Home » Uncategorized

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Call for Papers: SIAM-SLGR Joint ASPA Panel Featuring Graduate Student Research

The Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management (SIAM), in collaboration with State and Local Government Review (SLGR), invite current Ph.D students to submit proposals for papers to be presented at the 2023 American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) conference (virtual, March 20-24).

Among the goals of the 2023 SIAM-SLGR collaboration panel are:

  1. Provide an opportunity for Ph.D students to present their current work on subjects that are of interest to SIAM members
  2. Provide a space for new conversations between scholars, students, and practitioners of public administration who may not be in regular dialogue with one another
  3. Facilitate feedback on student work

Potential paper themes may include:

  • Current or emerging trends in intergovernmental management and governance
  • Contemporary trends in the administration of major state or local policies
  • Impact of political institutions, political behavior, or recent economic and demographic shifts on intergovernmental policy and management.
  • Impact of changes in policy on state and local governments and their relations
  • Domestic or international policy areas involving intergovernmental relations and associated management tools and strategies

Submission Guidelines

Individual Paper Proposals. The committee welcomes individual paper proposals of 400 words or less. Proposed papers may feature theoretical, qualitative, or quantitative research.  The program committee may alter or remove individual papers that do not meet review criteria or to add an individual paper submission that fits well with the objectives of the SIAM-SLRG joint panel.

Submission Process

Proposals for the panel should be submitted by email to Chris Hawkins (christopher.hawkins@ucf.edu) by November 1, 2022. We welcome proposals from student members and nonmembers of SIAM.


I (Ed Benton, University of South Florida), along with John Kincaid (Lafayette College), am preparing an Encyclopedia of Local and Regional Government and Politics to be published by Edward Elgar by 2024. It is important to note that we already have a contract to produce this book. We propose to include in the encyclopedia new and original short articles on all pertinent topics/subject areas related to the existence and operation of local and regional governments around the world and their ensuing relevant politics, policies, programs, etc.

We invite you to be part of this monumental and ground-breaking work. There are three ways you can contribute to this encyclopedia. First, you can send us pertinent topics or subject areas that should be covered in the encyclopedia. (A tentative, initial list of topics is provided below.) Second, you can suggest topics or subject areas on which you would like to write one or more entries. Third, you can provide us names of, and contact information for, scholars who could contribute to the volume; please also provide their subject-matter expertise or specific topics they are qualified to write on. This volume has a global perspective and will, tentatively, cover the following countries: United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Russia, Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Australia.

We need to hear from you as soon as possible so we can finalize the topics and invite contributors in order to publish the encyclopedia in a timely manner so as to make the volume as current and relevant as possible to a wide and diverse audience. You can contact Ed Benton at jbenton@usf.edu and/or John Kincaid at kincaidj@lafayette.edu We encourage you to contact us as soon as you see this notice. Thank you.

List of Tentative Topics and Subject Areas






intergovernmental relations, generally

national government-local government relations

national government-regional government relations

regional-local government relations

interlocal relations

centralization of authority

decentralization of authority


unitary form of government

confederal form of government

federal form of government


municipalities (cities)




special districts

legislative authorities

school districts













councils of governments

types of local government structure


tribal authority

eminent domain

government finances

local government budgeting



grants-in aid

government borrowing and debt management


service provision, generally

public safety services

fire suppression and prevention services

health care services

public welfare services

hazardous material collection and disposal

parks and recreational programs and facilities

public/private partnerships in service provision

library services

utility (water provision, sewer collection and disposal services, natural gas provision, electric power provision

