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  • Author: John Aubrey Douglass, Patrick A. Lapid
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: In an environment of declining public funding and rising tuition rates, many public universities in the US are moving toward a “progressive tuition model” that attempts to invest approximately one-third of tuition income into institutional financial aid for lower-income and middle-class students. The objective is to mitigate the cost of rising tuition and keep college affordable. But is this model as currently formulated working? Utilizing data from the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Survey of undergraduates and other data sources, this study explores these issues by focusing on students at the University of California (UC) and 10 research-intensive public institutions that are members of the SERU Consortium. Focusing mostly on survey data from 2014, we find that increases in tuition, and costs related to housing and other living expenses, have not had a significant negative impact on the number of lower-income students attending UC or on their behaviors. Since the onset of the Great Recession, there has been an actual increase in their number—a counterintuitive finding to the general perception that higher tuition equals less access for the economically vulnerable. At the same time, there is evidence of a “middle-class” squeeze, with a marginal drop in the number of students from this economic class. With these and other nuances and caveats discussed in this study, the progressive tuition model appears to have worked in terms of affordability and with only moderate indicators of increased financial stress and changed student behaviors. This study indicates that tuition can and should be a part of the search for a viable funding model for many public universities, like UC, and that demanding lower or no tuition does not appear to be based on any substantial analysis of the correlation of tuition and affordability.
  • Topic: Education, Economic Policy, Higher Education, State Funding
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Mindy Romero, Jennifer Puza
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: In 2014, California passed the Ballot Initiative Transparency Act (SB 1253, or BITA) which provided some of the biggest changes to California’s ballot initiative process in recent decades. BITA went into effect for the first time during the 2016 election cycle and was designed to provide more opportunities for legislative compromise and to allow for more public involvement in the ballot initiative process. Our study examines BITA and its impact on the ballot initiative process. Specifically, we sought to understand the extent of BITA’s impact on influencing the state legislature and the initiative proponents to seek legislative compromise. Furthermore, we examine the implementation of the new mechanisms BITA put in place and offer suggestions for how to potentially improve their effectiveness for future elections.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Legislation, Voting
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Gian-Claudia Sciara, Amy E. Lee
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: California has established itself as a leader in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. However, the state has not reflected its ambitious policies for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and climate action in its practices for allocating state transportation funding. This paper reviews the complex systems through which California generates and allocates state revenue for transportation investment. It finds that the state’s framework for funding transportation projects and programs is disconnected from its GHG goals, reflective more of historical political deals than of contemporary climate policy. The paper also suggests preliminary steps for revising this framework to reinforce GHG reduction goals. Such recommendations are particularly salient given the state’s recently completed study of road user charges as an alternative transportation revenue source, as well as the passage of new legislation that restructures the state’s fuel taxes (Senate Bill 1, 2017). Implementation of road charges or any other new or revised transportation revenue source would need to address the disposition of revenues generated. This paper argues that California should use any such opportunity to align the distribution of state transportation dollars with its climate objectives, not fall back on status quo allocation practices.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Governance, Tax Systems, Economic Policy, State Funding
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Brian Adams
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: Research on federal, state and big-city elections has concluded that campaign spending is a necessary but not sufficient condition for electoral success: even though the best financed candidates do not always win, aspirants for office need to raise and spend funds to mount competitive campaigns. But scholars have not explored whether this pattern holds in small to mid-sized cities. Money influences elections in all jurisdictions, but it is plausible that as cities get smaller campaign finance dynamics change. In this paper I explore whether campaign finance dynamics are different in small and mid-sized cities, using a dataset of 61 California cities. Despite reason to think that they will vary, I find that campaign finance patterns are similar across cities of various sizes. Few city council candidates are able to mount credible campaigns without money, even in small cities. Incumbents enjoy high re-election rates across all cities, and levels of competition may even decrease with constituency size.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Domestic politics, Money
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Jason McDaniel
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: Politics in American cities is largely driven by racial group cleavages, and voting in urban elections is polarized along racial lines. Several cities have implemented a relatively new reform to urban elections called ranked-choice voting (RCV), which eliminates the plurality run-off election by giving voters the option to rank-order several vote preferences. This article examines whether the expanded preference choices associated with ranked-choice voting reduce the level of racially polarized voting in mayoral elections. In the first stage of analysis, precinct-level election results from Oakland, CA, and San Francisco, CA, are used to explore variation in racially polarized voting before and after the implementation of RCV. The second stage of analysis uses a difference-in-differences design to analyze racially polarized voting in RCV cities compared to non-RCV cities. The results indicate that racially polarized voting did not decrease due to the implementation of RCV. Rather, the results show that RCV contributed to higher levels of racially polarized voting between white and Asian voters.
