Policy Change

timer Asked: Jun 29th, 2018
account_balance_wallet $15

Question description

The need for policy changes can arise for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons might include social injustice, inequality, increased health concerns, and research discoveries in a multitude of environmental, social, health, and technological areas. Changing policies is an often tough political battle because so many people can be affected by policy change.

For this Application Assignment, review the virtual community and think about your role in it. Think about which public policy area needs to be addressed or which public policy you feel is most important to change, and then propose a policy change. Keep in mind that any policy change you create will affect many people. How do you plan to address those who may not be supportive of the policy?

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review the article, "Responsive, Responsible and Respected Government: Towards a New Public Administration Theory." Consider responsible ways to promote public policy changes.
  • Review the article, "The Role of Citizen Participation and Action Research Principles in Main Street Revitalization: An Analysis of a Local Planning Project." Pay particular attention to incorporating and utilizing citizens in creating public policy changes.
  • Review the latest content in the virtual community from the perspective of your role.
  • Consider the public policies in the virtual community and which ones you might propose changing.
  • Think about a policy change you might propose.
  • Consider the people affected by the policy change and how you might address those people in your role.

The assignment (2 pages):

  • Based on the virtual community and role you selected (Political Activist) , describe one policy change you would suggest and explain why.
  • Describe two ways in which the policy change you suggested might affect two other roles in the community and explain how.
  • Describe one way in which the policy change you selected might affect one specific group in the community and explain how.
  • Explain one way in which you might address those who do not support your policy change.

*************************Virtual Community Transcript**************************

The role is "Political Activist" for Mary Davenport policies, focus on cleaning up the harbor from Zebra Mussels

Use references from the attached and any outside American references

You saw that in the papers today—little boy shot his sister when they were inside playing? Now that's a crying shame, a God-awful tragedy. This whole town's being torn up by guns and violence and it's enough. We need to get these guns off the streets. I used to think, OK, a man has a right to protect his home and his property. Government can't take that away. But this is wrong. Government's got the right to protect the safety of the people. We don't need guns if they're leading to this kind of accident. I like the Coppel legislation: ban the guns; ban 'em all!"

- Jake Morrell, Tailor, 57, Democrat

"Miss Mary D. has been in this town a while—she assisted me when I came to her homeless shelter many years ago and got me this job at the post office! She's always been a quiet player but now she's taking the town by storm. Coppel—he's bad news. He's suffering by being connected to these heavy-duty polluters when he used to be the big environmental man. This gives Miss Mary D. the edge. She's got moves and a fresh take on how to run the city. She's above the Taylor-Coppel fray. The Peacetree endorsement is a feather in her cap. Miss Mary D. is going to take over City Hall!"

- Bertrand Gallow, Postal Worker, 53, Independent

"Robin Walker thinks he knows how to attack the zebra mussel problem, but $15 million is a drop in the bucket. If Robin thinks he's going to get to the bottom of the mess, he's going to go broke trying. The costs to clean up a single manufacturing plant can be hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Think of how many plants—active and dormant—lie on our waterline. We're talking about a clean-up effort in the billions of dollars. And these mussels multiply like lightning, so once you've got them cleaned up they're coming right back. Don't get me wrong, I wish Robin the best of luck. I would take his money to clean up my water intake. But I'm just not sure his money is being well spent."