Internet and cable TV service

road and street construction and repair

provision of sidewalks and street lights

stormwater management

planning and zoning services

solid waste collection and disposal service

environmental protection and conservation services

consumer affairs and citizen protection services

government borrowing policies

types of bonds (general obligation, revenue, mortgage)

human resource policies and procedures

local government officials (mayors, council-persons, commissioners,

mutual aid agreements (pacts)


ultra vires


interjurisdictional cooperation

interjurisdictional conflict

administrative agencies and departments


administrative procedures, rules, and regulations

administrative efficiency

elections, generally

at-large elections

district or ward elections

election campaigns

powers of elective officials

balanced budgets

bicameral legislatures

bill of rights

democratic regimes

autocratic regimes

Communist regimes

Civil service or merit system

Patronage system

Bureaucratic discretion

Bureaucratic responsiveness

Political campaigns

Campaign finances

Capacity of governments

Capital budgets

general fund budgets

citizens access to government

constitutional conventions


Deil S. Wright Symposium: “Intergovernmental Issues of the Biden Presidency”

March 18, 2022



Introductions, Mingling, and Welcome (9:20AM)


PANEL TITLE:  Diverse Methods Investigating Regional and Interlocal Governance Mechanisms for Physical and Human Infrastructure

The impacts of the federal bipartisan physical infrastructure bill (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 2021-2022) will be a story of not just intergovernmental implementation through federal-state or state-local relations. It will also require an understanding of how local governments and the constellations of interlocal mechanisms that operate at the substate level function as resources are deployed. Scholars often consider special districts, regional public sector organizations, interlocal agreements, and other collective action mechanisms in isolation. While developing a rigorous understanding of the components requires narrow focus, the larger network is not nearly as siloed.

The Build Back Better bill focusing on human infrastructure–in whatever final resulting form—will rely on many of the same overlapping constellations of local governments and interlocal mechanisms, as well as partnerships with civic sector providers. The governance and implementation of programs through Area Agencies on Aging, multijurisdictional opioid addiction response partnerships, watershed coalitions, and educational partnerships operate within some of these same regional public sector organizations. The special districts and interlocal agreements impacted by investments in human infrastructure may involve many of the same local government and civic sector partners as the physical infrastructure investments. Our panelists will discuss ongoing governance research focused on four areas central to physical and human infrastructure needs in the U.S.: water systems management, broadband deployment, behavioral health care, and sustainability planning. Each panelist applies different research techniques to capture these questions: network analysis, individual case study, interview data analysis, and survey data analysis.

Putting fragmentation back together again: Advancing a typology of successful water
system governance

Kate Albrecht, University of Illinois-Chicago (presenter)
Thomas Skuzinski, Northern Illinois University
Jason Michnick, University of Illinois-Chicago
Carolina Velandia Hernandez, Northern Illinois University

Rural Broadband and Co-Regional Activity in Southwestern North Carolina

Jay Rickabaugh, Appalachian State University (presenter, confirmed)
Jen Luetkemeyer, Appalachian State University

Outcome Insights: Applying an NPG lens to examine a capacity building initiative among
the government and its partners

Sapna Varkey, University of Missouri-Saint Louis (presenter)
Kara Lawrence, North Carolina State University
Leila Chelbi, North Carolina State University
Amanda J. Stewart, North Carolina State University
Richard M. Clerkin, North Carolina State University

Infrastructure Regionalism and Sustainability Planning in Illinois Municipalities

Thomas Skuzinski, Northern Illinois University

11:00-11:15: BREAK

11:15-12:15: Roundtable Discussion: Future Research Questions and Idea Brainstorm

Professor Deil Wright was a true master of mentorship and research collaboration. As such, to honor his legacy to the section and to the field, we will dedicate an hour of the day to an open conversation among attendees about their research in progress. Attendees are invited to share about current research, their future ideas, any stumbling blocks they may be grappling with on their projects, and other topics related to federalism, intergovernmental relations, intergovernmental management, or general professional development in the field.

