State of Policy, Politics to Take Center Stage at Pair of Conferences

Dr. Robert C. Lowry

Dr. Robert Lowry

The School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences will host two conferences this week that will bring leading scholars to UT Dallas to share research on a range of political topics.

The 16th annual State Politics and Policy Conference, which runs today through Saturday, will focus on the relationship between the federal government and states.

The Political Violence and Policy Conference, which will take place today and Friday, will explore theories on political violence.

The state politics conference is an annual event of the State Politics and Policy Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA). The conference is expected to draw close to 150 political scientists for sessions focusing on topics including presidential primaries, redistricting, judicial elections and immigration policy. State Rep. Jason Villalba will deliver the keynote speech Friday

“We’re proud to host the 16th annual State Politics and Policy Conference at UT Dallas,” said Dr. Robert Lowry, professor of political science and organizer of the event. “This conference will actually have more papers and posters on state politics and policy than the main APSA conference, yet it’s small enough that scholars can easily interact with others having similar research interests.

“We place special emphasis on making the conference affordable for graduate students and junior faculty who are just starting their careers.”

Dr. Todd Sandler

Dr. Todd Sandler

Several sessions will be led by UT Dallas political scientists, including Dr. Euel Elliott, associate dean of undergraduate studies and professor of political science; Dr. Thomas Brunell, professor of political science; and Dr. Banks Miller, associate professor of political science. Bennet Min, a PhD student who teaches a course about political institutions in the U.S. and Texas, will present research on “Judicial Labor Market Signaling: How Elected Judges Dissent.”

“In federal systems like the United States, states serve as very important policy laboratories, where different kinds of policy innovations in areas as varied as education, social welfare, gun rights, economic development and energy regulatory policy can be tried out,” Elliott said.

“If something works, other states may try the similar policies. In an era when there is increasing polarization between parties in Washington, and considerable hostility between the legislative and executive branches of government at the national level, plus the stringent budgetary environment, states today play an especially important role.”

The conference on political violence and policy is an annual event at UT Dallas that features junior and senior scholars from across the globe. Sessions will be held on a variety of topics including political violence and philanthropy, civil war and piracy.

Politics and Policy Conferences

  • The 16th annual State Politics and Policy Conference will begin today and end Saturday at the Alexander Clark Center and Hoblitzelle Hall. Click here for more information.
  • The Political Violence and Policy Conference will be today and Friday in Green Hall.

Three UT Dallas professors and a recent PhD graduate will present research at the conference: Dr. Todd Sandler, Vibhooti Shukla Professor of Economics and Political Economy and director of the Center for Global Collective Action; Dr. Vito D’Orazio, assistant professor of political science; Dr. Idean Salehyan, associate professor of political science; and Dr. Justin George, who received his PhD in economics last week. Dr. Patrick Brandt, professor of political science, will lead a session discussing research on piracy.

“This is the seventh conference on terrorism and political violence hosted by the Center for Global Collective Action at UT Dallas,” Sandler said. “We continue to bring some of the world’s best researchers to the conference, and this year is no exception.”

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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