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PARCC Research Mini-Grant Program

The mission of PARCC is to advance research on conflict and collaboration, including theory, practice, and education.  PARCC grants research awards in the range of $500- $2000 to support research activities in our areas of focus: International and Interstate Conflicts, Environmental Collaboration, Collaborative Governance, and Advocacy and Activism. The awards selection is based on potential contribution to scholarship, possibility of future funding, consistency with the goals of PARCC, and cost-effectiveness.  Funds are used for such activities as data acquisition, survey design, the hosting of research conferences at Maxwell, and research assistance.  Faculty who are awarded a mini-grant then present their research at one of PARCC's weekly Conversations in Conflict Studies speaker series. 


PARCC Mini-Grants, 2017


InsTED Network at Syracuse University
Kristy Buzard
To assist in the funding of a workshop of the InsTED network at Syracuse University in late spring / early summer 2018. Additional funding is being sought from the Moynihan Institute, the Economics Department and the Maxwell Dean’s office.   A core interest of InsTED members is the study of how institutions at all levels can overcome conflict to foster cooperation, particularly on the international level. Questions of conflict and cooperation are crucial to this community of scholars who work at the intersection points of institutions, trade and development.Founded in 2013 and based in the University of Exeter Business School, the InsTED network acts as a focal point for researchers working on issues at the intersection of Institutions, Trade, and Economic Development.  The activity of the network centers around a website at http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/insted/ , which tracks emerging academic debates, data availability, events, and funding opportunities that may be of interest to members.  We have nearly 200 members located in five different continents, most of whom are located in North America.
 

Race, Religion, and Citizenship: Indian American Political Advocacy  
Prema Kurien
There is a proliferation of publications on the political mobilization of contemporary immigrant groups around recognition and rights. However, there is still no clear understanding of the ways contemporary immigrants perceive citizenship and how the citizenship regimes of particular countries shape the claims-making and patterns of mobilization of their immigrant groups. I have started writing a book that addresses these questions by examining patterns of Indian American political activism. Indian Americans are becoming politically active around both homeland and domestic issues. What is most striking is that they mobilize around a variety of identities to influence United States policy. Some identify as Indian Americans, others as South Asian Americans, and yet others on the basis of their religious background as Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, and Christians. There are also groups that mobilize around American partisan politics as supporters of the Democratic or the Republican parties. Finally, there are intergenerational differences in the civic and political activism of the immigrant generation and the adult, second-generation.  Using the case of Indian Americans, this project examines ways in which immigrants make sense of their social and political identities based on the interaction between race and religion, and how this perceived social location influences their political mobilization patterns around domestic and homeland issues. In addition to discussing the importance of race and majority/minority religious status in the United States, it looks at how religious status in the homelands can affect the immigrants’ activism profile and how they use US racial and religious models to make a case for their homeland-oriented mobilization.
 

The Project, Politics, and Performance of “Job-Readiness”
Gretchen Purser
This project investigates the project, politics, and performance of “job readiness” across the diverse organizational landscape of neoliberal poverty management. The goal is to engage in a comparative analysis of how "work readiness" is taught and how worker subjectivities are shaped.  The project involves ethnographic fieldwork and in-depth interviews carried out in three distinct, local sites: the Rescue Mission (a faith-based social service program offering an employability program called "Jobs for Life"), the Center for Community Alternatives (a nonprofit prisoner reentry program offering a 12 week long work readiness program), and Visions for Change (a nonprofit welfare-to-work program offering a 10-day employability program called Choosing to Thrive).


PARCC Mini-Grants, 2015

Vita Vitalis: Aging, Care and Abandonment in Postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina
Azra Hromadzic
This research project focuses on four questions relating to aging and care in a postwar region.  What is the nature of responsibility and care for the elderly in postwar contexts, especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina?  How do the legal, political and social debates around responsibility and care of the elderly reveal family and generational transformations in the country?  What new (beyond the state and family) regimes and technologies of care, citizenship and responsibility are emerging in response to these transformations?  How are ordinary people, in everyday life, encountering and negotiating the changing fields of care, work, and responsibility in their postwar and post-socialist state?

