Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies

Clark Center Research Presented at the American Political Science Association Conference

Sun, September 8, 2019
Clark Center Research Presented at the American Political Science Association Conference

The American Political Science Association (APSA) held its annual meeting in Washington, DC from August 29 to September 1. As part of the proceedings, Clark Center Director Rhonda Evans presented a paper on a special panel on migrant rights. Her paper examined the High Court of Australia’s institutional response to its rising migration caseload in the early 2000s, showing how the justices were able to reassert control over their appellate and original jurisdiction agendas. In addition, Clark Center Graduate Research Assistant Christine Bird presented a paper, entitled “May It Please the President: The Solicitor General's Policymaking Role” as part of a Law and Courts panel. Christine’s paper explored the role of the Solicitor General within a separation of powers context. By comparing the litigation activity of the Solicitor General to presidential policy priorities, she showed the circumstances under which the Solicitor General acts to fulfill its institutional agenda rather than the policy preferences of the appointing president. 

Also at the meeting, APSA recognized the Comparative Agendas Project (CAP) for winning the Lijphart/Przeworski/Verba Dataset Award. Established in 1999, the award is given to the best dataset in comparative politics. In the words of the Award Committee’s Chair, Elizabeth J. Zechmeister:


"The committee is pleased to award the Lijphart/Przeworski/Verba Dataset Award to the Comparative Agendas Project (CAP), for this important contribution to the field of comparative politics. The CAP stems from pioneering work by Bryan Jones and Frank Baumgartner on policy agendas in the United States and represents a global collaboration that rests on a common, harmonized codebook and approach by which team members use various inputs to code policy priorities, discussion, efforts, and outcomes. The project’s website offers documentation, an interactive data query tool, and data from over two dozen political systems. CAP data are referenced and analyzed in many hundreds of manuscripts found in Google Scholar, and CAP datasets have been downloaded more than 12,000 times in the last four years. Among other factors, the committee had praise for the historical scope of the project (e.g., data on UK agendas back to 1911).The committee was impressed by the project’s open and inclusive spirit, the latter evidenced by the project’s extensive network of collaborators and various activities that bring together a diverse set of researchers using the CAP data. The extensive scope of the project and its expansive non-hierarchical organizational structure make it a challenge to maintain quality and coherence, yet the project’s collaborators have been quite successful in this regard. Owing to their Herculean efforts, their due diligence, and their commitment to data access and transparency, the project has left an indelible mark on the field of comparative politics that will continue to grow in the years to come."

The Clark Center is a contributing member of the CAP. For more on the CAP, visit Comparative Agendas Project.

 

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