The role of interstate policy organizations in state higher education policy processes: Perceptions of policymakers and policy shapers

2010 2010

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Abstract (summary)

Political science offers rich explanations for how different types of organizations that are focused on public policy decisions (e.g., boundary organizations, interest groups, policy networks (or communities), and think tanks) influence public policy processes (Cash, Clark, Alcock, Dickson, Eckley, Guston, Jager, and Mitchell 2003; Guston 2001; Kingdon 1995; Mintrom and Vergari 1998; Stone 2000; Weaver 1989). They serve as information sources, promote dialogue, foster the diffusion of innovations, bridge gaps between research and policy, and set policy agendas, all with the intent of influencing public policy. Their goals, approaches, and abilities, however, vary from one another, and interstate policy organizations diverge from these key organizational actors in important ways. This dissertation provides a contextualized account of state policy processes by examining the role of interstate policy organizations in policy decision making with the aim of uncovering and analyzing the important ways that these entities are perceived to influence state policy choices. In the context of higher education policy, this exploratory study focuses on the following research question: Under what conditions are interstate policy organizations perceived as influencing state policy decision-making processes in higher education? While historically, higher education has not been viewed as one of the most critical issues facing state policymakers, increasingly this issue is moving onto the forefront of political agendas making it a timely and relevant context for analysis. The research employs two stages of data collection involving elite interviews and online surveys of state-level higher education policymakers and policy shapers (chairs of state House and Senate legislative committees with jurisdiction over higher education, state higher education executive officers, state legislative education staff, and staff from interstate policy organizations) and two case studies. The two cases trace one higher education policy initiative—outcomes-based funding of public higher education institutions—in Texas and Colorado to provide a more contextualized account of the conditions under which and the ways in which interstate policy organizations are perceived as affecting state policy processes.

Indexing (details)

Higher Education Administration;
Political science;
Public policy;
Education policy;
Higher education
0446: Higher Education Administration
0615: Political science
0630: Public policy
Identifier / keyword
Education; Social sciences; Funding; Higher education; Interstate policy organizations; Organizations; Policy; Policymaking
The role of interstate policy organizations in state higher education policy processes: Perceptions of policymakers and policy shapers
Michelau, Demaree K.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 72/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Clarke, Susan E.
Committee member
Andersson, Krister Par; Fitch, J. Samuel; Juenke, Eric; Moses, Michele
University of Colorado at Boulder
Political Science
University location
United States -- Colorado
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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