Race, Religion, and the Political Incorporation of Contemporary Immigrants
Prema Kurien
Western nations have seen the increasing political mobilization of contemporary immigrant groups.  Yet there is still no clear understanding about the ways contemporary immigrants understand citizenship and how the citizenship regimes of particular countries affect mobilization patterns of immigrant groups.  Using the case of Indian Americans, this project will examine the ways in which immigrants make sense of their social and political identities based on the interaction between race and religion, and how this perceived social location influences their political mobilization patterns around domestic and homeland issues.  In addition to discussing the importance of race and majority/minority status in the United States, it will examine how religious status in the homelands can affect the immigrant’s activism profile and how they use U.S. racial and religious models to make a case for their homeland-oriented mobilization.  

Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration on the Social Intranet
Ines Mergel
Internal social networking sites, such as the Government of Canada’s GCPedia and GCConnex sites help public managers understand how to design social software applications and combine them with the organization’s existing in-house content and knowledge management systems to increase knowledge sharing in government.  This project therefore focuses on a single case: The Government of Canada’s GCConnex platform, an in-house social networking site that is similar to the Department of State’s social networking site that connects employees with each other through the so-called Corridor initiative. (See for example: “State to start social network for employees only”).  The platform is designed to support the search for information resources, location of expertise, idea generation and vetting, information aggregation, and data visualization. This project will specifically focus on the advances that an in-house social networking platform can provide for the following three knowledge management activities.

Workers, Writers, Advocates: Archiving the Federation of Worker Writer and Community Publishers
Steve Parks
The Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers (FWWCP/FED) is a network of British working class writing groups that over a forty year history published and circulated over one million books through an organically created distribution network.  The publications of the FWWCP represent a self-authorized and intimate history of the changing nature of the British working class as a result of the transition from industrial to service jobs and the shift from a predominately Anglo-European ethnic background to one that, due to global immigration patterns, is more ethnically diverse.  Over the past two years, this project has developed a print/digital archive of the FWWCP, which has over 3,500 publications representing close to 40 unique writing groups.  It is housed at London-Metropolitan University (LMU) and eventually also at Syracuse University (SU), with a proposed digital bridge of oral histories, video footage, and scanned images uniting the two collections.   

Public Water and Citizenship Fostering Belonging and Democracy through Water
Farhana Sultana
Water is the most critically contested resource as all life depends on water. With more than a billion people without access to safe drinking water, water’s role in human development cannot be understated. However, the meaning of having abundant safe water comes to mean much more than just wellbeing and health, but reflects broader concerns of citizenship and belonging. Since delivering water is often equated to delivering development, the challenges in water provision and access are significant for states and citizens in their trajectory towards better development and inclusive democracies. Conflicts over water have emerged across sites and scales around the world, and simultaneously pose constraints and open up new opportunities for ensuring equitable water to marginalized populations. In a highly unequal world, water thus comes to represent power and prosperity, as well as raise questions of the multiple meanings of water in the public realm.  This project will research the relationship between water and society, whereby social power is embedded within flows of water. By using water as a ‘lens’ through which to explore changing social relations, environmental conflicts, and geopolitics it will analyze the contradictory processes through which water has produced, co-produced and reproduced political realities in the context of development.


PARCC Mini-Grant Awards, 2012

Uncharted Waters: Sovereignty and the Regulation of Force in the Maritime Domain
Renee de Nevers
Can private actors secure the seas? Piracy has emerged as a growing problem in several parts of the globe over the last decade or so. States have responded to the threat in part by adopting multilateral efforts to protect commercial shipping in high risk regions, under the aegis of the UN, NATO, and the EU. These activities, along with greater efforts by ships to adopt defensive measures, have helped to reduce the number of successful pirate attacks. But ship owners have also turned to the private sector to ensure protection of their ships by hiring armed security guards. This has been accompanied by increasing claims that no armed ships have been taken captive by pirates. The number of ships hiring armed guards appears to be rising steadily, as is the number of companies offering services ranging from ship guards to escort convoys. What is the nature of this new industry? What efforts are underway to develop governance mechanisms that will regulate these companies’ activities? What implications does outsourcing maritime security have for sovereignty?