  • Topic: Politics, Governance, Elections, Local
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Sara Sadhwani, Matthew Mendez
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: The adoption of the top two primary system in California is resulting in a rising number of general elections in which candidates from the same party compete. Incidentally, California is also home to a large and diverse Latino community. When party identification is no longer a reliable cue, do Latino voters turn to the race or ethnicity of a candidate in selecting whom to support? We examine co-partisan Republican general elections in California’s state assembly from 2012‒2016. Using surname-matched precinct-level voter data, we conduct ecological inference analysis to estimate support for candidates based on the ethnicity of voters. Taking the case of Latino voters, we find a strong level of support for Latino Republican candidates, suggesting that a candidate’s ethnicity may inform voters’ strategic decision making in partisan elections.
  • Topic: Politics, Elections, Voting
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: David C. Powell
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: On July 9, 2002, Governor Gray Davis signed the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) into law. The intent of the CVRA was to build upon the voting rights protections embodied in the Federal Voting Rights Act (FVRA) by enhancing the influence of minority populations in local government elections. The CVRA has led to multiple legal challenges of at-large electoral systems in dozens of governments in California. This paper explores the impacts of the CVRA on local governments as well as potential impacts of recent changes to the CVRA.
  • Topic: Government, Elections, Democracy, Voting, voting rights
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Michal Rotem, Neve Gordon
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The struggle between Zionists and Palestinian Bedouin over land in the Negev/ Naqab has lasted at least a century. Notwithstanding the state’s continuing efforts to concentrate the Bedouin population within a small swath of land, scholars have documented how the Bedouin have adopted their own means of resistance, including different practices of sumud. In this paper we maintain, however, that by focusing on planning policies and the spatio-legal mechanisms deployed by the state to expropriate Bedouin land, one overlooks additional technologies and processes that have had a significant impact on the social production of space in the Negev. One such site is the struggle over the right to education, which, as we show, is intricately tied to the organization of space and the population inhabiting that space. We illustrate how the right to education has been utilized as an instrument of tacit displacement deployed to relocate and concentrate the Bedouin population in planned governmental towns. Simultaneously, however, we show how Bedouin activists have continuously invoked the right to education, using it as a tool for reinforcing their sumud. The struggle for education in the Israeli Negev is, in other words, an integral part of the struggle for and over land.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Jeffrey Reger
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on Arabic, English, and Hebrew language sources from the British and Israeli archives, this article seeks to bridge the catastrophic rupture of 1948 to the early 1950s and to trace the changing relationship between ordinary Palestinian olive cultivators in the Galilee and the newly established Israeli state. In contrast with studies that center on the continued expulsion of Palestinians and extension of control over land by the state and state-supported actors in the aftermath of the Nakba, this study examines those Palestinians who stayed on their land and how they responded to Israeli agricultural and food control policies that they saw as discriminatory to the point of being existential threats. Beyond analysis of Israeli state policy toward olive growers and olive oil producers, this article brings in rare Palestinian voices from the time, highlighting examples of Palestinian resistance to the Israeli state’s practices of confiscation and discrimination.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Sahar Francis
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Women have been instrumental to the Palestinian liberation struggle from its inception, and the role they have played in political, civil, and armed resistance has been as critical, if not as visible, as that of their male counterparts. In addition to experiencing the same forms of repression as men, be it arrest, indefinite detention, or incarceration, Palestinian women have also been subjected to sexual violence and other gendered forms of coercion at the hands of the Israeli occupation regime. Drawing on testimonies from former and current female prisoners, this paper details Israel’s incarceration policies and examines their consequences for Palestinian women and their families. It argues that Israel uses the incarceration of women as a weapon to undermine Palestinian resistance and to fracture traditionally cohesive social relations; and more specifically, that the prison authorities subject female prisoners to sexual and gender-based violence as a psychological weapon to break them and, by extension, their children.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Israel