- Cynthia DeBiers, Plant Owner, DeBiers Brewery, 48, Democrat

International Review of Administrative Sciences Responsive, responsible and respected government: towards a New Public Administration theory Jocelyne Bourgon Introduction Public administrations are a vehicle for expressing the values and preferences of citizens, communities, and society as a whole. Some of these values and preferences are constant; others change as societies evolve. Periodically, one set of values comes to the fore, and its energy transforms the role of government and the practice of public administration. Recent decades have been marked by tremendous change, both nationally and globally. Not surprisingly, public administrations are in a period of transition. Current practice of public administration draws key strengths from past models: the Classic model, with its emphasis on control and organizational design; the Neo-bureaucratic model, built upon rational decision-making processes; the Institutional model of the 1950s and 1960s, which was deeply rooted in behavioural sciences; and the Public Choice model, with its reliance on political economy (Denhardt, 2003). In many ways, public administrations are pushing ahead. With one foot in the past, they are also eager to keep stride with – and indeed anticipate – the rapidly advancing sectors that will shape the future. Thus, the practice of public administration is no longer totally consistent with the Classic theory; nor is it yet supported by a ‘new’ and unifying philosophy. This text aims to explore the rich tapestry of contemporary public administration, from a practitioner’s perspective. Following the threads of academic theory and practical experience, it offers some of my ‘best guesses’ in relation to emerging trends and characteristics that will define innovative patterns and textures in this dynamic field. I want to speak primarily of the need for a ‘New Public Administration’ theory, recognizing that to label anything ‘new’ is risky business. Those who embrace new ideas sometimes tend to regard earlier ways of thinking as old and outdated. In The Honourable Jocelyne Bourgon is President Emeritus of the Canada School of Public Service. Copyright © 2007 IIAS, SAGE Publications (Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore) Vol 73(1):7–26 [DOI:10.1177/0020852307075686] 8 International Review of Administrative Sciences 73(1) contrast, others are deeply wedded to long-held views and argue that there is nothing new. I would offer a hypothesis that seeks to avoid both of these extremes. I suspect that everything that follows in this text already exists to varying degrees in public administrations around the world. In addition, I would remind readers that the factors I describe are relevant only to the tiny portion of the globe in which liberal democracy exists. Thus, I believe the ‘newness’ of a New Public Administration theory (if indeed newness exists) will not be found in new ideas, but rather ‘in the way the fabric is woven, not necessarily in the threads that are used’. Or, as Frederickson (1980) says in his book on the New Public Administration, ‘the newness may also be in the use of the fabric . . . however threadbare’. The reference in this text to New Public Administration theory flows from the values that have guided traditional public administration. At the same time, it proceeds from the aggregation of new knowledge and new experience acquired over time – particularly during the 1980s and 1990s. It implies an expectation that a different set of values will come to predominate in the coming years. I think that we have seen the signs of change, and can begin to sketch the pattern of a ‘new’ and unifying theory for public administration. One of the changes that deserves attention and action is the declining trust in government, which has been evident in recent years. Possible causes for this growing mistrust of elected officials and public servants – and potential consequences – are discussed briefly throughout the article. The concluding paragraphs highlight how a unifying theory for public administration could help to re-establish citizen trust in public administration. That said, I will not attempt to describe such a theory: such an endeavour would be beyond my means and my ability. Rather, I would be content if this overview convinces some readers of the need to provide public servants with a set of guiding principles that could help to shape citizens’ expectations and steer future government action. Part 1: Not entirely of the past; not yet of the future Societies around the globe have undergone tremendous change in the past thirty years. Since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, we have witnessed an unprecedented convergence towards a ‘Democratic Capitalism model’ (Fukuyama, 1992) as the most efficient way to enjoy both a high standard of living and quality of life. (Another model, that of ‘Monopolistic Capitalism’, may be emerging in countries such as China and Saudi Arabia but that is another story for another day (Minc, 2004).) This convergence has occurred during a period of great economic and geopolitical transformation. This is evidenced in the effects of globalization and the emergence of new global economic engines such as China and India, in the exceptional transformation of South Africa and the expansion of the European Union, and in the impact of modern information and communication technologies. We have come to realize the importance of good governance and to recognize the interconnected roles of the private sector, the public sector and civil society institutions. We have learned that good governance requires good government – Bourgon Responsive, responsible and respected government 9 i.e. an effective public service and effective public sector institutions (Bourgon, 2003). The Classic model of public administration theory was first described in the early twentieth century. Given the relative ‘youth’ of many democratic governments during that era, its emphasis on control and organizational design was well suited to the times. Public administrations moulded around this model have proven remarkably stable, even in the face of change and in highly variable circumstances. But the test of a strong theory is not just its staying power. It is the trait of resilience that implies an ability to adapt to new and unforeseen circumstances. The past thirty years mark a rich period of experimentation in public service reforms. Many countries, including most of the developed countries, have undertaken extensive reforms aimed at making government more efficient, more effective, more productive, more transparent and more responsive. The quest to achieve these goals has been pursued through privatization, deregulation, commercialization, customerization or decentralization. Now looking back, we are better able to identify the positive initiatives that show lasting potential – and to discard the less successful ventures that had a negative effect on the ethos of the public service. I would argue that the insight we can now exercise creates the right context for developing a new synthesis of public administration theory. It also establishes an ambitious goal. We should aim to define a theory that can effectively integrate past strengths, current knowledge and future challenges. That is, a theory that builds upon the strong foundation provided by the Classic model, incorporates the lessons of the last thirty years, and anticipates the imperatives of public service in the twenty-first century. The Classic public administration theory Civil service bureaucracies emerged in the latter part of the nineteenth century, a period characterized by rapid change associated with the industrial revolution. A meritorious, well-trained public service was a powerful instrument for promoting economic development and building a modern state: it contributed immeasurably to the success of countries undergoing industrialization (Bresser-Pereira, 2005). The Classic model was founded upon a number of conventions, including a strict separation of political and professional activities, public service anonymity and political neutrality. The public service was governed by precisely prescribed rules and accountable to elected officials: thus, it was expected to exercise minimal discretion in executing its tasks. The power structure was vertical and hierarchical. It valued and encouraged impartiality, compliance and predictability (Kernaghan, 2002). The public service, as we know it today, owes much to the public administration theory that prevailed at the beginning of the twentieth century including: ● Respect for the rule of law. ● A commitment to serving the public good. ● An expectation that public servants will exhibit integrity, probity and impartiality in serving the public trust. The model was clear and simple – characteristics that continue to hold great intellectual appeal. Reality, however, is rarely as simple as theory. The Classic model falls 10 International Review of Administrative Sciences 73(1) short of being able to coherently address an increasing number of issues that reflect today’s reality. I want to examine, in turn, three significant issues: ● The need for flexibility. ● The interactions between politics and policies. ● New forms of accountability. The need for flexibility The public administration theory of the early twentieth century was particularly well suited to repetitive and predictable tasks that guaranteed equality of treatment under the law. In the 1950s, many countries realized that some public goods, because of their complexity, required more flexibility than the Classic model could offer. This need for greater flexibility first led to an ‘organizational response’ which was characterized by the proliferation of state enterprises and crown corporations. (The creation of agencies, which in the mind of some is associated with the New Public Management theory, originated much earlier.) As society became more complex, the need for greater flexibility continued to grow. In the 1980s, legislators responded by creating framework legislation that ensured the certainty and clarity of the law yet allowed greater flexibility through the use of delegation and regulatory instruments. The nature of the service provided is not set in the law, rather it derives from the use of delegated power and discretionary decisions within the mandate of the organization and the broad parameters of the framework legislation. Today, a growing proportion of the services provided by government are ‘knowledge based’ – i.e. they involve the gathering, processing, analysis and interpretation of information. These services are not repetitive and cannot easily be codified, much less prescribed. They require a high level of discretion. In many instances, the service provided results from the interaction between the service recipient (the citizen) and the public servant providing the service. The quality of the service provided depends on a combination of factors, including the accumulated knowledge, know-how and expertise of the public servant. The Classic model, which originally sought to reduce discretion, does not accommodate the high level of individual decision-making required in today’s world. Thus, it does not provide practitioners with adequate guidance for the tasks they must carry out. Nor does it tell us how to integrate higher levels of discretion and reasonable risk-taking in balance with the necessities of sustaining accountability, ensuring the fair treatment of citizens and avoiding the risks of arbitrariness. The absence of a clear intellectual framework to guide the increased discretion needed in today’s reality can lead to an erosion of trust in government. Without clear guiding principles, mistakes will, inevitably, be made. Typically this leads to finger pointing and to new layers of control. A unifying philosophy is needed to help guide the decisions of public servants and thereby reduce the risks of serious misunderstandings – or their consequences. Politics and policies One of the fundamental principles of the Classic public administration theory holds that politicians make policy decisions, which public servants Bourgon Responsive, responsible and respected government 11 execute. This separation of politics and policies is necessary for several reasons. One is to prevent political interference in the implementation of public policies as a means of avoiding corruption and patronage. As an equally important counterbalance, this approach prevents government by bureaucracy, which would undermine democracy. Once again, reality is more complex. In practice, the separation of policy and politics has always been difficult. Depending on one’s interpretation, it may even be undesirable. Public policies are much more than the simple affirmation of political will – they are the means by which we strive to achieve a desired public policy outcome. In today’s world, the search for the best public policy options often involves an increasingly complex process of interactions inside and outside government. Political will is in no way diminished through this dialogue. The final decision still rests with elected officials who decide whether a new policy is deserving of public support and initiatives deserve to form part of the government agenda. Ergo, the competent professional advice acquired through the broader interaction strengthens political will. Through experience, we have come to see that this approach increases the likelihood of success, reduces the risks of unintended consequences and facilitates implementation. Public servants play a critical role in this process. They have a fundamental responsibility to contribute to robust policy analysis, to identify viable policy options and to assess the impact of various policy choices. Within these functions, they are called upon to ‘speak truth to power’ and to provide ‘fearless advice’ – thus the role of public servants realizes its true meaning through this interaction with elected officials engaged in the difficult process of policy formulation (Bourgon, 1997a). The public policy issues of the twenty-first century are increasingly complex and will require even more interaction including: ● ● ● Interactions among public servants in local, national and international organizations – to exchange information and to marshal the best available evidence in support of policy decisions. Interactions between public servants and elected officials at all levels – to consider the impact of alternative policy options. Interactions between elected officials and citizens who are claiming a larger voice in the policy decisions that will most affect them in the future. The public policy role of government is of fundamental importance to the performance of countries and the well-being of citizens. The policy advisory role is one of the most complex and challenging functions performed by a professional, non-partisan public service. I believe that this role has not received the attention it deserves. A New Public Administration theory is needed to guide the necessary interactions amongst citizens, civil society, public servants and elected officials. Such a theory should help us to advance harmoniously from a concept of ‘separation’ to one of ‘democratic interaction’ and greater integration, rooted in greater understanding of and respect for the respective roles of elected officials and administrators. New forms of accountability We have seen tremendous pressure for change in the areas of accountability and responsibility in public administration. They are highly complex issues that reach deep into our perceptions of the public service. 12 International Review of Administrative Sciences 73(1) According to the Classic theory, elected officials are solely responsible and accountable for translating public will into policy. In countries such as Canada, ministerial responsibility implies that ministers answer to and be held accountable to the Parliament for everything and everyone under their watch. This holds true regardless of whether or not ministers are personally involved in any particular aspect of the work within their department. Public service anonymity means that advice to ministers is given in confidence, thereby ensuring that the public debate focuses on ministerial decisions rather than the views of unelected advisors. Ministerial responsibility would be better described as a ‘system of accountability’. One aspect cannot be modified in isolation without ramifications for the functioning of the whole system. Given the increased demand for accountability across all levels of government, there is a growing need to find a new balance between many conflicting lines of tension: ● Political accountability must be balanced against the growing demand for public scrutiny of the advice and personal actions of public servants. ● Parliamentary accountability for fulfilling the legislated mandate of public agencies and for the use of public funds must be balanced against growing costs (in money and time) associated with the ever-increasing number of controls and reporting requirements of central and oversight agencies. ● Hierarchical accountability must be balanced against shared responsibility for results among departments or across partnerships involving other governmental, non-governmental or community-based organizations. Classic public administration theory was primarily interested in accountability of office holders as a means of controlling the exercise of power. This will not change. However, the ultimate aim of accountability is to ensure that governments are responsive to citizens. In this regard, traditional accountability measures are not entirely satisfactory and new forms of accountability are starting to emerge. I am thinking particularly of new forms of public accountability and new mechanisms for the oversight of professional responsibility. A peer review system of the professional performance of public agencies is one avenue that could help to increase public scrutiny, enhance peer learning, and avoid politicization. Several countries, including Canada and the Nordic countries, are now experimenting with various forms of ‘social accountability’. This entails reporting to citizens on a country’s overall performance in key areas, as compared to other countries. It is a promising departure from the traditional discourse on accountability. The trend towards new forms of public and social accountability could prove central to our evolving democracies. Citizens today expect more from governments. They also want to have a more active role in governance – i.e. more than a chance for a limited say every four or five years at the election box. Accountability involves complex legal, constitutional and democratic principles. At its most fundamental level, a ‘new’ synthesis should seek to balance political accountability for the exercise of power and public accountability for creating common Bourgon Responsive, responsible and respected government 13 public goods and enhancing citizenship. Transparency and new forms of social accountability should be an essential part of New Public Administration theory. The traditional public administration theory has given us a strong foundation. It is the undisputed basis into which the contributions of other areas of academic research, and the practical lessons learned of the past twenty years must be integrated. The New Public Management theory The New Public Management (NPM) theory takes its intellectual foundations from Public Choice theory, which looks at government from the standpoint of markets and productivity, and from Managerialism, which focuses on management approaches to achieve productivity gains. At its core, NPM represents a set of ideas, values and practices aimed at emulating private sector practices in the public sector. NPM has both protagonists (Osborne and Gaebler, 1992; Osborne and Plastrik, 1997) and vehement opponents. It has been criticized for the values it promotes, the disaggregation of the concept of a unified public service and the effects of managerialism on democratic values (Terry, 1993; Carroll and Lynn, 1996). At the risk of being unfair, I would say that while the Classic public administration theory gave us a sound foundation, the NPM theory starts from the wrong value proposition. However, the underlying issues NPM attempts to resolve – some of which had previously been neglected – deserve our careful attention. Three of the most important issues include: ● Citizen-centred services. ● Value for taxpayers’ money. ● A responsive public service workforce. A New Public Administration theory should help us to address these issues from a public sector perspective, based on public sector values. Citizen-centred services The most fundamental characteristic of the public service should be its commitment to serve citizens in order to advance the public good. A public service true to its mission should be recognized for ongoing improvement of services and for its respect for the citizens it serves. It should be at the leading edge in exploring best practices, and should provide co-ordinated and integrated services among departments and agencies. In addition, it should use the power of modern information and communication technologies to enable citizens to reclaim their democratic institutions and to access government on their own terms and according to their needs. In a word, the public service should put citizens first although we all know that this is not always the case (Bourgon, 1998). A citizen-centred approach to service delivery does not reduce the role of the citizen to that of a customer or a mere user of government services. Rather, it embraces a fuller recognition and affirmation of citizens’ rights and of the breadth of their interests. A New Public Administration theory should help to reconcile the need for stability with the need to be responsive to citizens’ needs and expectations. 14 International Review of Administrative Sciences 73(1) Value for taxpayers’ money Achieving value for money in serving the public good is not in conflict with public service values. On the contrary, NPM’s focus on results and on assessing performance and impact is important and should be preserved. Every public sector organization should share a commitment to improving productivity. This is not a minimalist concept of the role of the State. It is a commitment to marshal all available public resources to effectively advance the public interest. It is difficult for individual citizens to determine the quantity and quality of services that they should expect to receive in return for a given level of taxation. It is government’s responsibility to provide citizens with comprehensive information. The benchmarking of public organizations that perform similar services is one way to provide citizens with the information they need to ask probing questions, to enrich the public discourse, and to hold government to account. Several governments have taken steps in this direction, one of the most common being the adoption of legislation that provides access to information. However, access to disaggregated information does not, in itself, lead to better understanding; nor is it a useful base for government public accountability for results. As a more promising thread, a New Public Administration theory could explore the right of citizens to know, and to understand, the consequences of government decisions. A flexible public service workforce To better serve the public interest, government must be able to modernize its role and to respond to the changing needs of citizens. This is particularly true in a new global economy and society. Governments must be able to create new services. At the same time, they need mechanisms to withdraw from activities previously performed. We all know how difficult and how controversial this is, both in the public service and in the court of public opinion. Public servants are ‘especially responsible citizens who are fiduciaries for the citizenry as a whole’ (Cooper, 1998). Because of their very special role in society, public servants are awarded special status and special protection. This special status was never intended to frustrate the will of the democratically elected governments or to place the corporatist interest of the public service above the collective interest it must serve. The privileges and protection help to ensure that public servants can withstand political pressures in performing their duties and resist the temptations of corruption. Such protections also enable them to provide ‘fearless advice’. The protection granted to public servants should be commensurate to their risk of being subjected to political influence, which varies considerably depending on their responsibilities and functions. Different countries have taken different approaches to creating a meritorious public service and protecting public servants. The creation, maintenance, and development of a meritorious non-partisan and professional public service does not, in itself, require guaranteed employment for life, guaranteed promotions, or upward mobility based on seniority. Nor should it preclude taking actions against poor performers. A meritorious public service requires a clear legal framework and an independent oversight agency to protect the merit principle. It also requires inter-departmental mobility, diversity of experiences and a healthy merit-based competition system for promotion and advancement. The NPM solution was to replace the traditional Bourgon Responsive, responsible and respected government 15 human resource management regime with contractual arrangements, performance pay and related performance management systems. Personally, I do not believe that private sector practices are the way forward for the public service. In many ways, such approaches are foreign to public sector culture and values. Some people question whether these approaches have been effective in the private sector itself. Recent research conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found no evidence that performance pay in the public sector has led to performance improvements (OECD, 2005). In my opinion, two elements are needed if public administrations are to be sufficiently responsive to meet the needs of modern democratic societies: a frank debate and a new integration of the principles at play. Traditional bureaucracy has demonstrated capacity for stability – indeed, one might say ‘ultra’ stability. The success of the public service of the future will be its ability to balance continuity and change. Over the coming years, public administration should devote significant intellectual energy to the subject of change and responsiveness. Part 2: The building blocks of a New Public Administration theory In Part I, I noted a growing distance between the theoretical foundation provided by the public administration theory of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the reality faced by public servants in the twenty-first century. I also argued that, despite its best intentions, the NPM did not offer public servants an alternative model to help them resolve emerging conflicts and tensions. If anything, it added to the confusion (which is not entirely surprising in a change process). The question of whether we need a ‘new synthesis’, a new ‘integrating framework’ or a new ‘theory’ of public administration is one of degree. As I was preparing these notes, I was struck by the considerable gap between modern concepts of government and those that held sway in the past. As a result, I became more concerned about the growing gap between the reality of those serving in the public service and the theory that, in principle, is there to guide them. ‘There is nothing so practical as a good theory’ (Lewin, 1951). I would add that there is nothing so dangerous as a theory that lags behind the times and yet remains the yardstick for making decisions and passing judgments. Our concepts or understanding of situations shape the way we think and act. Concepts of citizenship, democracy or public interest have evolved over time and they are continuing to evolve. Consequently, the role of government and the role of the public service are being transformed in ways that push beyond the constraints of the Classic model. A journey towards a New Public Administration theory must start at the most basic level. It begins with the concept of citizenship (Denhardt, 2003). Citizenship Citizen involvement was not a trademark of the public service of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Originally, ‘citizenship’was used strictly in a legal sense – i.e. to define citizens as equal under the law. Over time, the term has taken on a 16 International Review of Administrative Sciences 73(1) broader meaning. First, it took on an economic aspect (i.e. property rights or the right to dispose of assets), which helped to ensure a well-performing market economy. The concept later expanded to include a social dimension, i.e. it came to incorporate social rights such as health and education. Today, we would readily agree that citizenship encompasses all of these dimensions and that citizens are more than constituents, voters, clients or customers (King and Stivers, 1998). I would argue that citizenship is the starting point of a New Public Administration theory. Citizenship is considered an ‘integrating’ concept in that it helps individuals to reconcile their multiple roles in society. It recognizes that my interests as a parent, an employee or a member of my local community sometimes conflict. However, my role as a citizen extends beyond my conflicting self-interests and prompts me to consider the welfare of the community as a whole. Today’s citizens examine and reconcile various kinds of individual and collective interests (Dagger, 1997). Citizenship also helps to integrate individuals and communities. Individuals belong to many communities simultaneously. ‘Families, work groups, churches, civic associations, social groups . . . help establish connections between individuals and the larger society. Collectively, these groups constitute a civil society in which people work out their personal interests in the context of community concerns’ (Putnam, 2000). In recent years, we have learned a great deal about the importance of civil society. In addition, we now have a better understanding of the importance of government’s role in encouraging community building and civil society. Governments can contribute to social capital by encouraging citizen involvement in government activities that enrich both government and the community. Many factors work in favour of greater citizen involvement. Greater involvement can lead to better policy decisions. It helps to ensure that government initiatives meet the needs of the greatest number of citizens – and increases the likelihood of successful implementation. Equally important, greater involvement enhances the legitimacy of government. Figure 1 attempts to illustrate how the concept of citizenship has changed over time and will continue to evolve over the coming years (although it does not propose a pre-determined end point). Despite all the risks inherent in oversimplification, I believe that this figure is a useful reminder of the trends that are transforming the role of government in modern society. As mentioned in the introductory paragraphs, much has been written about declining trust in government. One possible interpretation is the growing frustration of citizens who feel excluded by a political system that is becoming the reserve of professional politicians, powerful lobbyists and campaign managers (Mathews, 1994). Declining trust may also be a signal of declining support for ‘power politics’ that have been practiced in the past – and a growing demand for citizen engagement in policy debate, citizen involvement in government services and citizen participation in policy decisions. The ‘politics of citizenship’ is the ‘politics of participation’ . . . of ordinary citizens engaged in dialogue about the directions of society (Pranger, 1968). In the past twenty years, we witnessed a sustained push towards a market model. It has not been entirely satisfactory. Over the next twenty years, developed Bourgon Responsive, responsible and respected government 17 Figure 1 Towards a ‘New’ Public Administration theory: citizenship Factors From Citizens Legal being Citizenship Equal bearer of rights Role of government Representing citizen’s interests Towards → → → Political being Member of a social and political community including rights and responsibilities Promoting citizenship, public discussion and public integration democracies will need a concept of citizenship that reconciles the ‘economic man’, the need for effective public institutions, and for proper checks and balances. We will need to integrate our concept of citizenship with the fact that we are becoming world citizens and that the threats to our well-being are no longer found solely within the borders of the nation-state. In this context, national citizenship and national governments assume even greater importance: they become the main instrument for exerting influence in the international community of nations (Ignatieff, 1995). Public interest The second concept I’d like to examine is that of ‘public interest’ – which has been alternately dismissed, applauded and, most recently, revived. Clarke Cochran (1974) gave us a schema of four different schools of thought on the subject, defined as normative, abolitionist, political process and consensualist. For the normative group, public interest is an ethical standard for decision-making. The abolitionist school argues that public interest cannot be measured and, therefore, does not exist (see Figure 2). Figure 2 Towards a New Public Administration theory: the public interest Factors From Public interest The aggregation of individual interests Towards → The common (or shared) interests of citizens The interplay of special interests Role of government To express the public will → To articulate and realize the public interest 18 International Review of Administrative Sciences 73(1) The political process school refers to the mechanism through which policy is made. It is less concerned with ‘what’ decisions are made and more interested in ‘who’ decides and ‘how’. In the Classic model of public administration theory, the public interest is determined by elected officials: Their decisions amount to carrying out the ‘public will’. Public administrators had no role in it, or to quote Woodrow Wilson: ‘it [the public service] will have no taint of officialism . . .’. Citizens themselves had no direct role, other than by electing their representatives. At one time, the prevailing view was that interest groups and political parties best represented the interests of citizens in the public policy process, and that the mediation between these views would approximate the public interest. Miller (1989) later argued that this school of thought turns liberal democracy ‘on its head’ because it replaces the public interest with the will of the winning coalition. The consensualist school of thought views the public interest as a policy debate to achieve a public value consensus. The concept was developed further by the work of Paul Appleby (1950) and Deborah Stone (1997), and can be best described through direct quotation: The public interest is never merely the sum of all private interests . . . It is not wholly separate from citizens with many private interests; but it is something distinctive that arises within, among, apart from, and above private interests focusing on government some of the most elevated aspiration and deepest devotion of which human beings are capable (Appleby, 1950). It [public interest] ‘is about communities trying to achieve something as communities . . . The concept of public interest is to the polis (the political community) what selfinterest is to the market’ (Stone, 1997: 18). The way we perceive the public interest has profound ramifications for the role of government and the way public servants are expected to act. If we see the public interest as distinct from special interest, then the role of government is to help articulate and satisfy the public interest. It is to ensure that the public interest dominates in the solutions and in the processes by which public policy solutions are achieved. The decline in trust referred to earlier may be due in part to a growing perception that elected officials and administrators are seeking to maximize their self-interest rather than to help articulate a shared vision for society (Ruscio, 1996). Coupled with a modernized concept of citizenship, a richer definition of the role of government in serving the public interest would provide the foundation for a New Public Administration theory. Service to citizens In the early days of public administration, service delivery (i.e. the implementation of public policies) was not considered a distinct function of government. It was the whole of public administration. The purpose of public agencies was to implement politically determined policies and programmes. The process of policy implementation was top-down, hierarchical and unidirectional. Public agencies were expected to translate policy directives with as little Bourgon Responsive, responsible and respected government 19 variation and as little discretion as possible. It was not a matter of using discretion responsibly but of avoiding it altogether by adhering to laws, procedures and directives. In this context, responsiveness was unnecessary. The influence of scientific management led to an expectation that it would be possible to define the ‘correct’ procedures and to control clearly defined and predictable tasks. It was not until the early 1970s that the service delivery function of government started to receive some attention. (The work of Pressman and Wildavsky (1973) is worthy of note.) We came to realize that the implementation process is a determinant of policy outcome, and that the institutional capacity to deliver is central to the design of policy options. In short, we learned that policy formulation and policy implementation are an integrated and interactive process of discussion involving both policy makers and administrators. In the 1990s, the attention focused on new and different types of government services. This was largely the result of new modern information and communication technologies and the changing expectations of citizens. The ‘new’ services share a number of common characteristics: ● First, they are knowledge based, which means that the service provided depends on the accumulated knowledge of the organization and on the human capital of the people working for the organization. ● Second, they use a holistic approach to service delivery, which implies a ‘wholeof-government’ method involving multiple service agencies within a government or among levels of government. They also favour a holistic approach to citizens’ needs, which implies addressing multiple demands, depending on the circumstances of service recipients. ● Third, they encourage citizens’ participation in service design and delivery. All of these changes can be seen, to varying degrees, in public administrations around the world. They have profound ramifications for the role of government and raise issues that merit inclusion in a New Public Administration theory. This gives rise to issues of accountability. It also entails a transformation of the interface between the political and administrative realms and of the relationships between the public service and citizens. Figure 3 summarizes this change and provides an initial impression of the magnitude of the change that has taken place in the implementation of public policies over the past thirty years. In academia and in government, I have witnessed three types of reactions to the transformation of the role of government in service delivery. The first is to dismiss it as a fad or to think that ‘this too shall pass’. The second is to oppose these changes on the grounds that they are not in keeping with the traditional principle of accountability. The third is to carefully, but vigorously, explore ways of making government more responsive to citizens’ needs in the twenty-first century while ensuring fairness and adherence to the rule of law. I believe there is a tremendous opportunity to strengthen the role of government. I also believe that there is no turning back. 20 International Review of Administrative Sciences 73(1) Figure 3 Towards a New Public Administration theory: implementation of public policy Factors From Policy and implementation Separation Guiding principles Compliance Exercise of discretion Rule based Criteria of success Output Citizens Non-interference Towards → → → → → Integration Results within the law Constrained by accountability Outcome Participation/co-production Public policy Today, no government can claim to have all the tools or all the powers necessary to effect a complex policy outcome. Certainly, government is an important player, but one that must work with others to move society in a certain direction. Increasingly, government’s role is to set the agenda, bring the appropriate players to the table, and facilitate and broker sustainable solutions to public problems. The contemporary policy process is characterized by a dispersion of power and responsibility. There are many reasons for this: global markets have given rise to new issues of public concern that require global solutions; governments must increasingly work with other governments and many international organizations; and technology enables greater public access to the public policy process. The dispersion of power combined with the capacity of modern information and communication technologies are at the root of the policy networks that have emerged as privileged arenas for public policy debates. In this context, it makes more and more sense to speak of governance: Governance can be defined as the traditions, institutions and processes that determine the exercise of power in society, including how decisions are made on issues of public concerns and how citizens are given voice in public decisions-making. Governance speaks to how society actually makes choices, allocates resources and creates shared values (Denhardt, 2003). The OECD has studied various forms of citizens’ involvement in policy development and defines the primary characteristics of three common approaches: ● Information: A one-way relationship in which governments provide information to citizens; ● Consultation: A two-way relationship in which citizens provide feedback to governments. ● Active participation: An ongoing exchange in which governments and citizens are involved in the content of policy making. Bourgon Responsive, responsible and respected government 21 Figure 4 Towards a New Public Administration theory: public policy Factors From Policy/Administration interface Separation Public policy The result of political decision process Citizens’ role Compliance Role of government Legislation Towards → → → → Interaction The result of multiple interactions Engagement Deliberation As the process of policy development changes, so do the roles of government, of elected officials and of public servants. Governments will continue to play the key role in setting the legal and political rules of governance, balancing interests, and ensuring that the principles of democracy and social justice are respected. In contrast, public servants are called upon to play new roles of facilitation, negotiation, and conflict resolution. These changes add complexity to the policy–administration relationship. (see Figure 4). Conclusion: old threads and new fabric In summary, let’s look at how the two parts of my talk can be woven together. In Part 1, I examined the growing gap between theory and practice, which implies that public servants are left without the benefit of a modern and integrated theory to guide their actions. In Part 2, I noted that the intellectual foundations for a New Public Administration theory are more or less in place. These foundations derive from academic work on citizenship, governance, civil society, and trust in government. They also reflect the practice of public administration, such as the new reality of policy formulation and implementation. As mentioned earlier, nothing is really ‘new’. Each aspect mentioned in this presentation has previously been discussed elsewhere. A rich and abundant body of literature is available on any one of these issues. However, the field of public administration lacks a unifying set of values, themes and principles to express today’s reality, as well as to inspire and assist public servants. Allow me to pick out some specific ‘threads’ so I can begin ‘weaving’ them together. A ‘new’ theory should start with the ideal of democratic citizenship. The public service derives its true meaning from its mandate to serve citizens to advance the public good. This is the raison d’être of the institution, the source of motivation and pride of all those who choose to make it their life, whether for a season or for an entire career. 22 International Review of Administrative Sciences 73(1) Public administration seen from this perspective refocuses our attention on the ideals of democracy, the public interest, citizenship and human dignity, civic values, and commitment to service. These ideals are the starting point that defines the role of government, of elected officials and of professional public servants (Denhardt, 2003). To be pragmatic public servants need a clear point of reference. In most countries (though not all), the constitutional law is the source of all powers and the authoritative basis for citizens’ rights and responsibilities. It is above majority voting, above the laws creating public agencies and granting authorities to elected officials (Frederickson, 1991). Thus, it is a solid and reliable basis for action by public servants. Starting from the concept of democratic citizenship opens up new perspectives. In this context, the role of public administrators cannot be reduced to simply responding to users’ demand or carrying out orders. It involves: ● Building collaborative relationships with citizens and groups of citizens. ● Encouraging shared responsibilities. ● Disseminating information to elevate public discourse and foster a shared understanding of public issues. ● Seeking opportunities to involve citizens in government activities. Democratic citizenship is not a concept wherein ‘benevolent bureaucrats’ substitute their superior wisdom for that of elected officials (Schubert, 1957). This concept recognizes that elected officials hold the ultimate responsibility for setting the agenda and making public choices. It also values the constitutional authority of the courts as the ultimate interpreter of the law. Democratic citizenship implies an interactive process in which public servants deal with citizens as citizens within the broader systems of political governance. It affirms public service values and clearly differentiates public administration from the market model. Let me weave in a second thread. A New Public Administration theory would propose a unifying vision of policy, politics and policy implementation as one circular, integrated, and interactive process that brings together all relevant actors. This principle of active and democratic interactions would replace the doctrine of strict separation – a doctrine that has long been discredited but is still considered as a point of reference, particularly when things go wrong. The new theory would recognize the fact that both policy makers and administrators are actively involved in all aspects of policy research, policy development and policy implementation. It would help elected officials and professional civil servants act responsibly, ethically and in accordance with democratic principles. It would also recognize that, in the twentyfirst century, discretion is necessary in policy implementation and, thus, would help to explore how the exercise of discretion could be informed by citizens’ choices and participation. Finally, the new theory would help to address the issue of professional responsibility and accountability. In seeking to address all of these individual issues, the new theory would effectively take on the difficult task of proposing a unified doctrine of accountability that encompasses the full range of professional, legal, political and democratic responsibilities. Bourgon Responsive, responsible and respected government 23 In recent years, both elected officials and public administrators have been reaching out to citizens and exploring various forms of engagement, including use of the Internet. The underlying message to citizens is that ‘having a say’ does not mean ‘having a vote’. The new theory would therefore seek to better reconcile the government’s commitment to citizens’ participation with its own role in establishing the legal and political rules of engagement, setting the agenda, and making the final decisions. In essence, the new theory would help to reconcile the role of responsible public administrators and the democratic responsibility of elected officials. Public administrators are neither masters nor mercenaries. They are professional individuals who serve the functions of analysts, managers, facilitators, moral leaders, and stewards of public values and are called upon to be responsible actors in a complex system of governance. It is a demanding, challenging and sometimes heroic endeavour involving accountability, adherence to the law, judgement and responsibility (Denhardt, 2003). A strong theory reduces the need for heroism by showing the way and guiding one’s steps. Public administration theory should help public servants fully exercise their multi-faceted role. In closing, and in further pursuing the analogy of the weaver, I would remind readers that even the most complex tapestry is created by combining warp (vertical) and woof (horizontal) threads. In the context of the public service, I would propose that trust is the warp thread – the thread that gives the fabric its shape and sturdiness. At the most basic level, citizens expect their government to be legitimate, honest and responsible: in a word, to be trustworthy. They expect government to respect democratic principles, abide by the rule of law and serve the collective interest. As taxpayers, they expect value for money, efficiency and responsiveness. They expect public servants to abide by high ethical standards and to carry out their duties with competence and integrity. Trust in government, in public institutions and in the fairness of government decisions is the ultimate test of good government. It is the frame on which the multitude of threads representing various aspects of government and society can be interwoven to create a pattern that reflects reality. Trust is both a pre-condition for, and the result of, government actions. Maintaining public trust between governments and citizens is an essential element of democracy and a prerequisite for good government. It is also a constant ‘work in progress’. Signs of declining trust should never be taken lightly: no country is rich enough to afford the cost of distrust. Declining trust in existing public institutions leads to a lower rate of compliance, corruption, black markets, more tax avoidance strategies and increasing litigation costs (Tyler, 2001). Disaffected citizens may stop participating in public affairs. Eventually, it leads to the erosion of the social fabric (Levi, 1996; Fukuyama, 1995). Declining trust of elected officials in the professional civil service may be less visible but is also corrosive. It leads to increasing external controls, the higher costs of which divert money from service delivery to internal processes. It may also deprive elected officials of the best advice on policy decisions. Ultimately, it leads to growing dissatisfaction among citizens and public servants. Declining trust in an incumbent government reduces the scope for new public initiatives, particularly when benefits are not equally shared or will only materialise in the mid to long term (Hetherington, 2001). 24 International Review of Administrative Sciences 73(1) The most common outcome of declining trust is a democratic change of government. However, if the declining trust applies to both government and to institutions, rather than a single political party or an individual, it may lead to social conflict and ultimately to an overthrow of government and a return to military rule, dictatorship or civil war. We have seen the growing signs of disenchantment. Decades of reforms to make governments more efficient and transparent have clearly fallen short of enhancing public trust. Decades of pressure to reduce the role of the State have not generated more trust, a greater sense of security or greater citizen satisfaction. The current discontent signals the need to reconcile, yet again, freedom in the private sphere with collective deliberation over common values in the collective sphere. I would argue that we are in a better position than ever before to tackle this challenge. Everything that has taken place to date has been part of a learning process. 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Social Networks and American Politics American Politics Research Volume 37 Number 5 September 2009 727-741 © 2009 The Author(s) 10.1177/1532673X09337771 http://apr.sagepub.com Introduction to the Special Issue Michael T. Heaney University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Scott D. McClurg Southern Illinois University, Carbondale This article overviews the special issue on “Social Networks and American Politics.” The authors explain that social network analysis is a multimethod set of approaches to examining the pattern of connections that are created among individuals and institutions when they engage in their daily activities. It is especially valuable when research problems are about (a) the flow of information; (b) coordination, cooperation, or trust; (c) informal organization; or (d) multiple levels of organization. In addressing these problems, network analysis has expanded during the last decade within the study of American politics, contributing to knowledge about political institutions, behavior, and network theory. Promising directions for future research include the study of power, preference aggregation, information flow and transaction costs, and network dynamics. Keywords: social networks; political behavior; political institutions; methodology T he idea for this special issue arose in conjunction with the first conference on “Networks in Political Science,” held at Harvard University, June 13-14, 2008. The conference was cochaired by David Lazer of Harvard University and James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, and supported with a grant from the National Science Foundation, with John Scholz of Florida State University as the principal investigator. More than 200 scholars participated in the conference, which addressed a wide range of network topics in political science, from international conflict to online blogs to civic participation in the United States. The conference recognized the emerging critical mass of scholars who investigate social networks in politics and sought to bring them together to promote greater intellectual exchange and institutionalization of the field. This special 727 728   American Politics Research issue publishes eight of the best articles from the conference that focused on American politics. Some readers may sense an irony that scholars who study social networks—which exert influence largely because of their informality and transcendence of traditional institutional boundaries—should make a headlong push toward institutionalization through formal conferences, journals, and a new section of the American Political Science Association. Why is it not sufficient for social network scholars to work informally across journals and fields without any concrete institutions? The potency of informal organization through networks does not come from eliminating or bypassing formal institutions entirely but by working in tension with them. Social networks exist within the structures of institutions, in the holes between institutions, and in the spaces where institutions have not yet formed. The study of social networks transcends disciplinary boundaries and will never be sensibly contained within one discipline or association. Yet projects such as this issue can help promote the diffusion of network analysis within specialized fields. This essay situates the contemporary research on display in this special issue within the larger traditions of network analysis and American politics research. We begin by discussing what network analysis is and why it is valuable. Second, we review the major developments in the literature on social networks in American politics. Third, we consider how the authors in this issue contribute to this literature. We conclude by suggesting new directions for network research within American politics. Social Networks and Network Analysis Social networks are the connections that exist among individuals and institutions as they engage in their everyday activities. Connections may comprise friendship ties, financial exchanges, authoritative chains of command, conversation, familial relations, comembership in associations, joint presence at events, the exchange of goods, or any number of relationships specified by the researcher. Network analysis examines the implications of these patterns for social and political processes. A common misperception about network analysis is that this is a purely “method-driven” approach to research. However, network analysis may contribute to the theoretical, substantive, or methodological dimensions of research. Theoretically, network analysis posits that social relations are fundamental building blocks of social processes (Emirbayer, 1997). This Heaney, McClurg / Social Networks and American Politics   729 proposition is appealing in understanding politics, where constituent relations, patronage, gossip, and alliances are commonplace. In network theory, the relations among organizations, institutions, and actors are the focus of consideration rather than the attributes of those bodies themselves. In some contexts, network theory suggests that individual units cannot be understood in isolation from their socially embedded relationships (Granovetter, 1985). For example, rather than looking at the influence of interest groups through the lens of individual groups and their decisions, a network approach considers the position of groups to determine whether they are core influential actors or if they are more peripheral and, consequently, less influential (Laumann & Knoke, 1987). Substantively, networks are social objects of which people are increasingly aware, especially with the rise of online social networking tools, such as Facebook and Twitter. Individuals and institutions self-consciously engage in “networking” in an effort to expand their access to information, expertise, and status. Along these lines, social networks can be examined as readily as political attitudes, trust, or partisanship. Methodologically, network analysis is a way of analyzing data by treating the dyad, rather than the individual, as the basic unit of analysis.1 A multitude of techniques exist, and are being developed, to measure network ties, structure, and dynamics. Nonetheless, “social networks” need not be studied using formal network