Employment Vulnerability of Formerly-Incarcerated Workers
Gretchen Purser
The meteoric rise in rates of incarceration since the late 1970s—signaling the dawn of the era of “mass incarceration”—has generated increased scholarly attention to the role of the penal system as a labor market institution, one that conceals unemployment in the short run, by absorbing many who would otherwise be jobless, but exacerbates it in the long run, by dramatically increasing joblessness among inmates after release (Western and Beckett 199; Western, Kling and Weiman 2001). The racial disparities in rates of imprisonment means that blacks are eight times more likely to be incarcerated than whites (Western 2006) and that fully one third of adult black males have a felony conviction on their records (Uggen, Manza and Thompson 2006). These trends have dramatically exacerbated “the crisis of black male unemployment” (Pitts 2004). The result of the yearly flow of ex-offenders back into the labor market – at a rate approaching the yearly flow of new immigrants – has been the formation of a “criminalized class as a structurally salient, racialized labor market category (Peck and Theodore 2008). Scholars studying these trends have overwhelmingly focused their attention on the barriers faced by ex-offenders in the labor market, documenting both widespread employer discrimination against the formerly-incarcerated and the rapid proliferation of criminal background checks as a now routinized aspect of the hiring process (Emsellem and Mukamel 2008;Harding 2003; Pager 2007; Stoll and Bushway 2008). While the barriers to employment have been well documented, scholars nevertheless know little about the actual experiences of the formerly-incarcerated once on the job and in the workplace. This project aims to rectify that situation by contributing to our understanding of the qualitative character, and not just quantitative deficiency, of jobs available to those at the very bottom of the labor market. Specifically, this project aims to understand the extent to which formerly-incarcerated workers, who face drastically diminished prospects in the labor market and hence lack marketplace bargaining power (Silver 2003), are vulnerable to conflict, degradation, exploitation and abuse in the workplace.


Water Governance in a Changing Climate: Prospects and Challenges
Farhana Sultana
Water governance and climate change adaptation are twinned challenges globally, but poignantly so in the global South. As water stresses and scarcities arise amidst complex socio- political landscapes, the impacts of climate change create new threats and vulnerabilities that have to be addressed and adapted to. Too much water (e.g. floods, sea level rise, riverbank erosion) displace people into teeming mega-cities while too little water (e.g. drought, water scarcity, lack of water supply systems) create enormous challenges for life and livelihood in urban spaces. Little research has been conducted on the ways that water governance and climate change adaptation come together to create opportunities for conflict and collaboration in the developing world. This project proposes to study this concern and to bridge research on climate change adaptation and broader water governance.


Advocacy and Collaborative Governance in Global Health: The Rise of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
Hans Peter Schmitz, with graduate students Hyokyung Kwak and Franziska Boehme
This study asks why some global health issues fail to receive the global attention and funding commensurate with the burden of disease caused. For example, why has the global community failed to accord pneumonia the same attention it has recently given to tuberculosis? Or why have we seen now forty years of impressive efforts reducing harm from smoking, while no such progress has been made on alcohol, an equally deadly and addictive substance? Despite their extensive burden of disease, NCDs have not achieved commensurate visibility, policy attention, and funding, in particular in middle-income nations with rapidly rising income levels. What explains this significant variation in global responses to health issues that otherwise create very similar burdens of disease?


Indigenous Autonomy in Southern Mexico
Matthew R. Cleary
The aim of this research project is to study the rise and formalization of local autonomy regimes in southern Mexico. Several hundred municipalities in the southern state of Oaxaca now govern themselves according to “customary rule,” rather than the democratic process used in the rest of the country. This fact raises many empirical and normative questions about the causes of local autonomy, and its effects. I am particularly interested to study the normative conflict between principles of multiculturalism and liberal democracy.


Social Media and the Public Sector
Ines Mergel
Over the past 30 years many new information and communication technologies have been introduced (Bretschneider & Mergel, 2010). Each new wave, whether it was the introduction of time-sharing systems, personal computers, or now social media, are often viewed as a game changer (Mergel, 2011). This project will support interviews with social media directors in the federal agencies and departments of the executive branch of the U.S. government. My previous research has shown that social media innovations are diffusing bottom-up in form of early experimentations outside the formal technology adoption context in government. The follow-up study aims to gain a deeper understanding of the actual impact social media use has on transparency, collaboration, and participation in government. The goal is to form an understanding of metrics and measurement instruments that help to illustrate this impact. The funding will be used for interview transcripts and to cover travel expenses to meet with social media directors in Washington, DC.


