Working Papers

Disproportionate Policy Response by Design: Towards a Conceptual Turn
March 2018

Since the U.S. response to 9/11 and the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, there has been increasing interest in the concept of disproportionate policy response and its two component concepts—policy over- and underreaction. These concepts are viewed by traditional policy theory as unintentional policy mistakes. This paper highlights a conceptual turn whereby these concepts are re-entering the policy lexicon as types of intentional policy choices. This turn forces policy scholars and policymakers to ignore the negative connotations associated with these concepts and to recognize instead the repertoire of disproportionate policy response and, at times, its success in achieving policy goals. The paper elaborates on this theoretical advancement and concludes by identifying five areas that offer promising possibilities for future research in this subfield: definitional foundations, micro-foundations, levels of analysis, temporality and dynamism, and process research.

Key Words: Disproportionate policy, Overreaction, Underreaction, Crises, Rhetoric, Doctrine

Why a Policy Bubble is Sustainable: The Role of Institutional Context
November 2016

This conceptual paper suggests a crucial revision to the policy bubble agenda, wherein some bubbles may emerge within institutional settings which support efforts by policy entrepreneurs to advance and correct distorted policy valuations (I have termed them preference-driven policy bubbles), whereas others emerge in settings which inhibit efforts to advance and/or correct the distortion (I have termed them institution--driven policy bubbles). Institutional restrictions on the visibility of the policy domain and on the voicing of dissent may lead to stronger and more sustainable distorted policy valuations, and thereby, to relatively stable and self-sustaining policy bubbles. The lack of such restrictions may lead to weaker and less sustainable distorted policy valuations and, thereby, to relatively fragile policy bubbles.

Key Words: policy bubbles, comparison, valuation, accountability, transparency

Emotion Regulation by Emotional Entrepreneurs: Implications for Political Science and International Relations
June 2015

Despite robust evidence that emotions can have a powerful impact on public opinion, political behavior, and foreign policy, few studies have directly addressed the possibility that emotions may be strategically regulated by political and policy actors. To systematically examine the role of emotion regulation in domestic and global political domains, what is needed is a framework for organizing the large number of regulatory strategies available to actors who wish to influence others’ emotions in pursuit of their goals. One such framework is Gross’s (2014) process model of emotion regulation, which previously has been used primarily to examine psychological processes at the individual level in healthy and clinical populations. We use this framework to present an overview of the emerging field of emotion regulation by emotional entrepreneurs at the local, state, national and global levels, to identify gaps in the relevant literatures in political science and international relations, and to propose a research agenda which revolves around whether different emotion regulation strategies and implementation tactics have different political consequences, both immediately and over the long term.

Key Words: Emotion Regulation, Emotional Entrepreneurs, Opinion Formation, Political Behavior, Social Movements, Public Policy