Bipartisanship and Idea Brokerage in Education Policy Networks

30 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2016

See all articles by Sarah Reckhow

Sarah Reckhow

Michigan State University

Sarah Galey

Michigan State University

Joseph Ferrare

University of Kentucky

Date Written: June 21, 2016

Abstract

We show how Democrats and Republicans converged to support similar policies on a major educational issue: teacher effectiveness. Our study demonstrates the importance of idea brokers — actors that bridge structural gaps between members of different parties and promote shared policy ideas. Our study is based on analysis of testimony from 197 congressional hearings from 2000 to 2014. We use Discourse Network Analysis to examine network ties based on shared policy preferences expressed in hearings, which can be used to create networks linking policy actors and stated policy preferences. We use this network data to examine changes in the education policy subsystem during a policy window between the Bush administration and the Obama administration. We identify idea brokers based on network attributes, including: 1) actors that contributed to the policy debate, and 2) actors that bridged structural gaps between Democrats and Republicans. We then estimate QAP regression models to examine whether ties to idea brokers are associated with future policy preferences among political actors.

Keywords: policy networks, education policy, brokers

Suggested Citation

Reckhow, Sarah and Galey, Sarah and Ferrare, Joseph, Bipartisanship and Idea Brokerage in Education Policy Networks (June 21, 2016). Political Networks Workshops & Conference 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2798935 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2798935

Sarah Reckhow (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

Sarah Galey

Michigan State University ( email )

Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
United States

Joseph Ferrare

University of Kentucky ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

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