Policy Network Management and Collaborative Governance: South Korea’s Settlement Support Policy for North Korean Migrants
Soonhee Kim
Since the late 1990s, South Korea has encountered an unprecedented phenomenon in which an increasing number of North Korean migrants have entered South Korea. This project explores the how the South Korean government coordinates various programs and services designed and delivered by different national and local agencies. To what extent the government strategies the structure of the policy network management and collaborative governance concerning the settlement support policy and how national and local governments evaluate the process and effectiveness of public-private partnerships in the settlement and integration of North Korean migrants into South Korean society.


Police Reform in Russia: A Policy Study
Brian D. Taylor
Police reform was one of the most prominent policy reform efforts of Dmitriy Medvedev’s presidency. To date most analysis of Russian police reform has evaluated the content of the reform itself, and the likely impact on police behavior. This project in contrast is interested in studying the police reform episode as a case of policy making applying concepts developed for the study of public policy in advanced democracies. The project explores the extent to which these concepts help us understand the policy process in competitive authoritarian regimes such as that in contemporary Russia.


Changing the Game: Tracing the Decomposition of Cold War Rules
Gavan Duffy
This project explores competing explanations for the end of the Cold War through by constructing an extensive chronology of events culminating in the end of the cold war. The analysis will explore how the analytic apparatus of pragmatics can support analyses of the structural relations (rules) that adversaries construct-produce and reproduce – through their mutual interactions. From these descriptions, weaknesses in rule structures can be identified, thereby allowing analysts to assess the ripeness of particular conflicts for transformation.


The Political Incorporation of Religious Minorities in Canada and the U.S.
Prema Kurien
The goal of this project is to understand how the policy environments of Canada and the U.S. shape the process of political incorporation and activism of religious minorities. The focus is on Sikhs and Hindus due to the differences in their political profiles between Canada and the U.S. and within the two countries. While Sikhs and Hindus have each had similar histories of immigration to North America, Canadian Sikhs have been involved in the public sphere for a longer period and have successfully obtained political recognition and rights. In contrast, U.S. Sikhs have focused on obtaining Sikh civil rights primarily after September 11, 2001. The situation with Hindus is the reverse. Hindus in the U.S. have been much more politically active when compared to Canadian Hindus, mobilizing around a confrontational public presence to speak up against misrepresentations, defend their religion from defamation and criticize “Abrahamic” religions for not being pluralistic. This project will explore the reasons for these variations through a comparative perspective.


The New Old Bridge: Youth Negotiate Democratization in Postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina
Azra Hromadzic
This project is an ethnography of an “empty nation” that sheds new light on the current global political projects of state-making in post-conflict societies. Internationally directed peace-making and state building efforts in Bonia and Herzegovina generate an “empty nation” and a stance of anti-citizenship for Bosnian youth. The perpetual emptying of the nation-state from its youth citizens stems from the paradoxes embedded in the consociational model of democracy that is being implemented. This socio-political model, when combined with the continuous governance by the International Community, solidifies the war-generated ethnic segregation and produces a lack of the state’s sovereignty. The southern Bosnian city of Mostar, famous for its Old Bridge, is an especially rich setting for examining these paradoxes. Mostar has been often described as a microcosm of the Bosnian and Herzegovina state and a symbol of both ethnic coexistence in the former Yugoslavia and the scene of one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Bosnian war. At the famous Mostar Gymnasium, the primary research site, this manifests in the simultaneous unification of school management and segregation of classroom spaces, instruction and students along ethnic lines.


Improvisation and Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Complex Problem Milieus
Paul Hirsch, Patricia Longstaff, Tina Nabatchi, and Rosemary O’Leary
There can be little doubt that society faces numerous complex problems that span boundaries, jurisdictions, and disciplines, and that the solutions and responses to these problems may be best served by collaboration. However, observation suggests that the results of interdisciplinary endeavors in collaborative problem solving are underwhelming in terms of aggregate intellectual firepower. We believe that better addressing complex problems requires new ideas and methods for breaking through the barriers to “thinking together” effectively. Our intuition and experience tells us that the improvisational approach offers specific remedies to some of the problems that emerge in interdisciplinary problem solving settings. This project will explore the potential of improvisation to assist in interdisciplinary collaboration and complex problem solving.