analysis. Indeed, social networks may be investigated with a panoply of methods, including surveys, interviews, ethnography, field experiments, laboratory experiments, computer simulations, and content analysis. The key task for scholars is to identify when networks are an essential part of the problem under consideration. There are four instances when network analysis may prove to be especially valuable. First, when the flow of information is at the heart of a problem, a network may be useful in pinpointing a solution. A network is a parsimonious way of modeling the flow of information from person to person or from organization to organization (Coleman, Katz, & Menzel, 1957; Granovetter, 1973). Such models may be especially valuable in understanding information-dependent phenomena, such as citizen learning about politics, voting behavior, the diffusion of policy innovations, and conspiracies. Second, network analysis may be revealing when coordination, cooperation, or trust is fragile. Networks reflect the histories of interaction among actors, thus suggesting their degree of familiarity with one another’s habits and preferences, reliability, and character. Thus, the strength or weakness of ties in networks, as well as the patterns in which they are 730   American Politics Research arranged, may make all the difference in overcoming collective action problems, reaching agreement on difficult matters, and participating confidently in politics (Gould, 1993). Third, network analysis may be essential to understand political processes when informal organization runs strongly counter to formal institutions. Network analysis may reveal whether those who are formally in control of an institution actually control the balance of power (Krackhardt, 1992). In searching for these power dynamics, networks may be beneficial in the study of legislatures, bureaucracies, and political parties. Fourth, networks may be the best way to make sense of behavior when multiple levels of organization are involved. Under these conditions, even formal lines of authority are overlapping or blurred, making a network model a good way to make sense of the organizational structure (Lazer, 2005). Federalism, bureaucracy, and grassroots politics are settings in which network analysis is likely to provide this kind of insight. Although social networks are relevant in a wide number of cases within American politics, the number of scholars conducting network analyses in the field has grown substantially only within the past decade. In the next section, we consider the origins of social network studies of American politics and how they have contributed to ongoing debates in the field. Network Analyses of American Politics Scholars have recognized the important role of social networks in American politics for more than half a century. The first major study in this tradition was Lazarsfeld, Berelson, and Gaudet’s (1944) investigation of voting in Erie County, Ohio. Although they did not use the formal methods of network analysis, the authors found that personal contacts played a more important role in an individual’s vote choice than did the mass media. This study, along with a later volume by Berelson, Lazarsfeld, and McPhee (1954), formed the core work of the “Columbia School” approach to electoral behavior. The Columbia School research helped propel the study of social networks generally but did not do much to spur its adoption within political science specifically (Freeman, 2004). To the extent that American politics scholars drew on network concepts through the 1970s, they did so largely in a metaphorical or descriptive sense, as in Heclo’s (1978) classic discussion of “issue networks” in the public policy process. Two important breakthroughs occurred in the late 1980s. First, within the study of political institutions, Laumann and Knoke (1987) conducted a Heaney, McClurg / Social Networks and American Politics   731 comparative analysis of organizational networks in the health and energy policy domains to establish that the interest group universe consists of a “hollow core” rather than an elite core. This study, along with the follow-up project by Heinz, Laumann, Salisbury, and Nelson (1990) on lobbyists in four policy domains—which noted the absence of unique, system-level brokers among Washington representatives—earned network analysis a place among the mainstream approaches to interest group politics. Second, within political behavior research, Huckfeldt and Sprague (1987) employed network analysis to distinguish differences between how members of a political majority and minority ascertain the political preferences of their discussion partners. This study of the social flow of information among voters in South Bend, Indiana, was the first in a new wave of behavioral studies in the Columbia tradition. Importantly, their adaptation of sociological name generators—questions used to identify discussion partners in a social network—to political science made network research amenable in the context of surveys, by far the most common approach to studying political behavior. The work by Laumann and his colleagues led American politics scholars to begin asking new questions about political institutions. Schwartz (1990) turned to networks as a way of understanding the power shared by political parties and interest groups as a kind of extended “party network” (see also Heaney & Rojas, 2007; Koger, Masket, & Noel, in press). Heaney (2006) demonstrated how access to networks that cross party boundaries enhances the ability of interest groups to influence health policy. Carpenter, Esterling, and Lazer (2004) modeled information sharing as supported by transitive network structures among lobbyists. Fowler (2006a, 2006b) harnessed data from cosponsorship of bills in Congress to establish that the U.S. Senate is more closely connected than the U.S. House of Representatives and to examine the determinants of connectedness among legislative colleagues (including institutional ties, constituency services, issue collaboration, and friendship). Scholz, Berado, and Kile (2008) revealed how the structure of networks—as small and dense or, alternatively, as boundary-spanning— affect collaboration and agreement among policy actors (see also Scholz & Wang, 2006; Schneider, Scholz, Lubell, Mindruta, & Edwardson, 2003). The research of Huckfeldt and Sprague (1987) opened new avenues of inquiry into American political behavior. Huckfeldt and his colleagues produced a wide range of studies that offer network-based explanations for social capital, disagreement, and the distribution of political knowledge (e.g., Huckfeldt, 2001, 2007; Lake & Huckfeldt, 1998). McClurg (2006) showed how the level of political expertise in a person’s social network 732   American Politics Research matters for how they think about, and participate in, politics (see also McClurg, 2003). Mutz (2002a) examined cross-cutting social networks as a way to understand tolerance and found that individuals who have close ties to those with different political views are more likely to have greater tolerance than those who do not, although that disagreement can suppress participation in politics (Mutz 2002b). Mutz and Mondak (2006) demonstrated that the workplace is the most important context for these crosscutting discourses. Although much of this research is based on analysis of surveys, several novel experiments have attempted to isolate the effects of networks on participation. Klofstad’s (2007) quasi-experimental study of college roommates suggested that political discussions in social networks increase the likelihood of political participation. Nickerson’s (2008) ingenious field experiments demonstrated that voter mobilization campaigns achieve a substantial portion of their goal not only through directly contacting people but also through the indirect effect of the contacts that echo through social networks. The nascent literature on social networks in American politics is pushing the field in important new directions. Network studies of political tolerance, for example, offer a new angle on a long-standing question. Network investigations of parties and interest groups propose a unifying perspective on subjects that have too long been viewed separately (Heaney, in press). In just a few short years, the study of social networks has shifted from a relatively obscure topic pursued by only a handful of scholars to a mainstream subject regularly covered in the discipline’s leading journals. Networks are now assumed to be a central part of the explanation of political dynamics in a wide range of phenomena. The Current Issue The articles appearing in the current issue do much to advance the understanding of how social networks are relevant to American politics. They contribute to the study of political institutions and behavior, as well as to network theory. The authors make use of a variety of methods, including analysis of archival data, local and national surveys, quasi-experiments, and laboratory experiments. They show how network concepts and theory can be used to pose novel questions that push the understanding of politics forward. Heaney, McClurg / Social Networks and American Politics   733 Three articles in the issue focus on political institutions and rely on archival data. First, Jennifer Victor and Nils Ringe’s article, “The Social Utility of Informal Institutions: Caucuses as Networks in the 110th U.S. House of Representatives,” examines the hypothesis that informal networks established through the caucus system in the U.S. Congress sets up an alternative power system that competes effectively with formal institutions, especially committees and the parties. They consider whether caucuses provide outlets for weaker players—rank-and-file legislators, women, minorities—to leverage their influence against the establishment—committee chairs, party leaders, and veteran lawmakers. Their evidence does not support this hypothesis, leading them to conclude that “the caucus system replicates and reinforces, rather than supplements and challenges, the formal distribution of power in the legislature” (762). This work takes an important step in the direction of understanding how networks interrelate with formal institutions as well as reminding us that not all networks exist as alternatives to institutionalized patterns of authority. Future studies in this direction might consider whether networks play a role in which formal institutions have the upper hand in cases of jurisdictional overlap. For example, does the House Ways and Means Committee or the House Energy and Commerce Committee have the upper hand on Medicare issues? Second, Matt Grossman and Casey Dominguez help integrate theories of political parties and interest group politics in their article, “Party Coalitions and Interest Group Networks.” There is a wide recognition both among interest group scholars and party scholars that networks matter to each of these institutions, yet scholarship that probes how these networks fit together is in its infancy. Grossman and Dominguez combine party and group data more extensively than has been done by previous scholars, using data on campaign endorsements, legislative ties, and financial contributions. Their “multiplex” analysis suggests the absence of a hollow core in these networks (see Heaney, 2006, for a similar finding). Furthermore, they show how context matters in the structuring of party networks—though the parties may appear polarized during legislative votes, they are less polarized in how interest group coalitions approach debates. These findings raise a new set of puzzles for students of American politics. How can political polarization between the parties be maintained as interest groups continue to connect legislators in ways that cross partisan lines? How does the power of interest groups vary as a function of the party network? Are interest groups more powerful when the parties are isolated from each other? In addition to raising these substantive questions, their analysis underscores how different kinds of networks suggest alternative visions of the informal 734   American Politics Research structure. Future research could benefit from following Grossman and Dominguez’s lead is assessing the interplay of several kinds of networks within a single setting. Third, Richard Feiock and Manoj Shrestha consider the functioning of networks within local governmental institutions in their article, “Governing U.S. Metropolitan Areas: Multiplex Policy Environment and Self-Organizing Network Regionalism.” Like Grossman and Dominguez, Feiock and Shrestha are concerned with the implications of multiplexity for governance. They show that local government can use transactions across multiple, overlapping policy areas to link jurisdictions in a way that ameliorates credibility of commitment problems. In doing so, they offer a model that shows the macro-political consequences of bottom-up organizing. Given that Feiock and Shresta’s analysis focused on only one local region (Pinella County, Florida), future research could benefit by examining how other jurisdictions use similar structures to address a wider variety of policy problems. Of particular interest would be to examine how these types of transactions create economies of scale and efficiencies that might be exploited elsewhere in the American federal structure. Three articles address the relevance of networks for political behavior. First, Tetsuya Matsubayashi and Jan Leighley publish the results of a ground-breaking multicity survey on “The Implications of Class, Race, and Ethnicity for Political Networks.” Given the class, racial, and ethnic differences identified in so many areas of political behavior, it is somewhat surprising that these disparities have not received more attention with respect to political networks. Matsubayashi and Leighley find that Whites are more likely than non-Whites to have larger networks and to receive more information from their social networks. Church participation reduces the likelihood that Latinos have White discussants, thus further cutting their access to network expertise. This study is preliminary in the sense that some questions of causality remain unresolved, leaving future scholars the challenge of distilling the recursive relationship between political perspectives and the choice of discussion partners. More inquiry into how people choose their discussion partners would do much to expand our comprehension of how political information is disseminated among minorities. Studies of prejudice, tolerance, and race would also benefit by considering the contextual and individual conditions that lead to ties that cross ethnic and racial boundaries, the nature of those ties, and the conditions under which they suppress conflict between groups. Second, Casey Klofstad addresses the network endogeneity problem with quasi-experimental data from University of Wisconsin students in his Heaney, McClurg / Social Networks and American Politics   735 “Civic Talk and Civic Participation: The Moderating Effect of Individual Predisposition.” Drawing from surveys of randomly assigned college roommates, he shows how exposure to civic talk within a social network (i.e., with a roommate) increases civic participation, though prior participatory experience moderates this effect. By focusing on discussion dyads, he illustrates the flexibility of network analysis for research at multiple levels of analysis, from individuals to connections to networks to aggregates. This study hints at the benefits of searching out quasi-experiments as a way to tackle estimation problems network analysis. For example, other instances of random assignment within political institutions could offer some leverage in distinguishing genuine network effects from those of unobserved political preferences. Third, Seung-Jin Jang considers the participatory implications of network heterogeneity in “Are Diverse Political Networks Always Bad for Participatory Democracy? Indifference, Alienation, and Political Disagree­ ments.” Following up on research showing that heterogeneous networks discourage political participation, Jang probes the conditions under which that may not necessarily be the case. Jang finds that when people are indifferent between political candidates, for example, the demobilizing effect of disagreement is reduced. This result reveals the need for more exploration of how the use of information in networks depends on preexisting political attitudes. The last two articles in this issue make their contribution primarily to network theory. First, Nicholas Weller, Mathew McCubbins, and Ramamohan Paturi bridge the fields of game theory and networks with their “Connected Coordination: Network Structure and Group Coordination.” Game theory and network theory have much in common because of their mutual reliance on dyadic interaction as a basis for theorizing, yet there is relatively little research that crosses over between these domains. Weller et al.’s analysis shows how games and networks combine to yield insight on the resolution of coordination problems. As such, this research gives us better insight into the relationship between individual behavior and aggregate outcomes. Using a laboratory experiment, they show that networks allow coordination problems to be solved faster. When actors face asymmetric incentives, they coordinate better when they are more connected within a network than when they are less connected. Further experimentation along these lines could do much to show how different kinds of network structures influence outcomes such as coordination and accurate information dissemination. 736   American Politics Research Robert Huckfeldt concludes the issue by reflecting on how networks are shaped by the environments within which they operate in “Interdependence, Density Dependence, and Networks in Politics.” He stresses that interdependence among actors—one of the essential facts that makes networks relevant to politics—is highly “density dependent” on opportunities in the environment. For example, the ability of an individual to compose a friendship network made up largely of Libertarians depends heavily on the supply of Libertarians nearby. If Libertarians are densely concentrated in the respondent’s social world, then such a social network may be readily constructed. Otherwise, the individual may rely more on Republicans, Democrats, and others to form friendship networks. The theoretical and empirical consequences of this observation are profound, because it requires that the analyst consider both the structure of networks and the distribution of political preferences to anticipate likely outcomes. When the endogeneity of political networks are considered—that is, that people choose their own discussion partners—Huckfeldt’s theoretical analysis implies the need for much more sophisticated empirical analyses to capture simultaneously the consequences of interdependence and density dependence on political dynamics. To incorporate these ideas, researchers should more consciously account for variations in local contexts and collect data over time when designing network studies. Directions for Future Research American politics researchers undertook investigations of social networks more aggressively in the 2000s than they had in previous decades. Almost every subarea within the field has seen at least one networkoriented piece appear in recent years. These developments have transpired for a variety of reasons, at least, in part, because network analysis is currently a fad. Whether or not this trend is sustained depends on whether network studies continue to produce compelling explanations for important political phenomena. In this concluding section, we suggest a number of promising avenues for research that could help to accomplish this end. Social network analysis is particularly useful for reinvigorating debates about the exercise of political power. Although nearly every piece of research on American politics focuses to some degree on power, these questions have receded into the background relative to the vigorous debates of earlier decades (cf. Bachrach & Baratz, 1962). Although questions of power are often conceived in terms of institutional roles, jurisdictions, Heaney, McClurg / Social Networks and American Politics   737 rules, and formal authority, it remains fundamentally true that the ability to exert power in politics often depends on relations among actors that encourage cooperation or facilitate the exchange of political goods on which influence is often based. Social networks are particularly useful for thinking about the horizontal exercise of power. A somewhat broadly conceived example of this logic can be seen in bureaucratic recalcitrance in the face of presidential pressure. Although the president formally has the power to direct bureaucrats, that authority depends on an agency’s links to Congressional leadership, legislative committees, influential interest groups, and even other bureaucratic agencies that operate in the same policy domain. Beyond using social networks for reconceptualizing political influence, they can also be used to reexamine existing theories of power. Questions in this vein could be descriptive, such as comparing the networks of influential political actors with the networks of others who are less influential, or causal, such as examining how reforms aimed at reducing the power of different actors reshape their networks and relations. A second direction for fruitful inquiry is the study of preference aggregation that is at the heart of many analyses on American democracy. Social networks particularly hold great potential for reconciling questions centering on the long-standing micro–macro problem in politics (Eulau, 1996). Along these lines, a long-standing area of inquiry focuses on the apparent disjunction between rationality in collective opinion and the seeming randomness of individual views. To some degree, this pattern arises from the so-called miracle of aggregation, where individual irrationalities cancel each other out. But it is also quite likely, as Eulau observed, that such a pattern is partly a function of contextual influence that social network analysis is well positioned to address. Similarly, social network analysis may provide a significant alternative to the theory of social choice. One distinct characteristic of social choice analyses of political institutions and society is that they inevitably assume either independence among decision makers or a specific type of relationship characterized by strategic voting. Social network theories provide a wide variety of tools for thinking about different types of interdependence. In doing so, it can raise a host of new empirical questions about the types of networks that facilitate good and bad decision making as well as normative questions about how social structure is related to the function of American democracy. A third area of inquiry where network analyses may prove to be particularly useful is in understanding information flows and transaction costs. 738   American Politics Research Although these are clearly not new concepts for political scientists, they can be enhanced when seen through the lens of social networks. In the case of information, a network analysis would emphasize questions of bias stemming from social location (e.g., Mutz, 2006), variations in availability because of isolation and centrality, and influence depending on patterns in the network (e.g., Huckfeldt, Johnson, & Sprague, 2004). Similarly, in considering the costs of decisions and actions, a network approach does not see these as constants for all actors. Instead, the costs of some actions and engaging in some behaviors can vary greatly based on the attributes of your network partners (as in the case of social norms; Gerber, Green, & Larimer, 2008) and social locations. Finally, American politics research should give more attention to the dynamics of networks and how they influence political outcomes. Network dynamics have been modeled fruitfully by scholars in other fields, offering a template to be applied within political science (cf. Powell, White, Koput, & Owen-Smith, 2005). Such analysis would allow scholars to address questions such as why relationships between parties and interest groups evolve over time. How did Congress transition from dominance by committee to dominance by parties? When a voter switches from identifying with the Democratic to the Republican Party, how does his or her access to political information change? Siegel’s (2009) recent dynamic model of collective action using four network types (the small world, the village, the opinion leader, and hierarchical network) offers much promise. An extension of this model to allow for multiplexity or for institutional boundaries would deepen network theory even further. In closing, we would be remiss if we did not point to a necessary precondition for taking advantage of social network theory. As we note earlier, the network approach to politics is defined by its emphasis on relationships rather than individuals. Because it is nearly impossible, in many situations, to neatly identify the population of relationships for the purpose of sampling, it is often necessary to impose a carefully considered boundary on the social unit being studied (Laumann, Marsden, & Prensky, 1989; McClurg, in press). Social network studies therefore often examine closed systems characterized by marital ties (Nickerson, 2008), college dorms assignments (Klofstad, 2007), specific policy domains (Heinz et al., 1990), and so forth. Critics sometimes charge that these limitations threaten the external validity of network studies. However, all research restricts the scope of its analysis in some way to gain analytical leverage, as when a random, national sample is obtained at the cost of separating individuals from their social contexts. Intellectual unity and scientific progress depends Heaney, McClurg / Social Networks and American Politics   739 entirely on whether this brand of research is well motivated from a theoretical standpoint, thus potentially requiring reconsideration of the criteria for evaluating its scholarly contribution. Note 1. It is possible to take the results of a network analysis and examine their implications at the individual level of analysis. However, the network analysis itself is always performed by examining dyads. References Bachrach, P., & Baratz, M. (1962). Two faces of power. American Political Science Review, 56, 947-952. Berelson, B. R., Lazarsfeld, P. F., & McPhee, W. N. (1954). Voting: A study of opinion formation in a presidential campaign. 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McClurg is an associate professor of political science at Southern Illinois University. For reprints and permissions queries, please visit SAGE’s Web site at htt­p://ww­w .sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav.
