executive Director

Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations


Doug Linkhart, President

National Civic League


Please check the SIAM website (www.siam-aspa.net) for additional confirmed participants.


4:15 PM – 4:30 PM

Remarks from Mark Wright on Behalf of the Wright Family


Concluding Remarks

Russ Hanson, Indiana University

Eric Zeemering, Northern Illinois University


Note: The SIAM Annual Business Meeting is scheduled for 4:45 PM.

Suggestions and Ideas Needed: SLGR

Suggestions and Ideas Needed!

SLGR Reviews & Essays (R&E) Section Editor Brianne Heidbreder (Kansas Stater University) is seeking your assistance in identifying ideas for future issues of the R&E section of State and Local Government Review.  The R&E section publishes review essays synthesizing research on important topics in state and local government and intergovernmental relations.  The R&E section also welcomes essays that synthesize applied research in state and local government and discuss implications for our theoretical understanding of intergovernmental relations and public administration.  The goal is to produce essays that are of interest to both scholars and practitioners.  Currently, she is seeking ideas for both topics to highlight and authors to contribute to the section in upcoming issues.  If you have any suggestions or ideas, please send Brianne at heidbr@ksu.edu.  Thank you for all of your help.

2017 Special Issue

Be on the lookout any day now for the 2017 Special Issue (SI) of State and Local Government Review (Volume 49, No. 3 Issue.  The topic of the 2017 SI is:  “The ‘‘Shifting Sands’’ of American IGR in an Era of Flux and Uncertainty: What’s Happening and What to Expect.”  John Kincaid (Lafayette College) serves as the Guest Editor.  Cutting-edge articles that present the most recent scholarship and assessment of the course of American intergovernmental relations (IGR) are a must read!  Anyone conducting research on IGR will certainly want to consult these articles, as they set the context and tone for any meaningful research on the subject.  Authors of the SI include John Kincaid, Timothy J. Conlan (George Mason University), Michael A. Pagano University of Illinois, Chicago) and Shu Wang, (Michigan State University) Carol Weissert (Florida State University)and Matthew Uttermark (Florida State University), and John Dinan (Wake Forest University). Click here to view the Table of Contents.


In a few weeks, SIAM members should anticipate receiving the Volume 49, No. 4 Issue of SLGR.  In addition to the regular articles and the Reviews & Essays article, the Issue will feature a three-article Mini-Symposium dedicated to the topic of “Local Government Leadership and Policy Challenges:  The ‘Lonely Road’ with Little or No Help from the Federal and State Governments.”  The lead article (“Filling State and Federal Gaps with Local Solutions:  One City Mayor’s Perspective”) is written by a practitioner, former Salt Lake City, Utah Mayor Ralph Becker.  It is followed by an article prepared by two leading authorities on city government at the National League of Cities (Christiana K. McFarland and Trevor Langan) and is entitled “City Leadership, City Constraints.”  The final article (“The Emergence of Local Government Policy Leadership:  A Roaring Torch or a Flickering Flame?”) by Robert Blair and Anthony Starke of the University of Nebraska, Omaha provides an academic or scholarly context for the two previous articles.