Publications, Schar School of Policy and Government

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This collection contains preprints and postprints of published work from the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government


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    Police Departments and Crime Status in Virginia Communities: An Assessment from the Citizen Perspective
    (2018-02) Manheim, Frank T.; Bullock, Tim; Scott, Jahtanya S.
    This report presents the first extensive assessment of crime status and police performance for communities in Virginia. Twenty-four counties and 29 cities were studied for the period 2015 and 2016. Performance was rated from a citizen, rather than a professional law enforcement perspective. Special attention was given to African American communities. The assessment utilized publicly accessible data sources including demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, police department web sites, FBI UCR crime statistics, media reports, and other data. We conclude that community history and characteristics, along with police performance, are major influences on local crime rates. This is a preliminary report, pending transfer of data to relational database format, which is expected to facilitate more extensive data comparisons.
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    Proper Methodology and Methods of Collecting and Analyzing Slavery Data: An Examination of the Global Slavery Index
    (Cogitatio, 2014-11-17) Guth, Andrew; Anderson, Robyn; Kinnard, Kasey; Tran, Hang
    The Global Slavery Index aims to, among other objectives, recognize the forms, size, and scope of slavery worldwide as well as the strengths and weaknesses of individual countries. An analysis of the Index’s methods exposes significant and critical weaknesses and raises questions into its replicability and validity. The Index may prove more valuable in the future if proper methods are implemented, but the longer improper methods are used the more damage is done to the public policy debate on slavery by advancing data and policy that is not based on sound methodology. To implement proper methods, a committee of sophisticated methodologists needs to develop measurement tools and constantly analyze and refine these methods over the years as data is collected.
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    Migration Studies at a Crossroads: A Critique of Immigration Regime Typologies
    (Oxford University Press, 2014-08-22) Boucher, Anna; Gest, Justin
    International migration and its scientific examination have reached a crossroads. Today, migrants are pursuing opportunities in new destination societies with growing economies and different forms of governance from democratic states—transformations that complicate established understandings about national immigration models and their evolution. In light of these transformations, this article reviews the field of migration studies and its sketching of immigration patterns in the contemporary period. It critically examines existing systems of classification in a way that creates space for revised approaches. In doing so, this article identifies three key limitations with existing approaches. First, existing classifications largely focus on Western states, and especially traditional destination countries. Second, existing classifications are weakened by unclear or poorly defined indicators. Finally, even those classifications with improved indicators are hindered by approaches that examine admission and citizenship/settlement regimes independently of each other, ignoring a possible migration integration policy nexus.
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    Measuring and Comparing Immigration, Asylum and Naturalization Policies Across Countries: Challenges and Solutions
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-05-12) Gest, Justin; Boucher, Anna; Challen, Suzanna; Burgoon, Brian; Thielemann, Eiko; Beine, Michel; McGovern, Patrick; Crock, Mary; Rapoport, Hillel; Hiscox, Michael
    Academics and policy makers require a better understanding of the variation of policies that regulate global migration, asylum and immigrant naturalization. At present, however, there is no comprehensive cross-national, time-series database of such policies, rendering the analysis of policy trends across and within these areas difficult at best. Several new immigration databases and indices have been developed in recent years. However, there is no consensus on how best to conceptualize, measure and aggregate migration policy indicators to allow for meaningful comparisons through time and across space. This article discusses these methodological challenges and introduces practical solutions that involve historical, multi-dimensional, disaggregated and transparent conceptualizing, measuring and compiling of cross-national immigration policies. Such an approach informs the International Migration Policy and Law Analysis (IMPALA) database.
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    Reluctant Pluralists: European Muslims and Essentialist Identities
    (Routledge, 2014-07-28) Gest, Justin
    An emerging consensus amongst scholars of Muslim political and social identity suggests that Western Muslims live out an anti-essentialist critique of identity construction. Considering this view, this paper examines a cross-national comparison of British Bangladeshis in London and Spanish Moroccans in Madrid that solicits the perceptions of working class Muslim men. While the results indeed re-affirm respondents’ concomitant relationships to a variety of identity paradigms, interview content demonstrates that subjects’ multiplicity is complicated by their desire to meet—not reject—the essentialist standards of belonging to the identity paradigms discursively available to them. Rather than defiantly cherry-picking preferred characteristics of religion, ethnicity and nationality, individuals’ responses suggest that they are trying to fulfill perceived standards of authenticity. Such a contention helps explain the prevalence of Western Muslims’ expressed and well-documented “identity crisis,” suggests the enduring relevance of identity essentialisms, and more broadly, complicates post-modern conceptions of identity formation.
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    Study on Universal Postal Service and the Postal Monopoly
    (George Mason University, 2008-11) Fritschler, A. Lee; Pommerening, Christine; Campbell, James I.; Cohen, Robert H.; Dieke, Alex Kalevi; John, Richard R.; Panzar, John C.; Wolak, Frank A.
    The following appendices have been prepared by a team of subject-matter experts at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University (GMU) under a contract with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Section 702 of the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act (PAEA) required the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to submit a report to the President and Congress by late 2008 on universal postal service and the postal monopoly in the United States. GMU responded to a Request for Proposals published by the PRC on November 29, 2007 (PRC-07-01) with a proposal submitted on December 21, 2007. The contract to perform the work was issued February 11, 2008. The final deliverables were submitted to the PRC in November 2008. The study consists of analyses of legal rules and statutes, historical trajectories, international experiences, economic and econometric models, public needs and expectations, and policy options regarding the postal universal service, universal service obligations, and letter and mailbox monopolies. The appendices reflect this scope: A. Preface B. Universal Service Obligation: A Review of the History and Development of the Laws Relating to the Provision of Universal Postal Service C. Postal Monopoly Laws: The History and Development of the Monopoly on the Delivery of Mail and the Monopoly on Access to Mailboxes D. History of Universal Service and the Postal Monopoly E. Universal Service and Postal Monopoly in Other Countries F. The Economics of the Universal Service Obligation and the Postal Monopoly G. Public Needs and Expectations H. Evaluation of Policy Options The lead authors of each appendix are identified on the respective title page. However, substantial comments and contributions to each have been made by all team members. The different parts are building on a shared understanding of core elements of postal policy in the U.S., differences in opinion on some issues notwithstanding. Thus, we consider this a joint study rather than a collection of separate analyses.
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    Decision Aiding Research Needs
    (2008) Brown, Rex
    Much descriptive and normative decision research has been carried out, but its impact on unaided decision making has been limited. It has been driven more by scientific interest than practical need. If researchers and their sponsors were to give high priority to useful decision aiding it would significantly change the mix of research projects. The balance would shift from a preponderance of definitive, discipline-oriented projects, toward interdisciplinary and seeding projects. An illustrative agenda of hitherto-neglected practice-driven projects is proposed with suggestions on how the rebalancing might be made to happen.
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