Lunch Break

PANEL TITLE: COVID-19, Policy, and Outcomes in the Federal System

Negativity Bias in City Councilors’ Responsibility Attribution for COVID-19 Outcomes

Ulrich Jensen, Akheil Singla, Justin Stritch, and David Swindell*
Arizona State University
School of Public Affairs

Presenter: David Swindell (david.swindell@asu.edu)

Public health services in the United States are collaboratively provided by all levels of U.S. governments, creating a complicated and often conflicted policy environment during a pandemic like COVID-19. When facing poor-COVID-19 outcomes (e.g., high case and death rates), elected officials can deflect blame up or down the vertical hierarchy of government instead of accepting responsibility. The result may worsen intergovernmental service delivery and result in an erosion of accountability and trust among citizens. To explore whether such blame shifting occurs, we manipulated the saliency of states’ relative performance on central COVID-19 outcomes as part of a survey experiment among 339 political decision makers serving on city councils across the United States. Drawing on the concept of “negativity bias,” we show that elected officials are highly motivated to shift blame to external factors instead of assuming responsibility when poor performance is made salient. Elected officials in better-performing states, however, do not claim credit for lower COVID-19 case and fatality rates, supporting the notion that political leaders place disproportionate weight on negative information when attributing responsibility for policy outcomes. Our findings have extensive ramifications, as failure to assume responsibility when it is needed the most can further erode citizen trust in public institutions and exacerbate resistance to the very public health measures prescribed by these institutions to combat COVID-19.

Policymaking During COVID-19: Preemptive State Interventions and the Factors Influencing Policy Implementation Success

Seungkyu Choi, Michelle Allgood (Presenter), and David Swindell
Arizona State University
School of Public Affairs

COVID-19 not only sparked a public health crisis, but created a series of policy preemption battles. This article examines how COVID-19 interventions played out at the state level given the absence of guidance to create a coordinated national response. Specifically, we examine how four specific interventions (i.e., masking, school closures, restaurant closures, and travel restrictions) traveled through the policy creation and implementation process as outlined by a modified version of Kingdon’s multiple streams approach. We focus on how the level of policy rigidness and enforcement of behavioral interventions helps us understand the success and failures of reducing the number of positive test rates over a 20 week period (March – July, 2020). Our findings suggest that highly restrictive policies are effective in controlling the spread of COVID-19, but the mechanisms and dynamics vary based on the specific intervention. We also find a strong association between the states’ political orientation and a governor’s inclination to use restrictive interventions. Governors from conservative states are less likely to employ preemptive actions such as face mask regulations and travel restrictions and more likely to preempt local governments from exceeding state-specified responses.

Defining Urban Sustainability: An Examination of U.S. Cities

Chris Hawkins
University of Central Florida

Sustainability has become an umbrella concept under which urban environmental quality, resource conservation, equity, climate mitigation, economic health and environmental justice all occur. As such, research has sought to gain a deeper understanding of how cities are pursuing these and other objectives. To this end, a relatively large scholarly literature has emerged on city sustainability policies and programmatic efforts. However, how city officials define sustainability is also critical; such conceptualizations reflects the city’s sustainability agenda and guide the city’s operationalization of sustainability objectives.

This study uses a unique collection of qualitative data from over 400 US cities collected at two points in time: 2015 and 2020. Specifically, local government staff with sustainability-related responsibilities provided open-ended descriptions of sustainability as it is practiced in their communities. We develop and apply a coding protocol to the definitions in order to assess patterns and generate groupings of similar cities. We present descriptive statistics illustrating how cities’ conceptualizations of sustainability have shifted over time and present the results of a multivariate analysis that differentiate groups of cities based on community characteristics.

Preliminary results suggest that although some cities define sustainability in relatively comprehensive terms and reflect a future oriented perspective, other cities define sustainability more programmatically. Results also point toward the challenges of pursuing sustainability without generating co-benefits, a lack of political support, and limited resources. These and other findings add new evidence of how sustainability is practiced and the similarities and differences across cities.

