A paper that assistant professor of political science Annika Hagley co-authored with Joshua J. Dyck has been chosen as the lead article in the April 2012 edition of Politics and Policy.
In the article, titled “Political Geography and Ballot Initiative Behavior: Spatial Proximity and Voting on California’s Proposition 83,” Hagley and Dyck test a spatial rationality hypothesis of voting for Proposition 83. A 2006 California ballot initiative, Proposition 83 set residency restrictions upon felons convicted of sexual offenses to 2,000 feet beyond the boundaries of parks and schools.
“With a Geographic Information System (GIS), we apply buffers to visually demonstrate the habitable/inhabitable areas the law imposes upon registered sex offenders,” said Hagley. “Using precinct level data, we test the hypothesis that support for the initiative is negatively related to the amount of habitable land within a precinct while showing that, with appropriate controls, residents who vote ‘Yes’ will live in more geographically dispersed areas.”
Voters motivated by a NIMBY perspective will be supporting a law which potentially moves sex offenders away from parks and school but more proximate to them residentially. The paper contributes both to the literature regarding rational voting and cue taking in initiative elections as well as to the growing field which highlights the importance of considering spatial phenomenon in the study of politics and policy making.
“It’s a pretty exciting publication for me because GIS is something I have been passionate about working with since graduate school and something I hope to pass on to interested students at Monmouth,” said Hagley. “Also, I just taught Political Geography this past semester and incorporated this paper in a class section, so it will be great for the students who saw it in it’s rougher form to see it in a peer reviewed journal.”