PA RT Y P O L I T I C S V O L 1 5 . N o . ? V O L 1 6 . N o . 5 pp. 587–607 Copyright © 2010 SAGE Publications www.sagepublications.com Los Angeles London New Delhi Singapore Washington DC INTERACTIONS BETWEEN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND US POLITICAL PARTIES Mildred A. Schwartz ABSTRACT Interactions between US political parties and social movements range from those that emphasize closeness to those that seek to preserve distance. Although previously unrecognized in organizational analysis, these strategies are similar to ones of bridging and buffering. Where they differ both from inter-organizational relations among firms and from among other non-profits, this is due to the importance movements attach to autonomy, manifested in their antagonistic reactions to political parties and rooted in the importance they attach to ideology. KEY WORDS  inter-organizational relations  social movements  US parties The US party system remains unusual in its dominance by two major political parties at both the national and state level, a dominance only occasionally disrupted by third parties. In other democratic systems third parties, often beginning as social movements (Kitschelt, 2006), have been a vehicle for bringing new and unresolved issues and unrepresented interests into the political arena. In the United States, in contrast, it is numerous social movements that are the carriers of disaffection with the political status quo, challenging the hegemony of the two major parties and often influencing their policies and practices (Lipset, 1972). Through the past century to the present, the Democratic Party has been embraced by movements of farmers, workers, socialists and Communists, the unemployed, feminists, environmentalists, and civil rights and anti-war activists. Similarly, movements of farmers, antiCommunists, the Religious Right, and patriotic and pro-business groups have attempted to shape the Republican Party. Social movements in the US find existing political parties important targets because, through parties, they can force movement concerns onto the political agenda. Political parties, in turn, find in social movements the basis for a competitive advantage when adopting their issues and incorporating their 1354-0688[DOI: 10.1177/1354068809342989] PA RT Y P O L I T I C S 1 6 ( 5 ) supporters. Gitlin (2007) argues that the consolidation of such relations can be the motor for major social changes. But since parties and movements can be rivals for resources and opponents in the framing of issues, their interactions may also be unfriendly. Such hostile relations may engender the kinds of conflict that arouse strong emotions, draw in participants, and lead to changes in distributions of power (Schattschneider, 1960). Interactions then range from ones that bring movements and parties into close contact to those that emphasize their opposition and distance. Although the interdependency between movements and parties is well recognized in other political settings (Tarrow, 1998: 80), in the United States it has been treated case by case. To overcome the absence of an overarching approach, I look in organizational theory for ways to categorize the general processes through which social movements and political parties respond to each other. One avenue is suggested by Scott and Davis based on Pfeffer and Salancik’s (1978: 261) resource dependence perspective. The dilemmas organizations face in relating to other organizations in their environment make each choice ‘a trade-off between autonomy and adaptability, on one hand, and stability and certainty on the other’ (Scott and Davis, 2007: 240). From this it follows that, when parties and movements choose to engage in coordinated interactions, they do so by using bridging strategies of mergers or alliances. Conversely, initiators of hostile strategies give strongest value to protecting the autonomy of their organization when they seek means to curtail the influence of opponents. They do so by repudiating rivals through disruption, discrediting, or purging. These are like buffering strategies used to protect an organization’s technical core (Thompson 1967: 20). Although social movements lack the kind of technical core associated with business firms, there is an equivalent in the ideology that guides the movement (Schwartz, 2006: 74). For social movements, autonomy is not only having a separate name and structure, as it is for firms, but even more critically, having a separate and distinct rationale for its existence that includes a way to explain events and direct its course of actions (Zald, 1996: 262). In between the extremes of coordination and distancing are invasive strategies in which parties or movements seek to control the other. Movements do this through insurgency or displacement; parties through cooptation. These remaining processes are like bridging strategies, but with an edge, relying on resource dependency to respond to institutional pressures (Oliver, 1991). The application of organizational concepts to forms of interaction between parties and movements supports current thinking about the affinity between organizations and social movements (Clemens and Minkoff, 2004; Davis et al., 2005). Yet there are at least two reasons to also expect variations, if not sharp differences, between them. The first comes from the nature of the social movement itself. ‘A social movement is a collective, organized, sustained, and noninstitutional challenge to authorities, powerholders, or cultural beliefs 588 S C H WA R T Z : I N T E R A C T I O N S B E T W E E N S O C I A L M O V E M E N T S and practices’ (Goodwin and Jasper, 2003: 3). It is made up of informal networks of supporters and activists as well as one or more organizations that are also linked into networks (McCarthy and Zald, 1977), like the numerous organizations described by Heaney and Rojas (2007) as under the umbrella of the anti-Iraq war movement. Although movements may organize in ways that resemble other kinds of organizations (Clemens, 1993), they retain a contentious character that makes them unlike business firms or government agencies that exclusively follow institutionalized ways of behaving. Moreover, parties and movements may not see each other as complementary political players, or even as competitors for resources analogous to businesses in the same niche. Instead, each may be viewed by the other as an illegitimate actor, too compromised by practices and values to perform useful political functions. The second reservation stems from questions raised about the nature of political parties as organizations, epitomized in Will Rogers’ statement that ‘I don’t belong to any organized party. I’m a Democrat.’ Political parties in the United States are federated, loosely coupled structures with local, state, and national units, each of which can have its own organizational identity. Elements of the party may be run by volunteers or professionals, there may be active or paper organizations, these may emerge sporadically at election periods or be engaged throughout the year, they may be centered in legislative bodies or around individual leaders, and they may represent a wide variety of viewpoints. The party rubric covers individual and collective actors with diverse functions who are linked, whether tightly or loosely, in a network of relations (Mair, 1994; Schwartz, 1990; Schwartz and Lawson, 2005: 276–8). When Knoke and Prensky (1984) wrote about voluntary associations with similar characteristics, they concluded that, because associations were so different from firms, this limited the usefulness of applying organizational theories to them. The absence of sustained discussion of political parties, and particularly US ones, in any of the major organizational texts or handbooks implies some agreement with this view. While I take note of these reservations, I disagree with the view that, because political parties are so complex, they do not deserve to be treated like other organizations. In this I ally myself with others who adopt an organizational approach to parties (e.g. Kitschelt 1989; Panebianco, 1988; Schwartz, 1990). In addition, although the contentiousness of party movements sets them apart from other organizations, I find it useful to conceptualize the interactions between parties and social movements as similar or analogous to those involving profit or non-profit organizations. By extension, it is also possible to explain differences between organizational interactions generally and those involving political parties and social movements through an organizational framework. 589 PA RT Y P O L I T I C S 1 6 ( 5 ) Coordinated Interactions Alliances Social movements bring new issues and new sources of support into the political arena that can benefit from representation by political parties. When political parties see those potential resources as advantageous to their electoral objectives, mutual recognition of the beneficial results from cooperation leads to alliances – informal arrangements that put movement leaders into contact with party leaders at local and national levels, direct the mobilization of movement supporters into support for one party, allow the interchange of resources, and produce a willingness by parties to adopt movement positions into their platforms. As an example, representation of the labor movement by the American Federation of Labor (AFL) initially took the movement into politics through its support of the Democratic Party (Mink, 1986: 17). The emergence of the more radical Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the 1930s brought with it some challenge to that alliance but, for the most part, it prevailed. The later merger of the two wings of the labor movement consolidated relations with the Democratic Party even further (Greenstone, 1969). Although the sharp drop in union membership has reduced the overall presence of union leadership in the Democratic Party, unions remain a significant source of campaign contributions, advisors, and party workers for the Democrats, especially in those geographic locations where unionized industry remains strong (Jewell and Morehouse, 2001: 154). In their study of the anti-Iraq war movement, Heaney and Rojas (2007) show how movement organizations with Democratic leanings are part of a similar network structure, leading to the greater likelihood that activists within that network will engage in lobbying and that Democratic congressmen will meet with them. From these findings they develop a concept of ‘the party in the street,’ similar to what I term a party–movement alliance. Similar kinds of alliances with the Democratic Party have involved movements advocating civil rights, environmental protection, and the rights of women. Although these movements have also had contacts with the Republican Party, they have, over time, become most strongly associated with the Democrats. For example, although the 1972 Republican platform endorsed many of the goals of the women’s movement, including the Equal Rights Amendment, Republican support for a pro-life position has become unequivocal since the 1980 election. Efforts by women’s groups urging the party to move away from that position, argued most strongly during the 1992 platform deliberations, have had no effect (Young, 2000). These patterns suggest H1: Alliances will form between ideologically compatible partners. Alliances between parties and movements are like those found between other organizations in their effort to gain resources and ensure allies. For the most part, alliances bring together partners with their own recognized strengths. However, when compared to the kind of strategic alliances made 590 S C H WA R T Z : I N T E R A C T I O N S B E T W E E N S O C I A L M O V E M E N T S by firms, particularly in knowledge-based industries (Scott and Davis, 2007: 296–7), those formed by parties and movements are less formal and probably less stable since both parties and movements have their own agendas. Even without the alternative of another political party they could enthusiastically endorse, disgruntled movement adherents may still temper their efforts on behalf of the party with which they are allied. For example, the Clinton administration disappointed its union supporters by going forward with the North American Free Trade Agreement. Although unions kept up enough pressure to ensure the passage of a labor side-agreement, the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (Mayer, 1998), their loyalty was shaken. H2: Compared to alliances among firms, those between parties and movements are generally weaker. Mergers Even closer relations than those that follow from informal alliances are produced by formal mergers between a movement and a political party. Although not common, there are at least three examples. All involved mergers with the Democratic Party in states where that party had been very weak, and negotiations followed a lengthy trajectory before mergers were completed (Schwartz, 2006). Early in the last century, progressive social movements in Wisconsin and North Dakota had aligned themselves with the dominant Republican Party in order to bring about the kind of policy changes they desired. In Minnesota, a similar movement of farmers and workers had formed its own political party, the Farmer-Labor Party. But the Great Depression altered the national scene when the Democratic Party under President Roosevelt introduced the New Deal and social movements gravitated toward it, though initially only at the national level. In Wisconsin, Progressives had been part of the Republican Party but, disillusioned by the Depression, formed a successful independent party that won elections in 1934 and 1936. After defeat in 1938, and facing an uncertain future, some Progressives returned to the Republican Party where their influence would no longer be significant. Others, however, began to look to a reorganized Democratic Party as a more appropriate partner, especially as farm conditions continued to deteriorate and the interests of farmers and labor became more divergent (Oshinsky, 1976). Segments of the Progressives and the Democrats then entered into a formal merger in 1948. The Non-Partisan League (NPL) united farmers and labor in North Dakota and during the Great Depression it dominated the Republican Party (Morlan, 1985). In that position its leaders were able to mitigate some of the worst effects of the Depression (Remele, 1969). At the same time, segments of the movement were attracted to more radical solutions, with some supporting the Union Party in 1936 (Blackorby, 1963) and others, Henry Wallace in 1948 (Omdahl, 1961). Meanwhile, more conservative elements within the Republican Party were organizing their own base. Younger members of the 591 PA RT Y P O L I T I C S 1 6 ( 5 ) NPL responded by forming an alliance with the Democrats that included endorsing each others’ candidates. When a formal merger finally took place in 1956 it signified a stronger role for labor than had previously been the case, leaving farm interests sharply divided. In the third case, the Farmer-Labor Party (FLP) became an independent party in Minnesota representing a similar movement of farm and labor interests, but, given the economy of that state, with greater prominence for labor. Here, as well, the Depression increased differences between the two components of the movement, with farmers becoming more conservative and labor more radical (Valelly, 1989). The Republicans returned to power in the state in 1938 and elements of the now weak FLP and Democrats, encouraged by the national wing of the Democratic Party, merged in 1944. In the examples cited, mergers took place when both participants were in a weakened condition. In the case of the party, weakness was confined to the state level and a strong national party contributed a push for change. For the movements, although there was a lingering reluctance to give up a separate identity, recognition that it would be difficult to sustain an enthusiastic following in the face of disappointing political outcomes was convincing enough to those segments of the movements who saw the merger as a new opportunity for influence. It follows that H3: Mergers are more likely to take place when both the movement and the party suffer from an inability to mobilize resources. Like horizontal mergers among profit or nonprofit organizations, those between parties and movements enhance the power of the merged groups (Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978: 114). But for movements, new power comes at the cost of a lost autonomy, more reluctantly given up than in the corporate world because it is entwined with its ideology. H4: Loss of autonomy is viewed by movements that contemplate mergers as more serious than is the case for business firms. Invasive Strategies Insurgency In invasive strategies, a movement behaves like an insurgent when it arises within a party to oppose established personnel, procedures, or policies. An early example is the Congressional Insurgents, a faction related to the Progressive movement in the Republican Party between 1908 and 1916 and representing agrarian, anti-business progressive interests from the Pacific and midwest regions (Holt, 1967; Thelen, 1985). Their power to ensure the enactment of reform measures regulating railways and banks was also helped by their interactions with similarly minded Democrats from the agrarian south and west (Allen and Clubb, 1974). An even longer history for insurgent Progressives in the Republican Party was experienced in Wisconsin (Epstein, 1958; Thelen, 1985). 592 S C H WA R T Z : I N T E R A C T I O N S B E T W E E N S O C I A L M O V E M E N T S Insurgencies within parties are often associated with leaders around whom advocates of alternative ideologies rally. When leaders have presidential aspirations that are thwarted within an established party they may take their movement outside it. The Democratic Party provides several instances of such insurgency, ranging from the pro-segregation southern Dixiecrats represented by Strom Thurmond, to Henry Wallace’s progressivist support for the Soviet Union in opposition to the prevailing Cold War policy, and from the counter-movement to civil rights led by George Wallace, to the anti-war candidacy of Eugene McCarthy. For example, as the Democratic Party began to face its obligations to create a more equitable society after World War II, divisions between its northern industrial base and its rural southern segregationist one became more acute. Using states’ rights as the more acceptable theme for mobilizing support to preserve racial segregation, conflict came to a head in the 1948 national convention. But unable to block the passage of a platform commitment to federal anti-discrimination laws, insurgents left the Democratic Party to form the States’ Rights Party with Strom Thurmond as the presidential candidate. The formation of dissident movements through insurgency has also been identified in other organizations (e.g. Strang and Jung, 2005). Zald and Berger (1978: 838) speak of bureaucratic insurgency in corporate organizations as the ‘attempt by members to implement goals, programs, or policy choices which have been explicitly denied (or considered but not acted upon) by the legitimate authority of the focal organizations.’ Insurgency of this kind can develop as a result of dissension over program or product development, where middle-level operatives or professionals organize around what they feel is a better plan than which has been approved by higher-level officials. It could also be organized around whistle blowing, in which organizational participants reveal discrepancies between their organization’s performance and its stated objectives. Or it could involve dispute over the goals and policies of the organization. All insurgencies are vulnerable to retaliation by those with greater organizational authority. But where other organizations can cut off access to resources that would enable dissidents to carry out alternative policies or product developments or can simply force them out, as can parties, insurgents in parties have more flexibility. On one side, insurgents in parties are likely to have more resources at their command, exemplified by the Congressional Insurgents who could call on regionally-based strength to gain election and to support their positions. These independent resources make it difficult for party leaders to restrain them. In the case of the Progressives, this allowed them to operate within the Republican Party for some time. To the extent that the party can curtail the movement, as when challengers are unsuccessful in gaining nomination for office, the challenging movement can exit the party. Exit, and the formation of a new party, may not be the road to success for an insurgent movement but it still does not have the personal costs from job loss that unsuccessful insurgency has within other organizations. 593 PA RT Y P O L I T I C S 1 6 ( 5 ) This discussion of insurgency generates two hypotheses. H5: Insurgencies emerge where dissidents have the ability to mobilize locally-based and independent resources. H6: Where there is strong leadership with its own resource base, insurgents are likely to exit the party. Displacement An alternative invasive strategy occurs when a movement with an identity separate from a party attempts to displace the party organization by, in effect, taking it over. This was the objective of the civil rights movement in Mississippi when it tried to displace Democratic convention delegates to the 1964 national convention. Decade-long efforts to register African American voters and allow them to participate in the Democratic Party came to a head in 1964 when the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) was formed to challenge the official all-white slate. Despite the Democratic Party’s efforts to promote civil rights and use the 1964 convention to highlight its accomplishments under President Lyndon B. Johnson, the credentials committee would not officially recognize the MFDP slate. Only in 1968 did the MFDP slate achieve that recognition. Although the MFDP itself eventually faded from the scene, the movement did help change the racial make-up of state officeholders and of the Democratic Party (Payne, 1997). Less contested displacement of the established Republican Party has been initiated by the Religious Right. At least since the 1980s, the Religious Right has had an influential voice in shaping the Republican platform and nominating candidates while mobilizing its base to support the party (Schwartz, 2006: 81–2; Wald and Calhoun-Brown, 2007: 156–7). It has been able to accomplish these goals by achieving dominance in many state Republican parties (Green et al., 2000). The boundaries between politics and religion have broken down for those fundamentalist Protestant churches that strongly encourage voter participation by distributing guides with thinly disguised pointers to particular candidates, if not with outright endorsements (Guth et al., 2006). At the local level, Religious Right activists use the primary and caucus systems to nominate their own candidates for office. For example, in the 1994 Minnesota race, they took advantage of precinct-level caucuses, where participation rates were otherwise very low, to gain delegates to the state convention. There they were able to remove the endorsement of the sitting governor in favor of their own candidate (Gilbert and Peterson, 1995). Even when takeover objectives are not fully met, social movements engaged in them have the advantage of ideologically committed members who do not easily give up. This has been true for the Religious Right in its persisting efforts to promote its values through legislation. Similarly, at an earlier period, the Communist movement supplied dedicated workers for the labor movement, particularly in the CIO, and it transferred that enthusiastic commitment to the Farmer-Labor Party in Minnesota. According to its own 594 S C H WA R T Z : I N T E R A C T I O N S B E T W E E N S O C I A L M O V E M E N T S testimony about the 1936 FLP state convention, ‘Some forty or fifty active, leading members of the Communist Party participated as delegates to the Farmer-Labor Party convention – as delegates from local unions, cooperatives, farm organizations, affiliated middle class groups, and Farmer-Labor ward clubs’ (Hathaway, 1936: 1117). Displacement manifests the difficulties that come from trying to maintain a separate identity while dealing with environmental dependence. Of the two examples cited, the MFDP’s efforts to displace the all-white delegation to the 1964 convention were unsuccessful. In that sense, the MFDP retained its autonomy but at the expense of not being able to adapt to existing conditions. Yet its opponents within the Mississippi Democratic Party were also put in the same position. Eventually, however, the MFDP’s efforts did instigate the altered composition of the state party so that it came to better reflect the state’s composition. The Religious Right in the Republican Party appears as a more successful effort to both retain a measure of autonomy while adapting to the demands imposed by participation in a political party. Autonomy is sustained by continuing and mutual support from related organizations that are directly part of the movement. Adaptability to the political environment takes place through a willingness to appeal to a broader electoral audience and cooperate across partisan boundaries. Yet these objectives never come together seamlessly. Leaders in the movement complain at what they see as too much accommodation to opposing views. At the same time, the Religious Right itself is far from homogeneous. For example, leaders of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council have recently objected that the National Association of Evangelicals is paying too much attention to issues like global warming and poverty. They feel this takes energy away from more critical moral issues like abortion (Goodstein, 2007). Although this kind of internal disagreement makes it difficult to easily generalize about what kind of autonomy the movement seeks to protect, it is still clear that there are core issues that arouse strong emotions within the movement. From these illustrations I hypothesize that H7: While takeovers are difficult to achieve, they benefit from there being committed supporters whose long-term goals are undeterred by defeat. I use displacement and takeover synonymously; takeover is the preferred concept in the organizational literature, where it is described as either friendly or hostile. Friendly takeovers, however, seem more like what I describe as mergers (Palmer et al., 1995: 470). Hirsch (1986) treats the advent of hostile takeovers in the corporate world as ‘deviant innovations,’ begun in the 1960s as a way of accumulating firms in unrelated industries through first purchasing their shares and then using them to win control even over the objections of their boards of directors. In taking over a party, movements use an equivalent avenue of entry through the primary election system, established early in the 20th century. Since then, party candidates are nominated in a system where it is possible 595 PA RT Y P O L I T I C S 1 6 ( 5 ) for anyone so motivated – generally a small minority of the electorate that can be easily overwhelmed by those mobilized into a movement – to influence nominations by adopting the party label on registering to vote, or not even that, in the case of open and blanket primaries (Cronin, 1989; Lawson, 1999). The resulting takeover or displacement always contains some element of antagonism, first on the part of the invading movement, which has been moved to take action because its exponents see their program as superior to that offered by the party, and then by the party that is penetrated, once the intentions of the movement are recognized. In other words, H8: Displacement stems from and generates hostile reactions. Cooptation Parties, meanwhile, can attempt to alter movements through cooptation, where movement members are given some voice, in order to control their potential for disruption and to temper the fervor of their demands (Selznick, 1949: 13). Cooptation may establish close ties with groups in a party’s field through a stifling embrace that seeks to diminish the influence of the groups incorporated. Rosenstone, Behr, and Lazarus (1996: 43–4) consider cooptation to be the major parties’ primary strategy for undermining third parties and, in related ways, cooptation can also be a device for controlling social movements. Examples include a number of efforts by the national Democratic Party in the 1930s to coopt the Wisconsin Progressives after they had left their home in the Republican Party to become a free standing state party (Miller, 1982: 76–100). North Dakota state Democrats, over three electoral periods from 1950 to 1954, aimed their organizational efforts at coopting the Nonpartisan League (Omdahl, 1961). In both these states, cooptation was a stage in the eventual merger of those movements with the Democratic Party. Although I treated the interactions between the Religious Right and the Republican Party as an effort at displacement, it is also the case that the Republican Party has tried to coopt the movement. To that end, following his election in 2000, President George W. Bush announced an executive order to set up a White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in recognition of the role that could be played by religious groups in delivering social programs. The President also demonstrated his strong support for issues associated with the Religious Right, like opposition to abortion, limits to stem cell research, support for teaching intelligent design, and support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Yet despite the way the President and his associates have courted the Religious Right, there remains considerable unhappiness with the lack of major policy changes that would reflect its views (Wald and Calhoun-Brown, 2007: 232–4). Leaders in the movement had searched for a presidential candidate closer to their views preceding the 2008 election (Kirkpatrick, 2007a) but were mollified by the selection of Sarah Palin as the vice presidential candidate. 596 S C H WA R T Z : I N T E R A C T I O N S B E T W E E N S O C I A L M O V E M E N T S Political parties can also try to coopt social movements. For example, former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, in aiming for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, contributed considerable sums of money to the Religious Right in an effort to alter his image. Although Romney had formerly supported abortion and gay rights and embryonic stem cell research, he altered his stance to repudiate those positions. His contributions of at least $10,000 to Citizens for Life and the Family Institute are associated with shifts by those organizations from critical to supportive views of his candidacy (Kirkpatrick, 2007b). As Scott (1992: 201) has pointed out, ‘cooptation provides a two-way street, with both influence and support flowing sometimes in one direction, sometimes in the other.’ Scott and Davis (2007: 235–6) treat cooptation along with alliances and mergers as instances of bridging tactics used by organizations to relate to others in their environment. I consider mergers and alliances to be coordinated interactions in which both groups participating do so willingly, acknowledging the partnership of the other. In the case of cooptation, however, those being coopted are generally unaware that they are sought out in order to soften their opposition and weaken their rivalry. So while it is true that cooptation serves to bridge a party and a movement, it does so in ways that are intended to weaken one of the partners by manipulating the extent of its influence (Oliver, 1991: 157) and that is why I conceptualize it as invasive. Insurgencies and displacements are truly invasive in that they directly challenge the party’s existing authority structure, principles, and practices. Yet in all invasive strategies, including cooptation, either a party or a movement uses the other for its own benefit. Although cooptive practices may be milder in their expected impact, this still leads to the hypothesis that H9: Coooptation works best where those being coopted do not recognize the full extent of why they are being courted. Hostile Strategies When movements and parties see each other in negative terms they will look for ways to remove their opponents’ influence and power. This can occur through disrupting the others’ normal activities, discrediting rivals’ legitimacy, or, in a tactic confined to parties, expulsion of movement members and sympathizers. Disruption Disruption of normal political party activities is one way in which social movements seize the attention of the media and potential supporters. The protests mounted by those in the anti-war and youth movements during the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago effectively dramatized their 597 PA RT Y P O L I T I C S 1 6 ( 5 ) disaffection while painting the Democrats as complacent in their attachment to normal party activities. But for those with a more radical agenda, the intention was not only to ridicule the convention by, for example, running a pig as presidential candidate on the Yippie ticket, but also to make it difficult to even hold the convention (Farber, 1988). This kind of disruption that challenges conventional politics both stems from and serves to reinforce movement participants’ sense of the rightness of their cause (Oliver, 1991: 157). Discussion of hostile actions, comparable to those used by parties or movements and intended to disrupt the operation of rivals, are not usual fare in the organizational literature. Such actions occur in the corporate world but often in disguised ways since they may overstep what are considered legitimate business tactics. Negative advertising is one possible way to disrupt competitors’ plans but it can be a two-edged sword, bringing with it retribution against the instigators. Disruptions that follow from withholding information from competitors, attempting to cut off or monopolize supplies or sales outlets, or price-cutting all occur but their frequency and impact raise additional questions. For example, price-cutting can put a competitor out of business but, in following that tactic, the effect on profits may be so severe that they affect the initiator’s own viability. My own judgment is that social movements are less concerned about how their disruptive actions might negatively affect them than is true of business organizations. Even when movement participants are arrested, for them this may just serve to further publicize their cause and disparage their opponents. For example, bringing to trial opponents of the Vietnam War, arrested after demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic convention, did not disrupt the antiwar movement. Instead, it provided a forum for the defendants to present their views and continue discrediting the Chicago political establishment and the Democratic Party (Epstein, 1970). Looking at both how social movements and business firms behave in relation to competitors leads me to expect H10: When movements choose to engage in disruptive behavior they consider potentially positive outcomes to outweigh negative ones. Discrediting Disruptive actions also serve to discredit the party against which they are directed. Discrediting occurs when movements aim their denunciations against one party, as the 1968 protesters did by attacking the Democrats who were in office and thus could be held responsible for the war in Vietnam. Using ridicule as a primary weapon during the 1970 election period in Washington State, counter-cultural and anti-war movement supporters formed the Buffalo Party and offered their own candidates for Congress while attempting to run a political convention in conjunction with a rock concert (Seattle Times, 1970). Claims that neither of the two established parties are sufficiently 598 S C H WA R T Z : I N T E R A C T I O N S B E T W E E N S O C I A L M O V E M E N T S different to merit support become intensified by efforts to differentiate a movement from others that appear most alike to it in outlook. Domhoff (2003: 36) describes how Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign in 2000 was most vehement in its denunciation of liberals and moderates and, by extension, in devaluing what might be gained by voting for Democratic candidates. Discrediting opponents is even easier for the established parties, buoyed by their institutionalized legitimacy. Parties can label movements as unpatriotic when they are against the Vietnam war, immoral baby-killers if they favor making abortion a woman’s choice, and even irrelevant to critical issues when environmentalists are dismissed as mere tree-huggers. When the national Democratic Party under the presidency of Lyndon Johnson began to pass legislation to undo past discrimination, the Republicans saw an opportunity to gain an electoral advantage without directly repudiating racial equality. The Southern strategy adopted by Richard Nixon in his 1968 campaign was premised on the judgment that an increased black vote for the Democrats would leave many white voters looking for an alternative. The Republicans could then exploit racial tensions to discredit the Democrats and downplay the significance of the civil rights movement. In this way it treated the black vote as unimportant to Republican success (Phillips, 1969). Tactics used by both parties to delegitimize third parties that are themselves the electoral arms of social movements are described by Rosenstone, Behr, and Lazarus (1996: 44–5) as varied and frequent. They range from warnings about wasting one’s vote, to heckling at campaign rallies, contributing money to opponents, leaking derogatory stories about leaders, and keeping the third party off the ballot. Such actions are relevant as well to how parties can discredit movements. Discrediting business competitors is probably more frequent than disrupting them and certainly much easier to do without fear of retaliation. Bringing lawsuits on grounds like patent violations, anti-trust activities, price-fixing, and similar offences are ways that the law permits businesses to rein in the activities of those they wish to control. Where suits of this kind are successful they effectively undermine the credibility of those accused along with their ability to conduct business in accustomed ways. Another avenue for challenging the legitimacy of business practices emerges from current concerns about the environment and human rights. The use of ‘blood diamonds’ in the jewelry business, the manufacture of clothing using child labor, and the sale of food products produced without due regard to worker health and safety or fair return for labor are all issues that have stimulated alteration in business practices. Although social movements have been the stimulus to these concerns, it is businesses that do the discrediting when they relate to their suppliers in ways that undermine the legitimacy of the latter’s practices. The announcement by restaurant entrepreneur and chef Wolfgang Puck that he would only purchase eggs, meat, and seafood from providers that used the highest standards for animal care and environmental protection (Severson, 2007) is an instance that, especially if it were to 599 PA RT Y P O L I T I C S 1 6 ( 5 ) be followed by others with a similar public image, could discredit those in the restaurant industry that did not follow his lead. Similarities in the discrediting efforts of social movements and political parties as well as business firms suggests a common hypothesis. H11: Discrediting competitors undermines their legitimacy while it sharpens the identity of initiators. Purges A final form of hostile interaction is through the purging of movement supporters from a party. Although movements may engage in their own purges to remove dissidents (Schwartz, 2006: 101–18), it is only when they are purged from a party that they are given a clear message that they have no place in electoral politics. The latter is exemplified by actions taken against Communist supporters shortly after the merger of the Minnesota Democrats with the Farmer-Labor Party. Even prior to the merger, the role of Communists in the FLP was a major source of contention (Keillor, 1987). Although the Communists had been in favor of the merger, they became opposed to it as the Cold War intensified (Haynes, 1984). By 1947 they helped mount a third-party campaign for the 1948 presidential election, with Henry Wallace as the candidate. But those committed to the Democratic Party, including elements in the labor movement, found an attractive state party leader in Hubert Humphrey. Humphrey was able to pressure the state central committee to exclude those advocating a third-party candidate from participating in upcoming DFLP caucuses and conventions. This had the effect of purging Communists, at least from the statewide party (Haynes, 1984; MacDougall, 1965). Party purges appear to resemble corporate divestments, but where divestments are ways for firms to retrench to improve their market position and obtain ready cash (Hoskisson et al., 1994), purges are more emotion-laden ways for a party to remove dissidents and clarify its identity (Schwartz, 2006: 102). Yet, as Galaskiewicz and Bielefeld (1998: 168) point out in their study of nonprofit organizations, ‘retrenchment can also be a way of disciplining organizational members, reestablishing authority over rebel forces, and restructuring the organization.’ They also note how the same tactic is used by business firms to get rid of those who question established managerial authority (Starbuck et al., 1977: 119). Zald and Berger (1978: 833–7) draw somewhat different parallels with party purges in their concept of organizational coup d’etat, in which some elements within an organization work in secret to push out their CEO and influence the selection of his successor. Purges, too, can be directed at the leadership of a movement and can be planned in secret. Purges within parties and firms have enough similarities to suggest one encompassing hypothesis. H12: Purging is a way to punish dissidents and reestablish customary lines of authority. 600 S C H WA R T Z : I N T E R A C T I O N S B E T W E E N S O C I A L M O V E M E N T S Discussion and Conclusions The numerous interactions that take place between social movements and political parties in the United States are readily represented along a single dimension that ranges from strategies that choose closeness to those that preserve distance. For social movements, closeness is a way of ensuring a voice in influencing policy while distance emphasizes the uniqueness of their message along with their distinct identity. For parties, closeness brings new resources of timely issues and added support while distance separates them from unpopular causes, internal dissension, and unwanted pressures for change. The kinds of interactions that take place between parties and movements are most easily encompassed in a resource dependence perspective. Bridging strategies involve both coordinated actions of alliances and mergers and invasive ones of insurgency, displacement, and cooptation. Buffering strategies take place through hostile actions of disruption, discrediting, and purges. Reliance on these strategies indicates how resource dependence does best in providing the theoretical tools for dealing with competition for power among actors in the same field. It does less well, however, in explaining the distinctive features of party–movement interactions. For these I find it preferable to look to institutional and cultural factors. At the same time as this combination of organizational approaches helps explain party–movement interactions, it also makes clear how they differ from interactions among firms and similar types of organizations. In all cases but two, the hypotheses I used to summarize patterns pointed up these differences. Virtually all the unique aspects of party–movement interactions can be attributed to the character of movements. These include the importance movements attach to their autonomy, the likelihood that movements will display antagonistic reactions to parties in their field, the roots of autonomy in ideology, and the consequences this has for legitimacy. The preservation of movement autonomy is a major factor affecting either invasive or hostile strategic choices. Autonomy constrains even the bridging effects of invasive strategies. Although political parties may use those same strategies, when they do, autonomy is hardly an issue. That is, when parties purge movement adherents this is done to rid themselves of dissension and affirm their own legitimacy, not their independence. Similarly, when parties coopt movements, it is a way of reducing potential opposition and emphasizing party legitimacy. The two US political parties have too long a history and are too well protected by electoral laws and practices to fear being overwhelmed by even the most popular mass movements. As a consequence of this difference in the primacy of autonomy, parties are less able to retaliate against movement insurgencies than is true within corporations and their insurgencies. Movements are also less constrained than businesses in using disruptive tactics. In addition, cooptation is both experienced and used as more invasive when directed against movements, making it more important that the intent of cooptation not be recognized by those movements. 601 PA RT Y P O L I T I C S 1 6 ( 5 ) If autonomy is so important to movements, why not avoid partisan politics altogether? Avoidance is, in fact, a recognized way for dealing with institutional pressures by both resource dependence and institutional theorists (Oliver, 1991: 154) and movements could attempt to avoid parties by taking their message directly to the public and the mass media. But avoidance is an extreme buffering technique, likely to be ineffective if it does not generate positive reaction from political agencies. That is not likely to happen without direct intervention from an organized movement. As Scott and Davis (2007: 128–9) note in general, ‘the tactic of sealing off the organization from uncertainty seems dated – outmoded and ill-advised – for today’s organizations.’ Alternatively, movements could attempt to recruit bipartisan support for their cause. But unless both parties were to respond in similar ways – a relatively unlikely outcome – movements would still be forced to confront the partisan nature of politics and government. Social movements with a political agenda are consequently limited in how they can engage with their environment. For social movements, the major rationale for seeking and holding on to autonomy stems from their ideology. That does not mean that the explicit content of the ideology presents autonomy as a critical ideal but that ideology defines a movement by offering an explanation of events, a blueprint for action, and a basis for solidarity (Oliver and Johnston, 2000). In the competition for resources, the distinctiveness of the movement, and that means, to a large extent, the distinctiveness of its ideology, is what sets it apart from other movements and political organizations. Giving up that aspect of identity means losing much of the purpose of existence. It is for this reason that I suggested that ideology could be considered analogous to a company’s technical core. Ideology then logically extends to autonomy – seeking a pathway for how movements should behave. But just as it becomes difficult for business firms to buffer their technical core from outside influences in an increasingly interconnected global economy, so too is it difficult to protect autonomy from inroads by other movements or by resource-rich political parties, all competing in the same field. The defensiveness that political movements display in protecting their autonomy underlies much of the contentiousness manifested in their interactions with political parties. Comparable contentiousness is recognized by Oliver (1991) in her analysis of organizational responses to institutional pressures and its possibility is implied in Romanelli’s (1989: 374–5) discussion of the importance to start-up firms of aggressive techniques for gathering resources. Both authors’ arguments could be extended to suggest that antagonistic interactions among firms may not be aberrant events but built into the conduct of business. But for social movements, contentiousness has further implications that bear on their legitimacy, if we think of legitimacy operating at two levels. At one level, legitimacy is conferred by a movement’s members through their acceptance of its leaders, purpose, and repertoires of action. At another level, legitimacy requires acceptance by the broader 602 S C H WA R T Z : I N T E R A C T I O N S B E T W E E N S O C I A L M O V E M E N T S community and it is here that contentiousness can undermine movement legitimacy. Hostile strategies illustrate most acutely the tension between autonomy and legitimacy, not by trading one for the other, as is more customary (Oliver, 1991: 167), but, from the perspective of the collective actors involved, by affirming autonomy as a repudiation of the competing party’s or movement’s legitimacy. This general framework for understanding movement–party interactions also suggests pathways leading to specific outcomes. For example, Aldrich’s (1995) conception of how ambitious office-seekers have shaped modern US parties so that the latter are in their service now gives greater relevance to activists linked to social movements. Those links, in turn, contribute to the increased ideological diversity both within and between the parties. Yet relations between movements and parties are volatile. Masket (2007) describes how shifts occurred in the influence of social movement activists on the nomination and subsequent behavior of California legislators in response to changes in institutional rules. At least as important as such changing opportunities are the independent goals of social movements, leading them from closeness to distance or vice versa, depending on perceptions of compatibility. Recent examples include the threat of moving to hostile strategies toward the Republican Party by some segments of the Religious Right, dissatisfied with the 2008 presidential candidates. Similar hostility toward the Democratic Party is manifested by some current antiwar activists, dissatisfied with that party’s ability to bring about change (Heaney and Rojas, 2007). It is the contentiousness of social movements and their shifting tactics that add a dynamism to party politics, otherwise seemingly fixed within a twoparty mold. 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New York: Cambridge University Press. 606 S C H WA R T Z : I N T E R A C T I O N S B E T W E E N S O C I A L M O V E M E N T S Thelen, D. P. (1985) Robert M. La Follette and the Insurgent Spirit. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press. (Originally published 1976.) Thompson, James D. (1967) Organizations in Action: Social Science Bases of Administration. New York: McGraw-Hill. Valelly, Richard M. (1989) Radicalism in the States: The Farmer-Labor Party and the American Political Economy. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Wald, Kenneth D. and A. Calhoun-Brown (2007) Religion and Politics in the United States, 5th edn. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Young, Lisa (2000) Feminists and Party Politics. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press. Zald, Mayer N. (1996) ‘Culture, Ideology, and Strategic Framing’, in Doug McAdam, John D. McCarthy and Mayer N. Zald (eds) Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements: Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures, and Cultural Framings, pp. 261–74. 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Action Research Volume 6(1): 69–93 Copyright© 2008 SAGE Publications Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore www.sagepublications.com DOI: 10.1177/1476750307083725 ARTICLE The role of citizen participation and action research principles in Main Street revitalization An analysis of a local planning project Robert Mark Silverman and Henry L. Taylor, Jr University at Buffalo, USA Christopher Crawford Senior Planner for Cattaraugus County, New York, USA ABSTRACT KEY WORDS • citizen participation • community development • This article examines the use of citizen participation techniques during the planning process for neighborhood revitalization in the Village of Depew which is an industrial suburb of Buffalo, New York. The article focuses on how action research principles can inform and enhance traditional approaches to citizen participation. In particular, we discuss our role as universitybased consultants in the local planning process and how drawing from action research principles helped us remain focused on advocating for broad-based citizen participation. Our analysis was based on the application of action research principles and participant observation techniques. During the time that each of us was involved in the planning process for Depew’s neighborhood revitalization, reflexive field notes and other data were collected. The article critiques how citizen participation was used to plan for neighborhood revitalization in Depew, and discusses the degree to which action research principles can be applied to future citizen participation efforts. neighborhood revitalization • urban planning 69 70 • Action Research 6(1) An uncommon approach to a common problem In many cases, consultants involved in neighborhood revitalization efforts share a common experience of trying to engage citizens in planning projects without a clear mandate to do so. This article examines a neighborhood revitalization effort we were involved in as university-based consultants, and discusses the degree to which our efforts to employ action research principles affected the plan that ultimately emerged. In many ways this is a cautionary tale, which sheds light on the strengths and weaknesses of citizen participation techniques in small towns and municipalities. The telling of this story also presented us with an opportunity to reflect on our experience and offer suggestions for refining citizen participation techniques used in local planning projects. A primary motivation behind undertaking this analysis and writing this article was to uncover new approaches to integrating action research principles with consulting work. Particularly, we hoped to use action research techniques in a manner that would promote more participation among groups traditionally underrepresented in local decisionmaking. To some degree we were able to accomplish this. However, the most important lessons we learned stemmed from the obstacles we encountered to promoting full participation. The neighborhood revitalization effort examined in this article parallels planning projects in many small towns and municipalities. The effort was initiated by the Village of Depew, a working-class suburb of Buffalo, NY. The village was able to access Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars to address blight and decline in its Main Street neighborhood. These dollars made it possible for the village to hire us as outside consultants to develop a plan for neighborhood revitalization. Since CDBG monies were used to fund the planning process, the scope of neighborhood revitalization focused on a small area in the village which was economically disadvantaged. Although it was not mandated by law, the use of CDBG dollars provided the village with a justification for emphasizing citizen participation and equity issues in the planning process. Of course, this emphasis was tempered by other stakeholder interests, particularly those of business owners and county government. As consultants, we interfaced with stakeholders who had a spectrum of views on how neighborhood revitalization should be pursued. On one side of the redevelopment debate, manufacturing and construction businesses, village officials, and county officials were focused on promoting neighborhood revitalization by expanding road access to the Main Street neighborhood. It was thought that infrastructure improvements would facilitate industrial expansion and improve general economic conditions in the area. On the other side of the redevelopment debate, residents and the owners of retail businesses were focused on revitalizing the Main Street commercial strip, improving public parks, and addressing problems associated with absentee landlords. The challenge that we Silverman et al. Action research principles in Main Street revitalization • 71 faced as consultants was twofold. First, we needed to develop a collaborative planning process where residents and other stakeholders could outline a strategy for neighborhood revitalization. Then, we needed to put into action a citizen participation process that would give residents, particularly members of the working poor, a sustained voice in planning for neighborhood revitalization. We believed that we could expand the scope of citizen participation and advocate for groups traditionally left out of the planning process by infusing action research principles into our work. From the onset of this project we knew that reflecting upon our work could inform the citizen participation and action research literature. So, we approached the project with three goals in mind. Our first goal was to apply our knowledge of citizen empowerment to the planning process, in essence linking theory to practice. Our second goal was to establish an action research stance in the project, in order to identify ways that groups traditionally underrepresented in planning at the local level could have greater influence on the process. Our third goal was to create space for reflexivity in the project, so that we could step back and look at the process with our academic hats on as the neighborhood revitalization effort unfolded. In essence, reflexivity had two roles in our work. Like Cameron, Hayes, and Wren (2000), we viewed reflexivity as a core component of the action research process. In this sense, it allowed us to continuously examine our role in the research process and its effect on other participants. However, we also shared Emerson, Fretz, and Shaw’s (1995) view of reflexivity as a core component of qualitative analysis, which informed the development of this article. In the sections that follow we tell the story of neighborhood revitalization in Depew, NY. Although the focus is on Depew, this could be the story of any small town or municipality in the United States. We begin with a discussion of recurrent themes in the literature related to citizen participation, and their relevance to this case study. The literature review is followed by a more detailed discussion of our methodology, the neighborhood which was the focus of revitalization efforts, and the scope of participation in the planning process. We conclude with a discussion of the lessons we learned from this project. Can we really rebuild Main Street from the bottom up? Citizen participation techniques and action research in the contemporary context The typical neighborhood revitalization effort is shaped by competing interests. In many instances, institutional actors have a heavy influence on decision-making that guides the neighborhood revitalization process. This was the situation at the onset of the neighborhood revitalization effort we were engaged in. In response, 72 • Action Research 6(1) we made a conscious decision to use citizen participation techniques and drawn from action research principles to counter this tendency. As university-based consultants, we had no legal mandate to do this. We were simply hired to develop a neighborhood revitalization plan by our client, the Village of Depew. Like many projects of this nature, the scope of citizen participation was not defined in detail by our client. Although we could have simply developed a plan and submitted it to the village at the end of the process, our goal was to make citizen participation a core component of the planning process. We also went a step beyond traditional citizen participation techniques by adopting an action research stance. This stance allowed us to place neighborhood residents at the center of the research process and act as advocates for their interests. Our theory was that input from a broader spectrum of the community would produce a neighborhood revitalization plan that differed from those we saw emerging from more circumscribed processes. We believed that such a plan would gain wider acceptance from the public, and have a greater chance of being implemented. We were fortunate, since village officials were supportive of the approach we adopted, and willing to invest additional time and resources in it. Despite this relatively supportive environment, constraints still existed which hampered efforts to achieve full participation. A review of the literature on citizen participation and action research will provide a framework for the analysis of these constraints. Unlike Arnstein’s (1969) seminal work, this case study focuses on a citizen participation process that was not explicitly mandated by statute. Arnstein’s research was done during the 1960s in reference to formal participatory processes mandated by agencies like the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Her analysis produced a ‘ladder of citizen participation’ that could be used to understand the degree to which citizens had access to the public policy process. The ladder included eight types of participation which ranged from manipulation of citizens to complete citizen control of the policy process. The thrust of Arnstein’s research was to advocate for strengthening existing legislation. In contrast, this article focuses on a more fluid approach to citizen participation found in the contemporary planning milieu. This approach is driven by the professional practices of consultants and outside contractors. Although some aspects of Arnstein’s ladder of citizen participation apply to this case study, it is important to note that in the contemporary period the institutional context in which citizen participation is embedded is qualitatively different than in the past. The core distinction to be made between citizen participation in the past and present is that today it tends to be driven more by professional norms than legislative mandates. In fact, the long-term influence of Arnstein’s work may have been to promote the development of those norms, rather than more detailed legislative mandates for citizen participation. In addition to the contributions of research on citizen participation, the Silverman et al. Action research principles in Main Street revitalization • 73 context in which participation occurs in planning has been shaped by the increased role of non-governmental entities in the implementation of housing and community development policy (Bochmeyer, 2003; Milward & Proven, 2000; Swanstrom, 1999). In the past, governmental agencies were more directly involved in citizen participation activities. Today, governmental functions are increasingly contracted out to consultants. The institutional context in which citizen participation is embedded has become increasingly privatized, and fiscal constraints have eroded the capacity of local governments to formulate community development strategies on their own. These factors have promoted an environment where planning functions that have traditionally been carried out by local government are contracted out to consultants. As a result, the role of citizens in the planning process has become somewhat ambiguous. In this new context, municipalities have increasingly relied on consultants to define the scope of citizen participation in their decision-making and policy implementation processes. For consultants who view citizen participation and action research techniques as beneficial to local planning, this new environment represents fertile ground for innovation and experimentation. Such interests can be fostered in settings where public officials share professional norms with consultants. Pragmatically, public officials may also see an incentive for supporting greater citizen participation and the use of action research techniques in order to demonstrate their accountability to the public. Moreover, public officials may view expanding the scope of public input in local planning efforts as a strategy to gain leverage against other institutional actors. Within this context, real opportunities exist for consultants to advocate for greater participation of groups that have traditionally been left out of the planning process. The adoption of action research techniques adds weight to this type of advocacy, since they are built on a bottom-up approach to inquiry which is aimed at producing more equitable policy outcomes. Correspondingly, citizen participation is often valued by public officials because it adds legitimacy to the local development process. Action research techniques are compatible with this sentiment, since they offer a mechanism for giving individuals who are often left out of decision-making an active voice in analysis that impacts policy. This type of input is particularly crucial to maintaining public support for decisions about local development during times of fiscal constraint. For example, Scavo (1993) found that citizen participation was emphasized in cities facing economic constraints and instability. In such cities, he found that citizen participation was an integral component of local efforts to revitalize neighborhoods, and a variety of citizen participation techniques were used. Many of these techniques entail elements that mirror action research approaches. For instance, Scavo (1993) identified the creation of neighborhood councils and the appointment of community representatives on decision-making bodies as techniques used by municipalities to enhance citizen input. 