3:00PM: Program Concludes

5:00PM: SIAM Business Meeting

2022 Deil S. Wright Symposium: Call for Proposals

Deil S. Wright Symposium
2022 Call for Proposals
“Intergovernmental Issues of the Biden Presidency”

The Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management invites scholars and practitioners to submit proposals for papers to be presented at the 8th annual Deil S. Wright Symposium. The symposium honors the career and contributions of Professor Deil S. Wright, who was a charter member of the Section and remained active until his passing in 2009. The Wright Symposium will be held at the national conference of the American Society for Public Administration in Jacksonville, FL.  The date is still being finalized, but it is typically the day before the conference begins.  The theme of the all-day 2022 Wright Symposium will be “Intergovernmental Issues of the Biden Presidency. 

Submission Guidelines

Individual Paper Proposals.  The committee welcomes individual paper proposals of 400 words or less. Proposed papers should feature high-quality theoretical, qualitative, or quantitative research.  Proposals should make their connection to the symposium theme direct and clear.  

Full Panel Proposals.  The committee also welcomes the submission of complete panels consisting of four papers and a chair.  Panel submissions should bring together complementary papers that tackle compelling research questions or theoretical frameworks related to the symposium theme.

Panel proposals should include a panel title and description (400 words or less), the panel chair, and four individual paper proposals (400 words or less each). Each paper proposal will be evaluated separately on whether it meets the criteria for individual paper submissions.

Panel chairs are encouraged to incorporate diverse participants in panels, whether in gender, race, institution, rank, disciplinary perspective, or methodology.

The program committee may alter panels to remove individual papers that do not meet review criteria or to add an individual paper submission that fits well with the panel, particularly if dropouts occur. The program committee plans to do so sparingly.

Submission Process

Proposals for the symposium should be submitted by email to Christine Palus (christine.palus@villanova.edu) before November 13, 2021.  The Wright Symposium planning committee – Christine Palus (Villanova University), Chris Hawkins (University of Central Florida), and David Swindell (Arizona State University), will review proposals and make decisions by December 1, 2021.  Questions can be directed to committee members.  Please circulate this call for papers among interested colleagues.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, joined by the Presidential Cabinet members, pose for a Cabinet portrait Thursday, April 1, 2021, in the Grand Foyer of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Open Search for Dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA)

The College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.

“The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA). The university seeks an experienced, committed, and visionary leader. The newly appointed Dean will help realize CUPPA’s mission building on its highly-regarded, cutting-edge research and scholarship, academic programs, public policy development, and community partnerships. The Dean reports to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, is the Executive Officer for the College, and is a member of the University Deans Council.” Read more about the position here: https://adminsearches.uic.edu/current/cuppa/

For fullest consideration, please complete an electronic application, including a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information for a minimum of three references by Monday, September 27th, addressed to the search committee chair, Dr. Rebecca Rugg, Dean and Professor, College of Architecture, Design and the Arts.

2021 ASPA Deil Wright Symposium

April 9, 2021



Introductions and Welcome


The Future of Fiscal Federalism 

Nicholas Jacobs
Colby College
If Congress Can’t Budget, Can It Influence Intergovernmental Relations?

Carmina Jimenez Quiroga & Heidi Jane M. Smith
CENTRUS/Universidad Iberoamericana
Fiscal Sustainability of Mexican Debt Decisions: Is Bad Behavior Rewarded? 

Yoon-Jung Choi
Syracuse University 
Too Many Governments and Not Enough Government: Does Citizen Voice Restrain Government Growth?  

Discussant:     Paul Chalekian
University of Nevada, Reno


Rethinking Models of Intergovernmental Relations

Claudia Badulescu-Colfer
European University Institute  
Overcoming dysfunctional integration through domestic administrative capacity building: a new approach to Europeanization   

Ricardo A. Bello-Gomez
Indiana University 
National and Subnational Bureaucracies’ Capacity for Service Provision: A Human-Capital Approach to Decentralized Governance    

Sara Kuehlhorn Friedman
Portland State University
Immigration Federalism in the U.S.: A New Theoretical Model

Matt Bagwell
Tarleton State University 
Intergovernmental Collaboration or Conflict? 

