Monday, November 29, 2010

my new post

American Political Science Association's Section for Public Administration

The purpose of this section is to provide an arena in which individuals interested in public administration may exchange ideas, enhance their professional development, and act to ensure that activities of the APSA encompass their interests.

Website: www.h-net.msu.edu/~pubadmin

Too Nice to Land a Job

You are reading a letter of recommendation that praises a candidate for a faculty job as being "caring," "sensitive," "compassionate," or a "supportive colleague." Whom do you picture?

New research suggests that to faculty search committees, such words probably conjure up a woman -- and probably a candidate who doesn't get the job. The scholars who conducted the research believe they may have pinpointed one reason for the "leaky pipeline" that frustrates so many academics, who see that the percentage of women in senior faculty jobs continues to lag the percentage of those in junior positions and that the share in junior positions continues to lag those earning doctorates.

The research is based on a content analysis of 624 letters of recommendation submitted on behalf of 194 applicants for eight junior faculty positions at an unidentified research university. The study found patterns in which different kinds of words were more likely to be used to describe women, while other words were more often used to describe men.

In theory, both sets of words were positive. There's nothing wrong, one might hope, with being a supportive colleague. But the researchers then took the letters, removed identifying information, and controlled for such factors as number of papers published, number of honors received, and various other objective criteria. When search committee members were asked to compare candidates of comparable objective criteria, those whose letters praised them for "communal" or "emotive" qualities (those associated with women) were ranked lower than others.

The research found no difference between men and women as letter writers -- both are more likely to describe women with communal words than they are to describe men that way. And the bias appears to act against male candidates who are praised for traits people associate with women. But a much higher proportion of female candidates -- regardless of their overall qualifications -- are praised with these words that appear to hurt their chances of being hired for faculty jobs.

"When you use communal terminology, it is linking people to a feminine type, and they are not seen as credible and they don't get hired," said Michelle Hebl, a professor of psychology at Rice University and one of the authors of the study, along with Randi Martin, also a psychology professor at Rice, and Juan Madera, assistant professor at the University of Houston. "It's not just men doing this to women, and it's not just women being hurt, but it hurts women more."

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. The National Institutes of Health is now supporting a follow-up study looking at letters of recommendation for medical faculty positions.

In the scholars' analysis of the words that appeared in the letters of recommendation, they found clear patterns of word use for women's and men's letters. Women were more likely to be described with words such as those cited above, as well as "nurturing," "kind," "agreeable" and "warm." Men, in contrast, were much more likely to be described in words classified as "agentive" -- words such as "assertive," "confident," "aggressive," "ambitious," "independent" and "daring."

What the analysis showed is that letter writers didn't need to use words like "feminine" to create female stereotypes -- and that they did so, time and again, with women who had the same intellectual achievements as their male counterparts.

Hebl said that women in academe face a dilemma. Hiring committees appear to devalue women who are identified as people who would be nice or supportive colleagues. But women who aren't seen as nice and supportive "get called bitches," she said. So the solution for women is "to have both sets of qualities" -- the communal and the agentive. But when it comes to getting letters of recommendation, she said, women need to be sure their letter writers focus on the agentive qualities.

"Communal might be nice, but agentive is what's really important," she said. Women perceived as too communal "are seen as being pushovers, not somebody to run a program."

Asked if she believes she would find similar results in faculty searches at liberal arts colleges or community colleges -- institutions that tend to value teaching more than research and that place an emphasis on close ties to students -- Hebl said she guessed there would be only a slight variation. She said that even in stereotypically female fields like nursing, research has shown that many place more of a value on qualities associated with men than those associated with women (even if they also want the latter qualities).

Hebl said that the implications of the research for those writing letters of recommendation are clear: stay away from communal words, whether writing on behalf of men or women.

Given how subtle the issue may seem, and that letter writers may not be conscious of what they are doing, Hebl urged those seeking letters of recommendation to not be afraid of talking about the issue with their letter writers. "Given them a copy of the research," she said.

— Scott Jaschik

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Local Governments Mentioned in the Mexican Constitution

Mexican Constitution: Article 117. The States may not in any case:
2. Make any alliance, treaty or coalition with another State, or with foreign powers.
3. Deleted.
4. Coin money, issue paper money, stamps, or stamped paper.
5. Levy duty on persons or goods passing through their territory.
6. Prohibit or levy duty upon, directly or indirectly, the entrance into or exit from their territory of any domestic or foreign goods.
7. Tax the circulation of domestic or foreign goods by imposts or duties, the exemption of which is made by local customhouses, requiring inspection or registration of packages or documentation to accompany the goods.
8. Enact or maintain in force fiscal laws or provisions that relate to differences in duties or requirements by reason of the origin of domestic or foreign goods, whether this difference is established because of similar production in the locality or because, among such similar production there is a different place or origin.
9. Issue bonds of public debt payable in foreign currency or outside the national territory; contract loans directly or indirectly with the Governments of other nations, or contract obligations in favor of foreign companies or individuals, when the bonds or securities are payable to bearer or are transmissible by endorsement.
10. States and municipalities may not negotiate loans except for the construction of works intended to produce directly an increase in their revenues.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Sobriety of Class Warfare--in the US




But the double-page centerfold that he prepared for Thanksgiving Day 1860 is about as subtle as the slash of a cavalry saber. “THANKSGIVING DAY, 1860 – THE TWO GREAT CLASSES OF SOCIETY,” Homer titled the engraving. The spread is divided into two halves: on the left, “Those who have more Dinners than appetite,” and on the right, “Those who have more appetite than Dinners.”