 


PARCC Mini-Grant Awards 2010-2011 

Incentives for Collaboration in Networks: An Experimental Analysis of the Role of Performance Information
Stuart Bretschneider, Rosemary O’Leary, Tina Nabatchi 
Graduate Students:  Khaldoun Abou Assi, Yujin Choi, Tayyab Walker, Christopher Thomas

This research aims to understand group decision making dynamics that lead to, or inhibit, collaboration and attempts to measure collaborative initiatives by the willingness of groups to share resources. This year the data from the first experiment was analyzed. The results from the first experiment were organized into a conference paper which was presented at the fall APPAM Conference in Boston. This paper is currently being revised for submission to a peer reviewed public management journal. We have also completed a second experiment using a different network structure and will shortly begin analyzing the data from that experiment.


 

Spoilers of Peace (SOP): A Research Initiative on Intra-State Conflict and the Dilemmas of Peacemaking  
Miriam Elman and Bruce Dayton 
Students:   Marineth Riano-Domingo; Umar Riaz; Sabithulla Khan; Andrew Savoy-Burke; Joshua Daley

Spoilers are those partisans that resort to the use of coercive tactics in an effort to strengthen the hand of hardliners on each side of the conflict. This project investigates cases where spoilers have played a significant role in undermining peace processes and compares them to cases where potential spoilers have been marginalized or have moderated over time.

In 2010-2011, project directors met with Judith Burdin Asuni (USIP) to discuss possibilities for external funding. An application for funding was submitted to the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies in April 2011. The project brought Danny Bar-Tal (Tel Aviv University) to campus. He gave a public lecture and met individually with the SOP working group. During the academic year, the project directors met with students to direct their case study projects, which will be submitted in the summer. The directors plan to work over the summer with both student cohorts to place the revised case studies on the PARCC website. They also plan to work on a co-authored review essay of the literature on spoiling and peacemaking.


 

Memories of Violence and the Rhetoric of Commemoration at Ground Zero 
Bradford Vivian

The purpose of this research is to analyze various public debates and conflicts over how best to design memorial structures and revitalize communal space in the wake of September 11, 2001.

Research, including interviews with officials and observations of rebuilding progress were conducted at the site of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan for the purpose of studying how communities and institutions commemorate the past in order to overcome periods of violence and conflict.  In addition, textual data relating to the rebuilding efforts (such as publicity materials pertaining to construction and urban design) were analyzed. This research has resulted in a nearly complete manuscript entitled, A Democracy of Suffering: The Perpetually Unfinished Design of the National September 11 Memorial. In addition, results were presented in at two different invited lectures: I presented it as the keynote speaker for a Graduate Conference on Art and Collective Memory hosted by the Princeton University Art and Archaeology Department (April 7-8, 2011) and as a featured speaker at a symposium on “The Language of Violence” hosted by the Pennsylvania State University Communication Arts and Sciences Department (in affiliation with the Comparative Literature Department and Center for Deliberative Democracy) (April 15, 2011). The manuscript will be submitted for publication in the coming weeks to one of two venues: it will either be included in a prospective edited book based on the “Language of Violence” symposium or, if not, it will be submitted to a prominent interdisciplinary journal of memory studies.


 

The Right to Water
Farhana Sultana

In recent years, struggles over the right to water have emerged as a focal point for political mobilization in a range of locations around the world. Although formalized in the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights General Comment No. 15 of 2002, political actions have now focused on realizing this possibility in specific contexts.

The Right to Water conference took place on 29‐30 March 2010 at Syracuse University. The conference generated significant new insights into how to understand, recognize, and apply a human right to water in differing geographical contexts – and bring increased geographical sensitivity to calls for a universal right to water. Regions covered in the presentations included North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe and Australia. This research will be presented in: Sultana, Farhana and Alex Loftus (forthcoming 2011), The Right to Water: Politics, Governance and Social Struggles. Earthscan: London.  


 

Citizen Engagement & Empowerment in London: Creating Digital Neighborhoods 
Tina Nabatchi

This project examines the work being done to engage citizens in local government and governance via Internet and social media technologies.

This project examines the work being done in London, UK to engage citizens in local government and governance via the Internet and social media technologies. Interviews with a dozen project managers were completed, transcribed, and analyzed. A draft research report has been prepared and submitted for review to the London Councils and Capital Ambitions. A case study is also being developed. In addition, research from this project was used in a white paper published by the Alliance for Innovation and distributed via the International City/County Management Association (Nabatchi, Tina & Ines Mergel. 2010. Participation 2.0: Using Internet and Social Media Technologies to Promote Distributed Democracy and Create Digital Neighborhoods. In. J. H. Svara & J. Denhardt (eds.), Promoting Citizen Engagement and Community Building: A White Paper, 80-87.  Phoenix, AZ: Alliance for Innovation). The authors of this white paper are also using data from the study for an academic journal article.