Discussant: TBA

Lunch Break

Studying and Practicing Intergovernmental Relations and Federalism Across Fields

Carol Weissert and Matthew Uttermark
Florida State University
Going Deep: Studying Charter Schools from the Bottom Up 

John Kincaid
Lafayette College
A Research Agenda for Federalism Studies

Jason Webb Yackee and Susan Webb Yackee
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Using Wright’s ASAP Data from 1964-2008 to Study Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations:  New Data for Scholars and Practitioners

Discussant: TBA

Wrap Up

Call for Nominations: SIAM Chair Elect

Call for Nominations: SIAM Chair Elect

The Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management (SIAM) of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) is seeking nominations for an executive officer. The SIAM Nominations Committee, chaired by Jayce Farmer and committee members Meghan Rubado and Kendra Stewart, is seeking nominees for the position of chair-elect. The chair-elect will serve a two year term (2022-2024) and then serve two years in the position of chair (2024-2026).  Please see our SIAM blog for the full list of current Executive Committee members as well as the bylaws governing elections.

Executive committee members are actively engaged in the governance and work of the section, often contributing service to the Section’s committees and events.  Together with the Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer, Executive Committee members help guide SIAM’s ongoing contributions to the fields of intergovernmental administration and management.  The Chair facilitates the work of the section, chairs executive committee meetings and business meetings, and serves as a primary channel of communication with ASPA.

Please submit your nominations for the Chair-Elect to Jayce Farmer (jayce.farmer@unlv.edu) on or before January 8, 2021.

The Nominations Committee will share a slate of nominees with the SIAM membership by January 9, 2021. After this, the Nominating Committee will receive additional nominations through membership petitions between January 9 and February 9, 2021.  Additional nominations during the petition period must be signed by 25 members of SIAM and accompanied by a statement from the nominee expressing interest and willingness to serve the Section.  Election ballots will be distributed to the membership after February 15 and election results will be announced at the annual business meeting at the virtual ASPA conference in April 2021.

Call for Proposals: New Editor of State and Local Government Review

SAGE Publishing and SLGR’s sponsor, SIAM, are seeking proposals for the editorship of SLGR, for the term beginning January 1, 2021.slgb_51_4.cover

State and Local Government Review (SLGR), peer-reviewed and published quarterly, provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among practitioners and academics that contributes to the knowledge and practice of state and local government politics, policy, and management. Of particular interest in SLGR are articles that focus on state and local governments and those that explore the intergovernmental dimensions of public-sector activity.

Founded by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government of the University of Georgia, State and Local Government Review is the official journal of the Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management (SIAM) of the American Society for Public Administration. Since 1968 the Review has provided a forum for the exchange of ideas among practitioners and academics that contributes to the knowledge and practice of state and local government politics, policy, and management. Like the Vinson Institute, SIAM has an interest not only in state and local government, but also in the effective interaction among public officials in a federal system. It seeks to foster the dissemination of information about research and experience that contributes to the understanding and improvement of the intergovernmental system.

The Editor will be responsible for soliciting, reviewing, and making final decisions on submissions to the journal, and will manage all aspects of the publication and review process using the Manuscript Central electronic submission and review platform. Editor is expected to maintain timely and effective communication, advance journal performance, and work towards upholding SLGR’s high-quality standard.

In their proposals, candidates should discuss their vision for SLGR and how the journal can advance an interdisciplinary study of state and local government. They should also discuss how they will identify and promote new perspectives for the student of state and local government—including subtopics, research questions, framing, terminology, theoretical approaches, methodology, and data sources.


Applicants should send a letter of application which includes their vision for the future of the journal and a description of their qualifications for the editorship. Applicants should also include copies of their CV.

Applications, nominations, and requests for additional information should be sent electronically to Ian Balisy, Associate Editor, at Ian.Balisy@sagepub.com. Please put “SLGR Editor Application” in the subject line of your email.


Call for Papers – Governance Matters section of State and Local Government Review

Call for Papers – Governance Matters section of State and Local Government Review

The Governance Matters (GM) section of State and Local Government Review (SLGR) invites complete submissions as well as proposals from authors for individual articles or topic specific collections in a symposium format for potential publication in 2021. Prospective authors are encouraged to contact Grant Rissler, SLGR GM Editor (risslerge@vcu.edu) about any ideas for this section of the journal.

