Research Quick Take

Here at the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy (COSSPP), our faculty have been quite busy! Here are some of the projects that our faculty have recently published.

“State Government Preemption of Local Government Decisions Through the State Courts” by Dr. Charles Barrilleaux

Charles Barrilleaux | Political Science

In his recent article, Dr. Barrilleaux examines whether state courts limit local authority in areas in which local preferences differ from the state’s, and whether this is conditioned by the level of autonomy the state grants the local government. Using a newly constructed data set of 404 local governments that had local ordinances challenged in state courts between the years 1996 and 2017, he finds that local governments with citizen ideological preferences that differ from the state are less likely to have an ordinance preempted by the courts when the level of local autonomy given by the state is high. Thus, institutions like home rule provide local governments with certain legal protections from challenges to local authority.

“Digital technologies, dysfunctional movement-party dynamics and the threat to democracy” by Dr. Deana Rohlinger

Deana Rohlinger | Sociology

In her recent article, Dr. Rohlinger argues that social scientists should not simply focus on Trump or the Republicans who have supported his false claims that the presidency was stolen from him. She suggests that researchers need to leverage the insights provided by sociology, political science and information studies and communication to unpack the increasingly dysfunctional movement-party dynamics in the US, which not only made the 6 January riots possible but continue to erode democratic processes. She outlines four developments over the last thirty years that help account for the contemporary political moment and underscore the role of digital technologies in these developments.

“Disability, wages, and commuting in New York” by Dr. Sandy Wong

In her recent article, Dr. Wong compares wages and commute times between workers with and without disabilities in the New York metropolitan region and identifies the intraurban zones where residents experience higher inequities in wage earnings and commute times. We find significant differences in wages and commute times between workers with and without disabilities at the scale of the metropolitan region as well as by intraurban zone. She finds that, at the metropolitan scale, disabled workers earn 16.6% less and commute one minute longer on average than non-disabled workers. High commute and wage inequalities converge in the center, where workers with disabilities are more likely to use public transit, earn 17.1% less, and travel nearly four minutes longer on average than workers without disabilities. 

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