 

 Exploring the Role of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on National Program Development in Sustainable Development and Biodiversity Conservation: A Comparative Study of India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh 
Medani Bhandari and Steven R. Brechin

This research explores on how the IUCN, as an international organization (IO) goes about building nature protection programs in states with different capacities. Further, it explores how conflicts around nature protection priorities and approaches are promoted or addressed by IUCN at various scales – local to international.

We explored how conflicts around nature protection priorities and approaches are promoted or addressed by an international organization (IO): the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and how nature protection programs are created and maintained in states with different capacities of South Asia. This study provides one of the few detailed scholarly studies on the IUCN as an organization as well as on its efforts conflict management for biodiversity conservation in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. In addition, this research explores the IUCN’s role in local and trans-boundary disputes and in management of biodiversity conservation. This includes evaluating IUCN as a mediator of conflicts in situations as between other NGOs, between NGOs and state agencies, and NGOs and multi-lateral organizations. We looked at how IUCN as an international actor helps to resolve the conflicts and contributes to nature protection policy formulation in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. We examine these dynamics and the country-specific results of IUCN involvement. The key preliminary findings of this study are that the IUCN’s role varies widely across these South Asian countries. That role is inversely related to the nations’ central governance capacities, especially as they relate to their individual histories and traditions of environmental policy development. We examine these dynamics and the country-specific results of IUCN involvement. Despite its utter lack of visibility to the American public, the IUCN has been instrumental in natural resource conflict management and in promoting environmental conservation globally. It has been particularly effective in strengthening the capacity of the developing world to prepare conservation strategies and other policy instruments, fostering global policy formulation, and ultimately cultivating an international environmental regime. Further, the findings also indicate that through its principle of people first, the IUCN has been advancing conservation by supporting cutting-edge conservation science, particularly on biodiversity, ecosystems, and how they relate to human wellbeing. 


 

Collaboration as a Management Strategy: A Study of the Senior Executive Service 
Rosemary O'Leary, Yujin Choi and Catherine Gerard

This research project surveys SES-level managers in the US federal government to understand whether they engage in collaboration as a management strategy, and if so, how collaboration works.  The survey asks about the types of collaborations, benefits, challenges, skills required, and outcomes.

A survey was prepared and piloted with managers in the Environmental Protection Agency. After some modification, the final survey was e-mailed to 5,000 of the approximately 7,000 SES managers in the federal government. (A particular challenge was creating the e-mail list as none exists centrally. This required extensive work by graduate students, including over 20 FOIA requests.)  The process gleaned over 305 usable responses and the survey data were analyzed using ATLAS. ti. qualitative analysis software to draw conclusions about collaboration as a management tool. The survey result was presented at the IRSPM Conference in April 2011 and the PMRA Conference in June 2011.


 

PARCC Mini-Grant Awards 2009-2010 

Collaborative Governance Online: How Municipalities are Doing More with less on SecondLife.com 
Ines Anja Mergel

This study examines the use of SecondLife by local governments for the diffusion and knowledge sharing of innovative practices.

With the help of the PARCC mini-grant interviews were conducted with municipal government professionals to get a better understanding of their collaborative networking activities across organizational and geographic boundaries. In addition, several months’ worth of participatory observations of their behavior on the virtual world Second Life were carried out. The interview data was transcribed and analyzed using the qualitative data analysis software QSR NVivo. Emerging themes in the data identified three different topics that will result in journal articles: a) Informal collaborative networking, b) challenges of Web 2.0 adoption on the local government level and c) a case study called “MuniGov2.0, A new resident requirement: Local government professionals on Second Life”.  


 Incentives for Collaboration in Networks: An Experimental Analysis of the Role of Performance Information 
Stuart Bretschneider, Rosemary O’Leary, Tina Nabatchi 
Graduate Students:  Khaldoun Abou Assi, Yujin Choi, Tayyab Walker, Christopher Thomas

This research aims to understand group decision making dynamics that lead to, or inhibit, collaboration and attempts to measure collaborative initiatives by the willingness of groups to share resources.

