How and why does the policy differ between states/localities?

This paper offers you the opportunity, in the context of a scholarly political science paper, to explore in depth the process of public policy adoption on a public policy topic of your choosing currently under debate at the state/local government level. The Substance First choose a policy arena that interests you (say, environmental policy, education policy, immigration policy, health policy, budget and tax policy, drug policy, criminal justice policy, etc.). Next choose a public policy within that policy arena that has been proposed or enacted in a number of states (see Table 1 for some non-inclusive examples). You will examine how that policy differs between states or localities and you will start to set up a model that will look to explain why those differences occur. There are many ways to conduct such a study, from a case study of two similar states or cities (immigration policy in Arizona versus immigration policy in New Mexico; education policy in Baltimore versus education policy in Washington, DC) to differences in the enactment of a policy across several states or cities (which states are passing health insurance exchanges like this vs. exchanges that look like that; which towns are raising vs. lowering taxes in Virginia), to regional groupings (what do laws pertaining to gun control look like in the South vs. in the Northeast; how does local school funding differ in the West vs. in the Midwest). Your central question is: How and why does the policy differ between states/localities? Table 1. Examples of State and Local Public Policy Arenas and Public Policies Health policy ACA Medicaid expansion; abortion laws; Immigration policy DREAM Acts; Driver’s License laws; e-Verify Education policy Common core; different funding mechanisms for k-12 education Tax policy Different tax structures; TELs; balanced budget laws Criminal justice policy Mandatory minimum sentencing; marijuana legalization/decriminalization The Format A published quantitative or qualitative scholarly article in the subfield of American politics has the following standard format (page lengths may vary depending on subject matter and the requirements of the journal of submission). Time and class size restricts our ability to analyze data in this class. Your paper must contain each of the other elements (in bold ) of a scholarly political science paper. As such, your finished paper should set up an analysis of data about state and/or local public policy adoption. Introduction (~pages 1-2) ● Why is this topic important? Why is this paper important? Present a brief rundown of the topic for the general reader. Literature Review (~pages 3-9) ● What have other scholars written on this topic? Introduce the important theories that have been used to study this topic. Theory (~pages 10-12) ● What are the main hypotheses you would test? How do they fit with the existing theories other scholars have advanced? Research Design (~pages 13-14) ● What data would you use to test these hypotheses? How could it be collected (surveys, case studies, existing databases)? How would you operationalize your hypotheses using the data you would collect? Sources (~pages 14-15) ● Please use Chicago Manual of Style in-text citation style in the text of the paper, and its reference style for the endnotes. I am frequently asked: “How many sources do I need?” A good rule of thumb is that the number of pages of a paper is about equal to the number of sources. Note that in a true scholarly paper, you would also have Analysis and Conclusions/Discussion sections, but given the limited time during the semester we will not be actually be collecting data and setting up tests of our hypotheses so these sections are excluded from your paper. The Evaluation

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