There is precious little celebration in Homer’s tribute to the national holiday, let alone flattery of well-heeled Harper’s readers. His portrayal of the rich is eviscerating. On the left-hand page, two overdressed, supercilious socialites peer through opera glasses from an ornate theater box. Above them, a self-absorbed young woman reads a magazine as a maid fusses over her hair. In the adjoining frame – least appealing of all – a lounging wastrel smokes his pipe by the fire, thrusting his fashionably pantalooned crotch into the viewer’s face. Lest anyone miss the point, the words “HARPER’S WEEKLY” are visible on the periodical at his feet.


Published in NYTimes 11/24/2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Innovations in local public finances in Latin America


This research will study municipal capacity in order to find out
whether further autonomy leads to cities engaging in more or less
economic development activities.

What explains the degree of fiscal autonomy a municipality might have?
What contributes to the greater degrees of fiscal autonomy for a
municipality? Two what extent does fiscal autonomy influence the
economic development of a municipality? What factors generate a
greater or lesser autonomy for a municipality?

To what extent do cities that have greater fiscal autonomy have in the
implementation of economic development programs?

Ho: If a municipality has greater degree of fiscal autonomy than the
city will be more likely to engage in economic development activities.

Economic development programs is dependent variable
Autonomy is key independent variable

The variation among the cities to engage in entrepreneurial
finances?bonds, outside aid, trust funds, increase taxes or revenue
source?will be evaluated.

Four communities are composite measures for autonomy.
(This will be evaluated in a likart scale of 1-3, measured as high,
medium to low.)

Revenue Generation
Does the municipality have a high or low ability to increase taxes?
Does the municipality have a high or low ability to set tax rates?
Does the municipality have a high or low capacity to issue bonds?
Does the municipality have a high or low capacity to discretion to use
trust funds?
Does the municipality have a high or low ability to role over funds?


Methodology
Comparison of the autonomy and the discretion a municipality has
between the intergovernmental frameworks of Mexico and Argentina

Therefore the next would be a comparison between two cities in
Argentina and two cities in Mexico efforts at entrepreneurial finances.


What are the implications for municipalities if they are dependent on
a specific funding mechanism? What if a municipality is dependent on
one fund over another? What are the implications to the city?s budget
and development programs?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

APA to Launch Urban Planning-focused ECPA Initiative


APA to Launch Urban Planning-focused ECPA Initiative
http://ecpaplanning.org/

The American Planning Association (APA) is launching the newest initiative Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 4 – 5, 2010. The path to sustainable cities – those that are more energy efficient, adaptive to climate change, economically diverse, and accessible to its citizens – results only if there is a cultural and institutional base of good urban and regional planning. Through the ECPA initiative and strategic partners, APA seeks to build capacity for urban planning in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to assist ECPA nations fulfill their commitment to promote a sustainable future.

The November 2010 kick-off event in Brazil will draw a diverse set of actors from the Americas to begin forming local, national, and transnational partnerships and networks that will enhance the understanding and use of new technologies and planning tools. The deliberate mix of participants from government, planning practitioners, non-governmental organizations, academics/institutes, and foundations is aimed at forming and sustaining long-time professional partnerships that will result in technical and educational exchanges, capacity building for urban officials.

The specific goals of this ECPA initiative are to:

Build urban capacity for Latin America’s urban officials

Provide technical and educational support

Identify useful and transferable programs and projects and engage officials with effective knowledge-sharing strategies

Support and develop civil society and planning institutions – governmental, non-governmental, and academic)


Visit their Web site for more information: http://ecpaplanning.org/

Monday, November 01, 2010

Municipal Diplomacy

At the same time as U.S. foreign aid budgets are dwindling, local public officials are seeking policy solutions globally to fix problems at home. These exchanges are encouraging many subnational leaders to engage in foreign policy efforts. Either through sister city programs, connecting with diaspora communities with their home countries or providing aid and disaster relief to war-torn, climate-affected, in- need areas, there is much work that can be done by the sub-national leaders in the United State.

Somewhat dated, Michael Shuman in his book Going Local sites that in the 1980, many U.S. State, county, and local governments involved in foreign policy activities:
 More than 900 localities passed resolutions supporting a “freeze” in the arms race:
 197 demanded a halt to nuclear testing;
 120 refused to cooperate with the Federal Energy Management Activity’s nuclear war exercises;
 126 plus 27 states, divested from ding business in South Africa;
 86 formed linkages with Nicaragua and , along with grassroots activities, provided more humanitarian assistance to Nicaraguan people than all the military aid Congress voted for the contras;
 80, along with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, demanded cuts in the Pentagon’s budget;
 73 formed sister-city relationships with Soviet cites;
 29 provided sanctuary for Guatemalan and Salvadoran refugees;
 20 passed stratospheric protection ordinances phasing out ozone-depleting chemicals;
 and at least 10 established founded offices of international affairs-essentially municipal state departments.

Today’s foreign policy needs show event more need for engagement. With Secretary Clinton’s efforts at 21st century states craft, which includes building partnership across public, private and non-for-profit groups, State and Regional actors may help to promote key areas of diplomacy. State’s priorities including governance, security, intellectual property rights, economic innovation, job creation, and health are also high proprieties of State and Local officials in the U.S. Partnerships can help facilitate and assist additional subnational actors how to engage these topics and many more.

Metropolitan Cooperation and Administration in Mexico

The Role of Metropolitan Cooperation and Administrative Capacity in Subnational Debt Dynamics: Evidence From Municipal Mexico Authors ...