This year the core software to support the basic experimental model was generated.  The  first experiment was successfully conducted using 15 paid volunteers.  The data generated is currently being analyzed.  A preliminary paper was presented at the 10th Public Management Research Conference outlining the research question and design which was well received.  A panel proposal including a final paper from the project was submitted for presentation at the Fall APPAM conference in Boston.   


 

Spoilers of Peace (SOP): A Research Initiative on Intra-State Conflict and the Dilemmas of Peacemaking  
Miriam Elman and Bruce Dayton 
Students:  Laura Ankerson Nash; Ioana Emilia Matesan; Brian Victor Riedy; Michael Allen Makara

Spoilers are those partisans that resort to the use of coercive tactics in an effort to strengthen the hand of hardliners on each side of the conflict.  This project investigates cases where spoilers have played a significant role in undermining peace processes and compare them to cases where potential spoilers have been marginalized or have moderated over time.

Faculty and graduate student researchers met monthly to discuss specific readings on spoiler-related topics.  Each student in the group is in the process of writing a case study on an instance of spoiling behavior that has occurred during a specific phase of a particular peace process.  Revisions to the original case writing design resulting in a comparative case study methodology focusing on ten distinct questions of interest.  In addition, the project brought three external speakers to campus over the course of the academic year. Each visitor gave a public talk and interacted with students and faculty in the group about spoiling dynamics.  They included: Caroline Hartzell (Gettysburg College), Marie-Joëlle Zahar (University of Montreal), and Veronique Dudouet (Berghoff Institute – funding for travel paid for by INSCT).   


 

Memories of Violence and the Rhetoric of Commemoration at Ground Zero 
Bradford Vivian, Communication and Rhetorical Studies

The purpose of this research is to analyze various public debates and conflicts over how best to design memorial structures and revitalize communal space in the wake of September 11, 2001.

Research, including interviews with officials and observations of rebuilding progress were conducted at the site of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan for the purpose of studying how communities and institutions commemorate the past in order to overcome periods of violence and conflict.  In addition, textual data relating to the rebuilding efforts (such as publicity materials pertaining to construction and urban design) were analyzed.  The study’s results will be presented in the monograph-length for publication in an interdisciplinary journal that features work on the politics of community memory and historical conflict (such as Memory Studies). 


 

The Right to Water 
Farhana Sultana

In recent years, struggles over the right to water have emerged as a focal point for political mobilization in a range of locations around the world. Although formalized in the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights General Comment No. 15 of 2002, political actions have now focused on realizing this possibility in specific contexts.

The Right to Water conference took place on 29‐30 March 2010 at Syracuse University. The conference generated significant new insights into how to understand, recognize, and apply a human right to water in differing geographical contexts – and bring increased geographical sensitivity to calls for a universal right to water. Regions covered in the presentations included North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe and Australia. A post‐conference publication, in the form of an edited collection, is being pursued at this time with the key contributions to take these exemplary debates and contributions forward as a critical resource for future research and action. Several publishers have been contacted, and the process of selecting/editing material is underway. 


 

 Public Deliberation and Public Action: Assessing the Impacts of Deliberation on Policy Choices 
Tina Nabatchi  

This project examines the outcomes of “We the People – A 21st Century Town Meeting” held in 2007 in Owensboro, Kentucky. Specifically, the research aims to assess how and why action is (or is not) taken to implement deliberative outcomes.

Interviews with participants, working group members, political officials and decision makers, and other important stakeholders are in progress, and should be complete by the end of May 2010. The interviews will then be transcribed and analyzed. When this work is complete, report for AmericaSpeaks and the Public Life Foundation will be drafted as well as a journal article about deliberative democracy and policy outcomes.  


 

Citizen Engagement & Empowerment in London: Creating Digital Neighborhoods 
Tina Nabatchi

This project examines the work being done to engage citizens in local government and governance via Internet and social media technologies.

Interviews with a dozen project managers are complete and are currently being transcribed. When this work is complete, a research report will be prepared for the London Councils and Capital Ambitions. In addition, a case study and/or teaching case, as well as a journal article about participation in local government will be drafted. Research from this second project has been used to inform a white paper about the use of Internet and social media technologies to engage citizens in the work of local government, which will be published in 2010 by the Alliance for Innovation, a partnership of the International City/County Management Association.  


