Winning Proposal to the Pierce Scholar's Fund: 2016 Competition

Project Title: Authority Migration in Federated Governments and Organizations

Faculty Sponsors: Ken Kollman

Graduate Student: James Strickland

Project Description

Our research seeks to answer a broader question: whether during decisions over representative centralization, subunits are paying attention to the policymaking process at the national level and the role of their interests in that process. We seek to determine the extent to which national and state legislators are influenced by the interests of their respective states when considering forms of authority migration. Importantly, our results may suggest that interest groups can influence government just as much as government shapes interests. Little existing research explores the possibility of interests shaping national institutions. We suggest that the allocation of authority between national and subnational units is not accidental but can be modeled. The migration of authority occurs as a consequence of struggles for power and control over policy issues, interacted with the institutional details of the policymaking processes within those institutions.