74 • Action Research 6(1) These techniques are compatible with efforts of action researchers to forge an equal partnership with residents and other stakeholders. However, action research goes a step further, formalizing the role of citizens in the research and analysis that leads to the production of policy options. Action research transforms the research process into a vehicle for placing local concerns at the center of the policy formulation process. As a result, community members have a direct role in shaping the information that policy options are based upon. In contrast to traditional citizen participation processes where community members are asked to choose between policy options formulated by analysts and experts, processes guided by action research transform community members into analysts and experts. Consequently, citizens’ interests gain saliency in the process and this is reflected in policy outcomes and implementation. Citizen participation practice informed by action research principles When developing our approach to planning for neighborhood revitalization, we drew from the literature on citizen participation and action research. For example, the techniques outlined by Jones (1993), Sanoff (2000) and Thomas (1995) for organizing community meetings were employed in the setting examined in this article. In particular, we organized citizen workshops where residents and institutional stakeholders sat at the table together and participated as equals in community mapping. In many respects, the community mapping activities we employed paralleled the participatory action research tools used by Amsden and VanWynsberghe (2005). The adoption of these techniques produced a specific type of participatory experience for institutional stakeholders and residents. This experience entailed participant involvement in semi-structured discussions about community needs and planning alternatives. These discussions were augmented with maps, photographs, and other graphics representing community characteristics. Guided by action research principles aimed at promoting equity, we made a concerted effort to orient these materials in a manner that highlighted the perspective of working-class residents. In part, this was accomplished by focusing on neighborhood amenities and community demographics. Of course, our approach was not pure action research; rather, it blended action research principles with traditional citizen participation techniques. A recent example of a similar approach being applied to citizen participation in the planning process is discussed in Dalbey and Perkes’ (2003) case study of citizen participation in parkway planning. In this case study, the authors describe how planning workshops were used in Jackson, Mississippi’s inner city, to link university resources with community planning efforts. Although the context in which these techniques were used placed constraints on achieving full participation, Dalbey and Perkes argued that their use heightened public officials’ Silverman et al. Action research principles in Main Street revitalization • 75 awareness of community concerns and increased accountability in the planning process. Adams (2004) reached a similar conclusion in his research on public meetings. Likewise, Crewe (2001) found that the citizen participation process made professional designers more responsive to resident concerns in her study of the relationship between professionals and the citizen participation process. In a more general sense, Burby (2003) argued that citizen involvement can impact the content of plans for local development and the chances that a plan will be implemented. In particular, Burby pointed out that broad-based participation by community stakeholders can promote the development of multidimensional plans and a strong community consensus. Similarly, Gerber and Phillips (2004) argued that although citizen participation does not radically alter general patterns of development in communities, it does change the dynamics of the decisionmaking process. In the context of their study, it was found that broad-based citizen participation processes caused developers to intensify their interactions with community groups and consider resident concerns in the local development process to a greater degree. Action research principles and the limitations of citizen participation techniques Although we take the position of advocates for expanding citizen participation in this article, we fully acknowledge the limitations of participatory techniques. For instance, our work was informed by Day (1997), who pointed out that citizen participation tends to be biased toward individuals and groups who have access to resources and information. Day argued that these advantages allow such individuals to become more engaged in public dialogue, while lower income groups are under-represented in the participation process. Day also pointed out that bureaucratic and technocratic interest can reduce the impact of residents in the participation process. When participation is structured by their prerogatives, even better organized residents have less impact on the policy process. A recent study of transportation planning in Australia reaffirmed this point. This study argued that in the face of bureaucratic and technocratic control, the citizen participation process runs the risk of being used to impose plans favored by local governments on residents (Lahiri-Dutt, 2004). Likewise, Mosse (2001) argued that the structure and content of participatory planning processes can be heavily influenced by planning agencies, resulting in the loss of community input and control. Other literature heightened our awareness of the limitations of citizen participation strategies. For example, Lando (2003) argued that information gathered through the citizen participation process is often ignored by public officials, and Callahan (2000) argued that when citizens are placed in key positions in local decision-making they are often given inadequate technical support to have an impact on policy. Silverman (2003) came to a similar conclusion in his 76 • Action Research 6(1) analysis of citizens’ advisory boards in Detroit, MI. Irvin and Stansbury (2004) add that in addition to concerns linked to resources, technical assistance, and varying levels of expertise, citizen participation is sometimes prohibitively costly to local governments. Since time constraints and the financial costs associated with participation are argued to be prohibitive, Irvin and Stansbury (2004) argue that the decision to pursue citizen participation should be made strategically. In light of these critiques, we attempted to work through some of the obstacles to citizen participation by reflecting on our experience as consultants in a local neighborhood revitalization effort. In this role, we advocated for the increased application of action research principles and theory linked to the deliberative democracy literature in local planning (Fung & Wright, 2001; Gustavsen, 2001; Huxham & Vangen, 2000; Reason & Bradbury, 2006; Stoecker, 2005; Stringer, 1999; Weeks, 2000). One principle that guided our work was drawn from the work of scholars like David (2002). This work focuses on the question of ownership in social research. David argues that in environments where community-based research is embedded in contractual relationships between institutions and consultants, there is a need for researchers to act as advocates for community members. Specifically, he argues that action researchers should focus on the interests of disenfranchised groups in order to address unequally distributed power in the policy process. Schafft and Greenwood (2003) make a similar argument, stressing the need for action researchers to reach out to socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. A second principle that guided our work was drawn from researchers like Amsden and VanWynsberghe (2005). This work emphasizes the role of action research in validating local knowledge. It is argued that action research can facilitate collaboration between residents and other stakeholders in communitybased projects. This heightened level of exchange builds consensus around the results of action research. In turn, there is an increased likelihood that policy growing out of action research will be supported by all stakeholders and implemented collaboratively. The final principle that guided our work involved the role of reflexivity in both the action research process and the analytic process that drives theory development. From the beginning of our work, we intended to engage in applied research and examine that work in order to inform theory. As a result, we understood that our work would be tied to two types of reflexivity. As the applied research unfolded, we remained cognizant of our influence on residents and other stakeholders. Reflexivity in this context allowed us to avoid instances where stakeholders might lose control of the research process. At another level, we remained focused on our goal to inform action research theory by developing an understanding of the applied work we were a part of. In this context, reflexivity allowed us to disengage from our work and consider its broader implications for action research. In the remainder of this article, we discuss the degree to which Silverman et al. Action research principles in Main Street revitalization • 77 our efforts to blend action research principles with citizen participation techniques succeeded and the areas where our goals were unrealized. Methods The analysis in this article was based on participant observation technique. Each of us was a member of a team of university-based consultants who were hired to develop a plan for neighborhood revitalization in the area examined in this article. The planning process that was being studied occurred between November 2003 and July 2004. During the time that we were involved in this planning process, field notes and other data were collected. As members of the team of consultants, we had unique access to the research setting. This included access to all facets of the planning process as well as stakeholders and residents in the community being studied. In addition, the analysis for this article was planned and openly discusses from the onset of the project. Each of us kept field notes related to the day-to-day work being done on the project, and we also kept separate field notes where we reflected upon the link between the theory driving our work and the degree to which our efforts to promote citizen participation were successful. In addition to these activities, a portion of our weekly research meetings was dedicated to discussion of the link between theory and planning practice. These discussions had a dual purpose. First, they aimed to refine our approach to incorporating action research principles in our work. Second, they provided us with an opportunity to exchange ideas with the graduate students who were members of our research team. In fact, our interactions with the graduate students were guided by action research principles, since they worked side by side with us on the project as equals (Reason & Marshall, 2006). This approach to the analysis allowed us to be reflexive about our role as consultants throughout the process, while focusing our field notes and data collection activities. This is noteworthy, since being reflexive and immersion in a research setting are often identified as key elements of both ethnographic research and participatory inquiry (Brewer, 2000; Cameron et al., 2000; Emerson et al., 1995; Lofland & Lofland, 1995; Stoecker, 2005; Stringer, 1999). It is also noteworthy since this research entailed the benefits and obstacles of team ethnography discussed by Erickson and Stull (1998). The research benefited from the multidisciplinary perspective that each team member brought to the process. For example, one of us is trained as an ethnographer, another is a historian, and another is an earth scientist. The multidisciplinary composition of our research team forced us to grapple with differing normative and methodological approaches to planning. At another level, we had differing degrees of familiarity with the research site itself. For instance, one of us grew up near the Main Street 78 • Action Research 6(1) neighborhood, while the rest of us had less personal experience in the area. We also viewed the process differently due to our differing personal biographies, socioeconomic classes, and races. The dual role of researcher and consultant also allowed us to view the process that we were a part of from multiple perspectives, enabling us to critically evaluate it as it unfolded. The insights that emerged through this process influenced the scope of the planning activities that were pursued and shaped the final recommendations for neighborhood revitalization. Although this analysis is not exactly what some define as project-based or participatory action research (Stoecker, 2005; Stringer, 1999), it reflects an intermediate step toward bringing applied research and academic inquiry together. In fact, a driving force behind the decision to pursue this research was our desire to look critically at how we approached citizen participation in our consulting work. In essence, the infusion of action research principles into our work allowed us to expand the role of residents and other stakeholders in the research process and critically examine the effectiveness of the citizen participation techniques we used. From that critical analysis, we hoped to inform theory and identify places where we could better apply action research principles in the future. In addition to the qualitative analysis in this article, secondary data were used to frame the issues being examined and to contextualize the problems surrounding the neighborhood revitalization process. These data included census and other demographic measures, as well as archival materials gathered in the research site. Combined, the data collected in this analysis were used to generate a critique of the citizen participation process that was employed to plan for neighborhood revitalization in the Main Street neighborhood of Depew. Drawing from this critique we discuss the lessons we learned and make recommendations for enhancing the role of citizen participation and action research principles in local planning processes. In the next section, we present a portrait of the context in which citizen participation was embedded in the project. This section is followed by a more detailed discussion of the citizen participation process itself. Portrait of a contemporary Main Street The Village of Depew is a working-class suburb of Buffalo, NY. Historically, it has been the home to manufacturing and transportation industries. Although most of the industry that once was in the village is now gone, a variety of small industrial businesses remain alongside idle industrial property. In addition to light industry, small retail businesses, and brownfields, a number of railroad lines run through the village and the flight path of the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport is directly above it. At the center of the village is the Main Street neighborhood. At one time, this neighborhood was a core component of the village. It contained a large Silverman et al. Action research principles in Main Street revitalization • 79 Figure 1 Main Street neighborhood land use factory which produced railroad components, a facility that assembled tank turrets, housing for factory workers, and the Main Street commercial corridor. Following the Second World War, industrial and commercial activity declined and conditions in the Main Street neighborhood deteriorated. Employment and commercial activity migrated to other areas during this time and much of the property along the Main Street commercial corridor was either converted into low rent apartments or it became vacant. The boundaries (which consist of block group 1 of census tract 145.02 in Erie County, NY) and current land use characteristics of the Main Street neighborhood are identified in Figure 1. Like the Main Street commercial corridor, the Main Street neighborhood has transitioned into a low-income residential community with vacant property and a small number of retail businesses disbursed in it. Although the population, employment and housing trends that have transformed the neighborhood are long-term in nature, they continue to impact development efforts and pose obstacles to citizen participation. In essence, households in the Main Street neighborhoods confront a number of time and resource constraints that impinge upon their ability to participate in civic affairs. During the last decade these constraints have intensified. An examination of these trends between 1990 and 2000 highlights the scope of these obstacles (US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1990, 2000). Since 1990, noticeable shifts have occurred in the population and household characteristics of the Main Street neighborhood. In 2000 the neighborhood 80 • Action Research 6(1) had a population of 1000, and it experienced a 6.5 percent population loss between 1990 and 2000. Despite declining population, the area remained a racially homogenous community, with over 97 percent of its residents reporting to be white in 2000. The area also remained economically disadvantaged during the decade. In 2000, the median household income in the Main Street neighborhood was US$24,940. This was in stark contrast to the US$41,150 median household income in the village. Similarly, 15.2 percent of the residents in the Main Street neighborhood lived below the poverty level in 2000, while the poverty rate was 5.6 percent in the village. Likewise, 8.2 percent of the households in the Main Street neighborhood received public assistance in 2000, while only 1.7 percent did in the village. Employment trends in the Main Street neighborhood presented additional obstacles to citizen participation. In 2000, there were 575 individuals from the neighborhood above the age of 16 in the labor force. This represented a 12 percent decline in labor force participation since 1990. Over 78 percent of these individuals were concentrated in sales, service, pink collar, and low skill trades positions. The concentration of workers in these positions was at least 10 percent higher for the Main Street neighborhood than the village or the Buffalo region as a whole. Although the Buffalo region and the village have strong working-class identities, on the surface the Main Street neighborhood seemed to retain this identity to a greater extent in the contemporary period. However, when income, poverty rates, and public assistance were taken into consideration, it appeared that residents of the Main Street neighborhood were really members of the working poor. Housing trends in the Main Street neighborhood compounded the obstacles to promoting citizen participation in the local planning process. The neighborhood experienced modest losses in the total number of housing units during the 1990s. There were 511 housing units in the neighborhood in 2000, which represented a 3.2 percent loss in housing units between 1990 and 2000. However, this statistic should be understood in the context of the neighborhood. In part, the modest reduction in total housing units reflects a general pattern in low-income neighborhoods where some single family homes are demolished while others are divided into multiple rental properties. Other indicators reflect the general decline in housing conditions during the 1990s. For instance, the median value of owneroccupied housing units in the neighborhood was US$73,800. This was US$11,340 below the median value of owner-occupied housing units in the village, despite similarities in the age and architectural features of housing units. Of course the biggest contrast between the neighborhood and the village involved housing tenure. In the Main Street neighborhood, renters made up over 70 percent of the occupants of housing, while they made up less than 30 percent of the occupants in the village. Finally, the neighborhood had an 11.5 percent vacancy rate, which was almost three times the vacancy rate in the village. Silverman et al. Action research principles in Main Street revitalization • 81 In contrast to the village, the Main Street neighborhood was a geographically distinct, working poor, rental community. These demographic and housing characteristics presented real obstacles to promoting citizen participation among the residents of the neighborhood. Given that other stakeholders in the planning process did not come from this socioeconomic milieu, we approached the project with a heightened sensitivity to amplifying the neighborhood residents’ voice in the process. This decision was influenced by the literature on action research (David, 2002; Schafft & Greenwood, 2003; Whyte, 1990). Incorporating action research into our work allowed us to think critically about obstacles to citizen participation and act as advocates for groups that are often disenfranchised from the neighborhood revitalization process. Action research helped to validate the role of these groups in the process and formalized the link between their participation and the legitimacy of the research results. Of course, we understood that enhancing residents’ voice in the planning process was not just a challenge due to the characteristics of the resident population. It was also a challenge because of the limited capacity of local government. Like other working-class suburbs, the Village of Depew had limited resources at hand to deal with development issues. The village had a small government composed of a part-time mayor, a six member board of trustees, a five member zoning board, and a five member planning board. It also had a small cadre of fulltime and part-time civil service employees who managed basic services such as police protection, public works, building inspections, and administrative functions. These activities took place under the supervision of a single village administrator. The capacity of local government to deal with issues outside the scope of the day-to-day operation of local government and municipal services was limited. Just as these capacity issues impacted local development efforts, they posed obstacles to efforts to enhance the scope of citizen participation in the planning process. As a result, it was our responsibility to advocate for greater citizen participation in the neighborhood revitalization process. In our role as consultants, we were able to gain some leverage to promote this goal. We were also able to gain the village’s cooperation because the village administrator was highly supportive of the strategy we proposed. The scope and impact of participation From its onset we incorporated citizen participation into the planning process. The initial steps of this effort involved negotiating for two community workshops in our contractual agreement with the village. It was argued that citizens should play an active role in identifying community needs and critiquing preliminary plans for neighborhood revitalization throughout the planning process. This would add legitimacy to the planning process and help to gain residents’ support 82 • Action Research 6(1) for the final plan. In order to achieve these goals, the two community workshops were scheduled during critical points in the planning process. The first community workshop was scheduled at the beginning of the planning process. It occurred before any specific plans for neighborhood revitalization were developed. Residents of the Main Street neighborhood were notified of the workshop through advertisements in a community newspaper and fliers announcing the workshop were hand delivered to each home and small business in the neighborhood two weeks before the meeting. This effort involved us and three graduate students canvassing the neighborhood. This was very effective in generating community interest in the planning process. During the canvassing, numerous conversations between research team members and residents took place. After the fliers were distributed, several residents called the village administrator to get more information about the upcoming community workshop. Opening the process to residents The first community workshop was held in the early evening on a weekday. The workshop was in the village’s senior center, which was within walking distance of the Main Street neighborhood. Since the meeting was planned for the early evening, food and beverages were provided to participants. As they came into the senior center, residents were given a copy of the agenda for the workshop as well as a brief survey about the neighborhood. The agenda was broken down into six activities: an introduction, an overview of the project, two mapping sessions, a visioning session, and closing comments. Each activity was scheduled for 15–25 minutes. The general purpose of the meeting was to supply residents with information about the planning effort and the neighborhood. Using that information, residents were divided into working groups where they were asked to develop maps identifying areas of concern and plans for neighborhood revitalization. Twenty-one people attended the first community workshop. There was an even distribution of men and women in the workshop, the average age of the group was around 50, and all of the workshop participants were white. About half of the people attending the workshop were residents of the neighborhood and small business owners from the Main Street commercial strip. The remaining workshop participants included village and county administrators, and elected officials from the village. Missing from the workshop were representatives from the village police department, business owners from the industrial site adjacent to the neighborhood, and landlords who owned property in the neighborhood. In addition to workshop participants, the local community newspaper sent a reporter to cover the first community workshop. Given the total population of the neighborhood and the relatively mundane nature of the proposed planning activities, we felt that the turnout for the first workshop was good. However, we were also aware that key segments of the Silverman et al. Action research principles in Main Street revitalization • 83 resident population were underrepresented at the meetings. Missing from the meeting were younger members of the community and a cross-section of the renter population. In part, we believed that a broader spectrum of the population would have turned out if the planning activities involved not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) issues, or a significant alteration in land use. However, the turnout was also suppressed because of the socioeconomic characteristics of the neighborhood. As a result, our concerns that other stakeholders would dominate the planning process were heightened. In response to these concerns, we used our position as consultants to keep issues we thought would be of concern to residents on the agenda. During the course of the community workshop, participants identified a number of priorities for neighborhood revitalization. In some cases, they discussed needs that overlapped with those identified by village officials. For instance, residents believed that there was a need for infrastructure improvements and roadway development in the area. These improvements were also seen as a way to reduce the level of isolation the residents perceived between the neighborhood and the rest of the village. Residents thought that a historic connection exited between redevelopment in the neighborhood and the adjoining industrial site, since the industrial site was once a major source of jobs to neighborhood residents. They also agreed with the general notion that housing rehabilitation and commercial development would improve the community. However, residents discussed additional issues which expanded the scope of subsequent planning activities. In terms of housing and neighborhood conditions, the residents had additional concerns about absentee landlords in the area, they discussed the need for more parks, and there was concern about the negative stigma associated with the neighborhood. In terms of business needs in the area, residents were more inclined to view the industrial property adjacent to the neighborhood as blighted, and more likely to have concerns about contamination on the site. At the same time, residents had specific suggestions for the types of commercial businesses that were needed along the Main Street commercial corridor. In the same way that residents raised concerns about the industrial site, they also had concerns about their past relationships with local government, and the police department in particular. In addition, they had concerns about parochial issues that affected the quality of life in the neighborhood such as drug dealing, the need for block clubs, and animal control. In essence, residents recognized the need for physical improvements in the neighborhood and they brought a number of additional social concerns to the table. The residents made it clear that a successful neighborhood revitalization effort would entail attention to both physical development and social needs. 