December 2020

Neighborhoods and Felony Disenfranchisement: The Case of New York City

December 21, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Kevin Morris (NYU) | Many of the negative effects of mass incarceration on neighborhoods have been well documented by scholars in recent years. The incarceration of community members has been shown to cause negative health outcomes, to disrupt labor markets, and to make residents less trustful of their local government. Residents who live in neighborhoods touched by mass incarceration exhibit symptoms of trauma and are more likely to suffer from anxiety than others. One aspect of incarceration’s effects on neighborhoods, however, remains less studied: felony disenfranchisement, or the suspension of voting rights. Nearly everywhere in the United States, the political rights of individuals convicted of felony offenses are severely curtailed. This project shows that the disenfranchisement of community members has serious impacts on neighborhood turnout in local elections. Read More

When Voters Matter: The Limits of Local Government Responsiveness

December 16, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Michael W. Sances (Temple University) | V.O. Key famously wrote, “Unless mass views have some place in the shaping of policy, all the talk about democracy is nonsense.” While formally democratic, governed as they are by elected representatives, whether local governments meet Key’s standard of democratic responsiveness is unclear. In recent years, several scholars have found correlations between the policy outputs of large cities and the views of their publics, with more liberal cities producing more liberal policies. Yet these patterns could emerge even if cities were not democratically responsive. Additionally, local government is much more than large cities; yet we know little about how the thousands of smaller municipal, township, and special district governments represent their voters. In a recent article in Urban Affairs Review, I find evidence that local governments are indeed responsive in some areas, but not at all responsive in others. Read More

Public Service-Function Types and Interlocal Agreement Network Structure: A Longitudinal Study of Iowa

December 2, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Victor G. Hugg (University of Illinois at Chicago) | Faced with enduring partisan gridlock and ever-tightening financial constraints, public administrators are increasingly turning to cooperative arrangements with local institutions and organizations to provide public goods and services. Over time, networks of governance have emerged from an assortment of both formal and informal agreements. Recognizing the prevalence of these collaborative efforts, researchers have started to seriously examine these agreement networks in a bid to understand the factors the predict interlocal collaboration. Read More