The GM section of SLGR features peer reviewed applied research on state and local government of interest to both practitioners and academics.  In 2018, GM articles represented 3 of the 5 top downloaded articles from SLGR.  Mainstream news sources such as the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, The Hill, among others, have cited a 2019 GM article.

Articles published in the GM Section may include case studies or other empirical pieces and should highlight implications for a practice as well as academic knowledge.  In the past, a variety of timely governance topics included:

  • social media use
  • capital budgeting
  • local government fiscal health
  • core values in local government organizations in practice
  • mitigation strategies in flood control
  • social equity impacts at the local level of federal budget choices
  • environmental sustainability
  • local home rule and municipal takeover
  • municipal human resource strategies in challenging times
  • alternatives in city-county consolidation decisions
  • adopting and implementing recreational marijuana policies

Submissions from early career and international scholars are specifically welcomed.

Call for Proposals: SLGR 2020 Special Issue

State and Local Government Review
2020 Special Issue:
“Filling a Vacuum: Subnational Governance amidst National Government Inaction”

Michael J. Scicchitano, University of Florida, Editor

Andrew Karch, University of Minnesota, Guest Editor

As the United States battled the coronavirus pandemic in early April, President Donald J. Trump tweeted that the role of the national government was to serve as a “backup” to state and local governments. This remark sparked sharp criticism from governors across the country, and even Republicans like Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas called for a new approach to procuring essential medical supplies. States, localities, and the national government struggled to coordinate with one another and frequently found themselves locked in conflict.

Subnational officials always play a central role during disasters, and the coronavirus pandemic is no different. While many called for a national “stay-at-home” order, the decision to declare a state of emergency or to shutter public schools and other institutions fell to governors, mayors, and school superintendents. This dynamic caused one observer to urge voters to “remember that who sits in state and local offices, and how they engage with federal authorities, may be the most important decision they have to make” (Roberts 2020).

While the coronavirus pandemic is (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime event, the intergovernmental dynamics it sparked are not uncommon in the contemporary United States. Partisan polarization has rendered the national government unwilling or unable to address a range of pressing issues, leading subnational governments to try to resolve them on their own. Examples abound of policy arenas where the national government has either failed to craft realistic solutions or has instead sent mixed signals. Often these problems are then passed down to states and localities where they cannot be ignored. States and localities have taken the lead on issues like immigration, adopting a wide range of approaches in a domain that many once viewed as the exclusive responsibility of the national government. Similarly, the absence of a national policy on sustainability has sparked a “contested federalism” dynamic as American lawmakers grapple with the challenge of climate change (Rabe 2011). The delayed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the repeated congressional failure to address the issue of Internet sales taxation provide additional illustrations of intergovernmental policy issues where the national government has been slow to act.

The objective of this special issue is to publish original research that examines the implications of this emerging intergovernmental dynamic. We hope to include five or six short articles (about 6,500 words each) on individual policy areas where subnational governments have filled the vacuum left by national government inaction. Appropriate policy areas are not limited to the ones listed above. The specific implications addressed in individual articles can take multiple forms, but two types of consequences seem especially significant. First, what does state and local government activity imply for governance in a federal system? Do subnational officials have the necessary expertise, financial resources, and administrative capacity to implement effective programs in a specific domain? Do the designers of these policies demonstrate the ability to learn from earlier successes and failures? Do they take into account the possibility of policy overload? Do they put evaluation mechanisms in place to assess whether a program is achieving its objectives?