84 • Action Research 6(1) Advocating for residents behind closed doors Following the first community workshop, a series of planning meetings were held with business owners in the industrial site adjacent to the Main Street neighborhood. In addition to meeting with these business owners, we met with representatives from village and county governments. The main focus of these meetings was on developing plans for a road expansion project in the industrial site. The project would ultimately connect the industrial site to the Main Street neighborhood and facilitate the upgrading of infrastructure related to water service in the entire area. In order to develop this element of the plan for neighborhood revitalization, we hired a local engineering firm to design the roadway. In many ways, this aspect of the planning process was disconnected from our broader neighborhood planning goals. To a degree, the time we spent on the development of the road expansion plan distracted our attention away from other aspects of the planning process. This is a common dilemma that consultants face when working on projects with multiple constituencies. We took two steps to maintain as much of the project’s neighborhood focus as possible. First, we asked the engineering firm we hired to present their roadway expansion design at the next community workshop. This was done so that the design could be modified in response to resident concerns. Second, we made it clear to the business owners and representatives from village and county government that our discussions with them were only preliminary. It was understood by all of the institutional stakeholders that our recommendations for roadway expansion would not be finalized until residents had an opportunity for input in the process. Through the meetings with business owners and representatives from village and county government a number of issues came to the surface. For instance, local governmental officials expressed their belief that the proposed roadway development would benefit both businesses in the industrial site and residents in the adjacent neighborhood. They also felt that the roadway would strengthen the local tax base and alleviate fire hazards in the area. Most of the business owners felt that the roadway improvements and related utility upgrades would be beneficial as well. Of course, there were disagreements over who should pay for the improvements, but the dialogue generated by the meetings solidified a consensus around the benefits of pushing forward with roadway improvements and other elements of the neighborhood revitalization plan. In addition to holding meetings with institutional stakeholders, we used the time between the first and second community workshops to gather data and develop ideas for the neighborhood’s revitalization. Much of these activities were guided by concerns residents raised in the first community workshop. Our central goal was to identify linkages between the activities being planned for the industrial site and those being planned for the Main Street neighborhood. A unifying Silverman et al. Action research principles in Main Street revitalization • 85 theme was developed for the revitalization effort which drew from the area’s working-class and industrial history. Giving residents the last word The second community workshop was scheduled about four months after the first. In addition to advertising the workshop in the community newspaper and delivering fliers to all of the residential properties in the area, business owners from the industrial site and other stakeholders were invited to the workshop. Turnout for this workshop was higher than the first. Thirty-four people attended the second community workshop. The composition of the participants in the second workshop was similar to the first; however, there were a few noticeable differences. Unlike the first workshop, business owners from the industrial site were in attendance. Landlords from the Main Street neighborhood also came to the second workshop. In part, the presence of these stakeholders was a product of our outreach efforts. However, the larger turnout for the meeting may have also been an outgrowth of greater awareness about the planning process generated through word of mouth in the community and coverage of the process in the community newspaper. As was done for the first community workshop, the local community newspaper sent a reporter to cover the second workshop. Like the first community workshop, the second was held in the early evening on a weekday. It was in the village’s senior center and food was provided to participants. Upon entering the senior center, residents were given a copy of the agenda for the workshop and a brief survey about the neighborhood. The agenda for the second workshop was broken down into six activities: an introduction, a summary of the first community workshop, a discussion of the preliminary plan for roadway improvements, a discussion of the unifying theme, time for community feedback, and closing comments. Each activity was scheduled for 15 minutes, with the exception of the time for community feedback which was allotted 45 minutes. We purposefully allocated more time for community feedback, in order to amplify the voice of neighborhood residents in the planning process. Although there were a variety of interests at the second community meeting, there was a great deal of agreement about the need for the revitalization plan to move forward. There was no general disagreement about any specific element in the preliminary plan, but various groups prioritized activities differently. The main distinction in priorities was between the residents and other stakeholders. As was the case in the first meeting, the residents articulated a stronger link between physical improvements in the area and social issues. Among issues discussed by residents were: the need for parks, code enforcement, problems with absentee landlords, the need for tenant screening in the neighborhood, and concerns about environmental risks associated with the industrial site. Interestingly, the landlords who attended the workshop were in accord with the residents. In 86 • Action Research 6(1) part, this was because the landlords at the workshop were all residents of the area. Absentee landlords did not attend the workshop. Residents spoke during the majority of the time allotted for discussion in the workshop, and their concerns did not go unnoticed. Their participation in the community workshops raised the awareness of stakeholders to the connection between physical and social development. For example, one of the county officials involved in the planning process emailed the following message to us the day after the second workshop: I would hate to see the whole rest of the project and plan’s ideas diminished if the folks didn’t think that somehow the absentee owner issue is being addressed. The idea of, ‘the heck with the whole thing if nothing is done on Main St.’ type attitude. I believe there is a good amount of merit to that notion also, due to the difficult situation there. With all that being said, I understand that this issue is arguably the most difficult to resolve in any low-income area. You have the court system which is apparently failing badly and the tenant issues of drugs, bad behavior, you name it. So obviously [the university] isn’t going to solve the socioeconomic issues, but for the sake of the study, I think it would make sense to put whatever heavy emphasis on it that you could. The interesting thing about this email was that it was sent to us unsolicited. Through their dialogue with other stakeholders in the workshop, the residents seem to have gotten their point across. The workshops provided residents with an opportunity to be heard, and other stakeholders took them seriously. Residents’ concerns influenced the planning process in other ways as well. For example, residents’ critiques of the engineering firm’s preliminary road expansion design led to substantive modifications in the final plan. After receiving feedback from residents, the engineering firm added a sidewalk to the proposed roadway design. In response to residents’ comments, the proposed roadway became pedestrian friendly and had improved neighborhood access to public transportation. In addition to increased stakeholder awareness of residents’ concerns, there was some indication that the tone of media coverage began to shift. Prior to the community workshops headlines such as ‘Crack Bust Made on Main Street’ helped to define public perceptions of the area (Rettenmaier, 2003). After the community workshops, coverage of the area also included front page stories that reflected the concerns of residents about issues like absentee landlords, environmental contamination, and neighborhood revitalization (Rettenmaier, 2004). One of the effects of the decision to promote citizen participation throughout the planning process was that we were able to push residents’ concerns to the forefront. As a result, institutional stakeholders and residents developed a more holistic view of neighborhood revitalization needs in the community. In many respects, we did as well. Residents’ priorities were incorporated into the final plan for neighborhood revitalization that we produced for the village. The only stake- Silverman et al. Action research principles in Main Street revitalization • 87 holders who did not recognize the concerns of residents were those who remained detached from the citizen participation process. However, this still remains a cautionary tale. Although residents’ concerns were incorporated into the final plan, they had less access to key discussions, such as those dealing with the road expansion project. It should be noted that we were cognizant of the fact that renters and the working poor were underrepresented in the citizen participation process. In response, we maintained a sustained effort throughout the planning process to develop plans with these groups in mind. In effect, we were responsible for bringing greater balance in the final plan and ensuring that the interests of low-income residents were represented. Additionally, a strong emphasis was placed on promoting sustained citizen participation in future activities related to planning and implementation which grew out of the final plan. Therefore, the plan included recommendations for the creation of an elected residents’ advisory board which would participate in future planning activities and monitor implementation. Lessons learned from Main Street This case study has been presented to highlight the benefits and limitations of citizen participation techniques in contemporary planning. Based on the critique of the citizen participation process that was used to plan for neighborhood revitalization in this community, this section reflects on the lessons we learned from this experience and offers suggestions for applying action research principles in future consulting work. This case study highlights that even in situations where planners, stakeholders and residents share a commitment to incorporating citizen participation in the planning process the scope of citizen input can be constrained. Impediments to full participation come from multiple sources. The competing interests of residents, business owners, local officials and planners set the parameters for citizen participation in local planning. Within these parameters the groups with the greatest resources, access to information, and time are often able to imprint the most on the planning process. In the contemporary period, the scope of citizen participation is further constrained by: the lack of explicit mandates for citizen participation, ambiguity about the scope of participation, the expanded role of outside consultants in the planning process, and difficulty in mobilizing low-income groups. In response to these constraints, academics and practitioners have forwarded a number of suggestions for expanding the role of citizen participation in the local planning process. Simonsen and Robbins’s (2000) work on citizen participation in public budgeting explains how citizen surveys and citizen juries can be used to give residents a greater voice in local decision-making. They argue that greater citizen input can be achieved by expanding the use of conventional 88 • Action Research 6(1) survey research. Along the same lines of reasoning, scholars are increasingly arguing for the expanded use of the Internet as a citizen participation tool (Kellogg & Mathur, 2003; Snyder, 2003). Many of these arguments have been merged into the growing dialogue concerning e-governance, which proposes that new technologies can be harnessed to expand citizen access to government and local decision-making. Other scholars acknowledge the benefits of such citizen participation techniques, but add that there is a need for greater citizen control in the planning process. Sanoff (2000) makes this point when he calls for the expanded use of community action planning and participatory action research. Gerber and Phillips (2004) build on this tradition in their study of the effects of direct democracy on land use planning. Peterman (2004) also points out that there is a need in the contemporary setting to merge advocacy and collaborative models of community planning in order to enhance the power of disenfranchised groups in local decision-making. The work of these and other scholars represents a shift toward support for greater resident control of local planning processes. However, we suggest taking citizen participation techniques a step further by wedding them to action research principles. There are at least four benefits to this approach. First, the role of stakeholders is expanded. Traditional citizen participation techniques give stakeholders access to decision-making processes related to community development activities. Action research expands the role of stakeholders, transforming them into active community-based researchers and policy formulators. In Depew, we were able to go beyond traditional citizen participation. Rather than simply holding a public meeting to inform residents about planning activities, we provided residents with a number of opportunities to shape the planning process. Of course, we had mixed levels of success with this approach. The effectiveness of this strategy is particularly visible when contrasting the role of residents in planning activities surrounding neighborhood revitalization with those focused on the road expansion project. A second benefit to wedding action research principles to citizen participation techniques is that action research draws socioeconomically disadvantaged groups to the center of the research process. This links the legitimacy of research results to the sustained participation and empowerment of these groups. In Depew, this principle allowed us to expand the role of residents in the planning process and propose the creation of an elected residents’ advisory board to ensure sustained participation throughout the plan’s implementation process. Again, we had mixed levels of success with this approach. Although these elements were included in the final plan, sustained participation of residents is largely dependent on how the client implements it. At the time of writing, our client has moved forward with some of the physical development initiatives recommended in the plan, but it is still uncertain if sustained citizen participation will be mandated by local government. Silverman et al. Action research principles in Main Street revitalization • 89 A third and related benefit of wedding action research principles to citizen participation techniques is that they add clarity to the advocacy role of consultants in research settings where institutions contract their services. As action researchers, consultants assume an ethical responsibility to advocate for disenfranchised groups while gaining a degree of autonomy from their clients. In Depew, this was the case. We remained cognizant of our dual roles as consultants and advocates throughout the planning process, and the adoption of action research principles reinforced this predisposition. Even in a setting where disenfranchised groups had limited access, such as when the road expansion project was discussed, we were able to maintain this advocacy role to some degree. Yet, taking this stance only provided us with a degree of autonomy from our clients. In the end, we were still contractually obligated to produce a plan which was subject to our client’s approval. Finally, wedding action research principles to citizen participation techniques assists in the development of new approaches to resident driven planning. This is because the emphasis action research places on reflexivity complements the development of theory. Through reflexive analysis and praxis, researchers can move beyond the identification of obstacles to citizen participation and refine techniques used in the field to overcome them. In Depew, we were able to experiment with a number of citizen participation techniques and then reflect on our experiences as researchers. This article is testament to that undertaking. Our discussions of the degree to which we succeeded and failed to apply action research principles to the local planning process has allowed us to inform existing theory and practice. As noted above, wedding action research principles to citizen participation techniques expands our ability to analyze how these techniques work in the field. We have tried to illuminate this aspect of the citizen participation puzzle in the context of work done by consultants. From this examination we can identify three fundamental lessons we have learned. First, although action research principles guided our approach to citizen participation, our strategy was flawed in that we did not integrate residents into our work as extensively as we could have. For instance, we worked very hard to empower residents in the community workshops, but resident involvement in other aspects of the planning process could have been more extensive. In a more expansive approach, residents would have had a place at the table in meetings with business owners and government representatives. Moreover, a more expansive approach would have incorporated residents into the weekly meetings of our research team. This represented an opportunity lost. A more expansive application of action research principles could have also helped us address the second lesson we learned. That lesson related to the continued need to find ways to bring a broader spectrum of residents into the citizen participation process. Greater direct collaboration with residents would have given us a better sense of the community, and possibly 90 • Action Research 6(1) enhanced resident participation. Greater direct collaboration would have also made our methodology more transparent to residents. In the absence of this participation, we ended up serving as surrogates for the residents at critical junctures in the planning process. This was not an ideal situation. A final lesson we learned involved the degree to which we could fill the dual role of consultants and advocates in our work. In many respects, we walked a fine line in this dual role. Being from a university setting where equity planning is well established made this easier (Krumholz & Forester, 1990). However, we still had to overcome the challenges of selling citizen participation to our client. Our efforts to advocate for groups traditionally left out of the planning process would have been more effective if we had incorporated the use of more action research techniques into our consulting contract. This would have helped to expand resident participation beyond the workshops and created a foundation for sustained resident involvement in plan implementation. The institutionalization of action research in the local planning process would have also added legitimacy to our stance as advocates. In the absence of the institutionalization of action research in the process, our dual role of consultants and advocates was subject to renegotiation throughout the process. This precariousness made it more difficult for us to promote citizen participation in the process. Despite these limitations, we were modestly successful in enhancing the voice of residents in the local planning process. Residents succeeded in heightening the awareness of institutional stakeholders about the need to link social and physical development in the neighborhood revitalization process. In the interim, they influenced the way their neighborhood was portrayed in the media. And, they had a direct influence on elements of the final neighborhood revitalization plan that we delivered to the village. The question remains, is the citizen participation cup half full or half empty? Acknowledgments An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2004 Community Development Society Annual Conference. We would like to thank Hilary Bradbury and the three anonymous reviewers from Action Research for their thoughtful comments on an earlier draft. References Adams, B. (2004). Public meetings and the democratic process. Public Administration Review, 64(1), 43–54. 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(2001). ‘People’s knowledge’, participation and patronage: Operations and representations in rural development. In B. Cooke & U. Kothari (Eds.), Participation: The new tyranny? (pp. 16–35). New York: Zed Books. Peterman, W. (2004). Advocacy vs. collaboration: Comparing inclusionary community planning models. Community Development Journal, 39(3), 266–276. Reason, P., & Bradbury, H. (Eds.). (2006). Handbook of action research: The concise paperback edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Reason, P., & Marshall, J. (2006). On working with graduate students. In P. Reason & H. Bradbury (Eds.), Handbook of action research: The concise paperback edition (pp. 315–321). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Rettenmaier, D. (2003). Crack bust made on Main Street. Depew Bee, 4 December. Rettenmaier, D. (2004). Could Main Street one day meet transit road? Depew Bee, 22 April. Sanoff, H. (2000). Community participation methods in design and planning. New York: Wiley. Scavo, C. (1993). The use of participative mechanisms by large US cities. Journal of Urban Affairs, 15(1), 93–109. Schafft, K. A., & Greenwood, D. J. (2003). Promises and dilemmas of participation: Action research, search conference methodology, and community development. Journal of the Community Development Society, 34(1), 18–35. Silverman, R. M. (2003). Citizens’ district councils in Detroit: The promise and limits of using planning advisory boards to promote citizen participation. National Civic Review, 92(4), 3–13. Simonsen, W., & Robbins, M. D. (2000). Citizen participation in resource allocation. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Snyder, J. H. (2003). Should the public meeting enter the information age? National Civic Review, 92(3), 20–29. Stoecker, R. (2005). Research methods for community change: A project-based approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Stringer, E. T. (1999). Action research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Swanstrom, T. (1999). The nonprofitization of United States housing policy: Dilemmas of community development. Community Development Journal, 34(1), 28–37. Thomas, J. C. (1995). Public participation in public decisions: New skills and strategies for public managers. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. (1990). 1990 census of population and housing summary tape file 3A. Washington, DC: Data User Services Division. US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. (2000). 2000 census of population and housing summary tape file 3A. Washington, DC: Data User Services Division. Weeks, E. C. (2000). The practice of deliberative democracy: Results from four largescale trials. Public Administration Review, 60(4), 360–372. Whyte, W. F. (Ed.). (1990). Participatory action research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Silverman et al. Action research principles in Main Street revitalization • 93 Robert Mark Silverman is a Senior Research Associate in the Center for Urban Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo. His research focuses on citizen participation, non-profit management, and community development in US cities. Address: University at Buffalo, 3435 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA. [Email: rms35@buffalo.edu] Henry L. Taylor, Jr is the Director of the Center for Urban Studies and a Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo. His research focuses on neighborhood planning, race, class and gender issues in planning, African-American history, and community development. Address: University at Buffalo, 3435 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA. [Email: htaylor@buffalo.edu] Christopher Crawford is a Senior Planner for Cattaraugus County, NY. He has expertise in geographic information systems, watershed management, environmental sciences and community development. Address: Cattaraugus County, 303 Court Street, Little Valley, NY 14755, USA. [Email: cgcrawford@cattco.org]

Tutor Answer

School: UT Austin

hello, kindly find the attached completed work. Thank You.

Surname 1
Student’s name
Professor’s name
Course title
Policy change
Public policy is about the government laws, court decisions and regulations. The
government has an impact on the lives of each individual. Each individual has a stake in the
policies the federal, government and the local government enact. Majority of the citizens and
groups make attempts to influence the policies by supporting political parties with their candidates.
Politicians and their political parties are seasonal. Circumstances influence their positions on
issues. It is easy to vote these individuals out of power the same way it was easy to put them in
power. Having a lasting impact on the public policy is very important and changing the opinion of
the public can have an impact. Changing the beliefs of individuals will make the politicians with
their political parties to change also.
The public service should be committed to serving its citizens for advancements of the
public good. There is need to recognize the public service that is true to its mission for there to be
improvements in the services and for the respect of the citizens. To serve the citizens effectively,
there is the need for modernizing the roles to respond to the needs of the citizens which keep on
changing. Each open division association should share a promise of moving forward to
profitability. This is definitely not a moderate idea of the part of the State. It is a dedication to

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