 

 Exploring the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN’s) National Program Development in Biodiversity Conservation: A Comparative Study of India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. 
Medani Bhandari and Steven R. Brechin

This research explores on how the IUCN, as an international organization (IO) goes about building nature protection programs in states with different capacities. Further, it explores how conflicts around nature protection priorities and approaches are promoted or addressed by IUCN at various scales – local to international.

Data collection included 134 face to face interviews (India 15; Nepal 15; Pakistan 16; Bangladesh 17; IUCN HQ 42; IUCN ARO 12; Barcelona 17= 134), and 119 email or phone interviews. The transcription process has begun and preliminary result shows that the IUCN has been playing a key role in addressing the natural resource conflicts within nation and beyond (transboundary).  The IUCN case on conflict mitigation was presented in Delhi, Dhaka, Karachi and Kathmandu. Preliminary results will also be presented in Geneva at the International conference on the role of International organization and also in Gland, Switzerland (in IUCN) in January 2011.  


 

A Comparative Study of Community-Based Agreements (CBAs) in Four Cities 
John Burdick and Steve Parks 
Graduate Student:  Jesse Harasta

This comparative study investigates factors leading to the success or failure of community based agreements in three cities in the United States. 

Primary data was gathered on the political processes through which community organizations in two cities – New Haven and Philadelphia – responded to the expansion of two private universities (Yale and U Penn, respectively).  Relevant document were reviewed, phone interviews conducted, and in the case of New Haven, six days of on-site intensive interviewing were carried out. The results are currently being analyzed, in order to be compared with the political process of University expansion in Syracuse.  The research design and preliminary results were presented in April at a Social Movements and Religion conference at Boston University and preliminary findings were presented at the PARCC Conversations in Conflict Studies meeting in April.  A final report in June, along with the data gathered on the Near West Side of Syracuse, will serve as the basis of a more extensive research proposal to be “shopped” in 2010-2011.  


 

Collaboration as a Management Strategy: A Study of the Senior Executive Service 
Rosemary O'Leary, Yujin Choi and Catherine Gerard

This research project surveys all SES-level managers in the US federal government to understand whether they engage in collaboration as a management strategy, and if so, how collaboration works.  The survey asks about the types of collaborations, benefits, challenges, skills required, and outcomes.

A survey was prepared and piloted with managers in the Environmental Protection Agency.  After some modification, the final survey was e-mailed to 5,000 of the approximately 7,000 SES managers in the federal government.  (A particular challenge was creating the e-mail list as none exists centrally.  This required extensive work by graduate students, including over 20 FOIA requests.)  The process gleaned over 200 responses that will be analyzed in the Fall using basic qualitative software to draw conclusions about collaboration as a management strategy and using Profiler Plus to determine the leadership style of this group as compared with the TNGO leadership group being studied by the Moynihan Institute.  Based on initial review, a proposal to present the results at the ISPMR Conference in May 2011 has been submitted.  


 

Engaging Employees, Improving Performance:  The Future of Labor Engagement in the Federal Government
Christina Sickles Merchant  

This research inquires into the history of labor-management collaborative efforts in the Federal service, with particular focus on the impact of the Clinton and Bush years and the opportunity before the Obama administration, in order to uncover key linkages between engagement of federal employees through their unions and improved agency performance.

Collaboration between a group of three universities and six major federal sector unions was fostered resulting in a working session (or “retreat”) of approximately 40 federal labor representatives, with substantial experience in “partnership” efforts during the Clinton administration who met in September 2009 to identify how to make collaboration and/or workforce engagement effective to improve the Federal service.  Maxwell students, staff and professors generously provided the major efforts of meeting planning and coordination and session facilitation. The resulting recommendations contained in a “best practices” white paper, published in early February 2010 were adopted substantially in full by the new joint National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations and disseminated widely to all federal agencies and unions in late February 2010. The three universities then sponsored a half-day “summit” in March 2010, hosted by the Teamsters, where top level union leaders, representatives of the Senior Executive Association, Federal Managers Association, key agency heads, congressional representatives, and key administration officials discussed the white paper and recommendations with the facilitation of the three professors, John Berry, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, and Jeffrey Zients, Chief Performance Officer for the Office of Management and Budget.