The governance-related implications of subnational leadership extend beyond individual policy arenas, and we welcome manuscripts that think broadly about what it means for the functioning of the American political system. In a recent book, Karen Orren and Stephen Skowronek (2017, 6) describe the emergence of a “policy state” that renders “achievements provisional, protections unreliable, and commitments dependent on who is next in charge.” Does the absence of national leadership, and the primacy of state and local governments, in a specific policy area indicate that the federal system is somehow out of balance, or is it an indication that the system is functioning as intended? Customization and experimentation are typically portrayed as benefits of American federalism. Do scholars need to reconsider this standard assessment? Has subnational leadership produced geographic variation or policy gyrations that undermine programs’ abilities to achieve their goals?

In an era of partisan polarization, it is not enough to note that subnational governments are filling the vacuum left by national government inaction. They are also moving in different—often very different—policy directions. States and localities under Republican control are taking actions that diverge considerably from those occurring in jurisdictions where Democrats control the levers of power. This variation generates a second significant set of implications. What it means to belong to the American community is increasingly defined in geographic terms. The rights that residents possess, such as the ability to exercise the right to vote or to bear arms, depend on where they live. The government services available to them, and their ability to gain access to those services, depend on where they live. Does this variation indicate that the federal system is working largely as intended, or are there specific policy domains in which geography should be irrelevant? Does the partisan nature of this variation prevent state and local officials from the institutional learning that is characteristic of good governance? Articles might grapple with these and other normative questions as they consider recent developments in specific policy domains.

Please submit a proposal that identifies a specific policy arena in which subnational governments have adopted major policy changes in response to the inaction of the national government. The proposal should clearly describe the nature of this subnational activity and the research strategy that will be used to assess its implications. If this assessment will be based on quantitative data, please indicate whether these data have already been collected. To ensure that the manuscript can meet the tight schedule outlined below, please also identify the current status of the research and writing.

We encourage proposals from all disciplines including but not limited to public administration, political science, sociology, economics, and planning. We expect to publish papers where there is collaboration between academics and practitioners and authors both from inside and outside the United States.

Proposals should be submitted between April 15, 2020 and June 1, 2020 to the following email address: slgrspissue@gmail.com.

The proposals should be double-spaced and include no more than two pages of text. There is no need to include tables or appendices, and references do not count against the two-page limit. All proposals will be subject to editorial review. Please do not send complete papers—if you have a draft of your paper, please note that in the proposal.

Submissions will be evaluated with respect to the following criteria:

  • The proposed manuscript should examine a policy area where state and local governments filled a vacuum left by national government inaction. It should investigate the broader implications of the subnational policy activity, not simply describe it.
  • The proposal should represent an achievable manuscript project within the tight time constraints outlined below.
  • Scope of Interest. Papers of broad interest to scholars and professionals will be preferred.
  • Organization and Coherence. The proposal should follow a logical structure, read clearly, and thoroughly represent the available research.
  • Insight for Future Work. The proposal should convey important implications for both future research and practice related to local government.

Due to editorial constraints, it is vital for authors to adhere to the following strict timeline. If you have any questions, please contact the Editor at mscicc@ufl.edu or by phone at (352) 846-2874.

Relevant dates* are as follows:

  • April 15 – June 1, 2020: Proposals due to the State and Local Government Review to be sent to slgrspissue@gmail.com
  • June 15, 2020: Final decision on proposals and initial feedback provided to authors.
  • September 15, 2020: Full draft of paper due to State and Local Government Review.
  • October 15, 2020: Review and feedback to authors on full paper.
  • November 15, 2020: Final paper submitted to State and Local Government Review. Final manuscripts should be no longer than 18 pages of text with standard margins and font size.

*Please note that these are basic guidelines; each paper may require a different number of revisions or timing to make the November 15, 2020 deadline

Feel free to email (ajkarch@umn.edu) me if you have any questions regarding your proposal or manuscript.


Orren, Karen, and Stephen Skowronek. The Policy State: An American Predicament. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017.

Rabe, Barry. 2011. Contested Federalism and American Climate Policy. Publius: The Journal of Federalism 41(3):494-521.

Roberts, Patrick S. 2020. “Never Mind Trump. Coronavirus Shows Why Electing Competent State and Local Officials Is Vital.” The Washington Post. March 8.