2005 SRG Recipients 2005 SRG Recipients Small Research Grant

APSA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2005 Small Research Grant Program. This year, awards averaging $1,636 went to 11 scholars. The Small Research Grant Program supports research in all fields of political science, and are designed to support the research of political scientists who are not employed at Ph.D.-granting institutions.

The APSA Small Research Grant Program supports scholarly research in all fields of political science. The intent of these grants is to support the research and help further the careers of political scientists who are employed at non-Ph.D.-granting institutions.

2005 Recipients

Holly Brasher, University of Alabama at Birmingham
"The Motivation for Congressional Hearings"

Brasher will focus on how issues become the subject of hearings and whether or not these hearings then actually result in legislation. Brasher considers the influences of mass media, constituents, the president, congressional party and interest organizations as possible factors that will influence agenda setting and outcomes and will use the grant to discover motivations for congressional hearings.

 Lisa Conant, University of Denver
"Patrolling the Boundaries: Courts, Democracy, and Citizenship"

Citizenship in European democracies is transforming as alien rights approximate those of national citizens and welfare-state reforms restrict social rights for everyone.  Conant proposes that courts may contribute to these changes by patrolling who enjoys rights traditionally available to nationals alone and will use the grant to investigate whether courts have pushed social rights in a contractual direction.

Robert Turner, Skidmore College
"The Political Economy of Trophy Industrial Recruitment Projects"

Turner will use the grant to examine the economic and political impact of so-called "trophy" industrial recruitment projects, major economic development projects that generate hundreds of million in new capital investment and thousands of new jobs. Turner proposes that while incentives have little effect on a firms business in the long term, incentives are good political strategies for governors seeking to improve economic conditions and political support in the short term.

Candace A. Archer and Glen Biglaiser, Bowling Green State University
"Sovereign Bond Ratings and Democracy: The Effects of Regime Type in the Developing World"

As co-authors, Archer and Biglaiser ask "What is the effect of regime type on sovereign bond ratings?" Controlling for economic determinants as well as the risk of bond defaults, Archer and Biglaiser will use the grant to explore-throughout multivariate analysis-the effects of different types of regimes on the creditworthiness of approximately fifty developing countries from 1987 to 2003.

 Melinda Adams, James Madison University
"Gender Equity and the African Union: The role of Regional Women's Networks"

The African Union has achieved gender parity in its Commission, stipulated that delegations to the Pan-African Parliament must include at least one woman, and passed a Protocol on the Rights of Women in AfricaAdams argues that these gains were not handed to women and will use the grant to find out why African women's networks specifically, were more effective and successful in incorporating gender issues in the AU.

David Weinstein, Wake Forest University
"Exile and Interpretation: Popper's Re-invention of the history of European Political Thought"

Weinstein will explore systematically the interconnections between Popper's exile, anti-totalitarianism, ambivalent Jewish identity, anti-historicism, interpretive methodology and construction of political theory's canon.  Weinstein will use the grant to travel to Vienna to the Popper Archives at the Popper Institute.

Joseph Gershtenson, Eastern Kentucky University
"Polarization in American Politics: The Case of the States"

American politics has polarized in recent decades.  In Congress, this is typified by higher occurrences of party voting, higher rates of party unity, ideological distinctiveness of the two parties' members, and ideological cohesion within the parties.  Gershtenson will obtain roll call voting data from 1954 to 2004 for the Kentucky General Assembly, hoping to shed light on our understanding of the nationalization of politics, the operations of state governments, and of citizen assessments of state governments.

Janice Bially Mattern, Lehigh University
"Understanding Transnational Crime Organizations: Criminal Identity and 'Outlaw Ethics' in the Global Underworld"

Bially Mattern will undertake computer-aided discourse analysis to determine whether and to what extend a collective criminal identity and shared outlaw ethics suffuse the criminals' shared understandings of the purpose of their collective transnational association and activities.  Specifically, Bially Mattern will use the grant to improve upon extant theories of Transnational Crime Organizations and their role in world politics.

Stephen Samuel Smith, Winthrop University
"Desegregation, Descriptive Representation, and School Board Electoral Structures in South Carolina"

Recent case studies found that the switch from a system in which all school board members were elected at large to one in which majorities are elected from single-member districts (SMDs) led to an increase in black descriptive representation and facilitated the boards' pursuit of desegregation.  Smith will investigate whether similar relationships among SMDs, black descriptive representation, and school desegregation can be observed through South Carolina.

 A. Trevor Thrall, University of Michigan, Dearborn
"War, News, and Public Opinion"

The drop in public support for President Bush's handling of Iraq represents the steepest decline in approval during a major US military operation in history.  It also represents a challenge to the field of political communication, which has long held that during war, presidents enjoy an unparalleled ability to shape the news and thus to influence public opinion. Thrall will use the grant to test major theories offered by the "news that matters" and the "real world cues" traditions against the case in Iraq.

Donald M. Rodgers, Austin College
"Possible Social Identities and the Pro-Independence Ideology in Taiwan:  The Case of the Action for A Taiwanese Constitution"

This study focuses on The Action for a Taiwanese Constitution, a group that actively lobbies for the creation of a new, uniquely Taiwanese Constitution.  In part, the study seeks to explain the formation and promotion of the group's ideology in the face of daunting opposition.  Rodgers will travel to Taipei to conduct interviews and gather data with the grant.