Public Policy and Administration Faculty Publications

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  • Publication
    Sports, Transgender Rights and the Bodily Politics of Cisgender Supremacy
    (2021-01-01) Sharrow, Elizabeth A.
    Between 2020 and 2021, one hundred and ten bills in state legislatures across the United States suggested banning the participation of transgender athletes on sports teams for girls and women. As of July 2021, ten such bills have become state law. This paper tracks the political shift towards targeting transgender athletes. Conservative political interests now seek laws that suture biological determinist arguments to civil rights of bodies. Although narrow binary definitions of sex have long operated in the background as a means for policy implementation under Title IX, Republican lawmakers now aim to reframe sex non-discrimination policies as means of gendered exclusion. The content of proposals reveal the centrality of ideas about bodily immutability, and body politics more generally, in shaping the future of American gender politics. My analysis of bills from 2021 argues that legislative proposals advance a logic of “cisgender supremacy” inhering in political claims about normatively gendered bodies. Political institutions are another site for advancing, enshrining, and normalizing cis-supremacist gender orders, explicitly joining cause with medical authorities as arbiters of gender normativity. Characteristics of bodies and their alleged role in evidencing sex itself have fueled the tactics of anti-transgender activists on the political Right. However, the target of their aims is not mere policy change but a state-sanctioned return to a narrowly cis- and heteropatriarchal gender order.
  • Publication
    Pilot project purgatory? Assessing automated vehicle pilot projects in U.S. cities
    (2021-01-01) McAslan, Devon; Arevalo, Farah Najar; King, David A.; Miller, Thaddeus R.
    Pilot projects have emerged in cities globally as a way to experiment with the utilization of a suite of smart mobility and emerging transportation technologies. Automated vehicles (AVs) have become central tools for such projects as city governments and industry explore the use and impact of this emerging technology. This paper presents a large-scale assessment of AV pilot projects in U.S. cities to understand how pilot projects are being used to examine the risks and benefits of AVs, how cities integrate these potentially transformative technologies into conventional policy and planning, and how and what they are learning about this technology and its future opportunities and risks. Through interviews with planning practitioners and document analysis, we demonstrate that the approaches cities take for AVs differ significantly, and often lack coherent policy goals. Key findings from this research include: (1) a disconnect between the goals of the pilot projects and a city’s transportation goals; (2) cities generally lack a long-term vision for how AVs fit into future mobility systems and how they might help address transportation goals; (3) an overemphasis of non-transportation benefits of AV pilots projects; (4) AV pilot projects exhibit a lack of policy learning and iteration; and (5) cities are not leveraging pilot projects for public benefits. Overall, urban and transportation planners and decision makers show a clear interest to discover how AVs can be used to address transportation challenges in their communities, but our research shows that while AV pilot projects purport to do this, while having numerous outcomes, they have limited value for informing transportation policy and planning questions around AVs. We also find that AV pilot projects, as presently structured, may constrain planners’ ability to re-think transportation systems within the context of rapid technological change.
  • Publication
    The Eco-Techno Spectrum: Exploring Knowledge Systems' Challenges in Green Infrastructure Management
    (2021-01-01) Matsler, A. Marissa; Miller, Thaddeus R.; Groffman, Peter M.
    Infrastructure crises are not only technical problems for engineers to solve—they also present social, ecological, financial, and political challenges. Addressing infrastructure problems thus requires a robust planning process that includes examination of the social and ecological systems supporting infrastructure, alongside technical systems. An integrative Social, Ecological, and Technological Systems (SETS) analysis of infrastructure solutions can complement the planning process by revealing potential trade-offs that are often overlooked in standard procedures. We explore the interconnected SETS of the infrastructure problem in the US through comparative case studies of green infrastructure (GI) development in Portland and Baltimore. Currently a popular infrastructure solution to a wide variety of urban ills, GI is the use and mimicry of ecological components (e.g., plants) to perform municipal services (e.g., stormwater management). We develop the ecological-technological spectrum—or ‘eco-techno spectrum’—as a framing tool to bridge all three SETS dimensions. The eco-techno spectrum becomes a platform to explore the institutional knowledge system dynamics of GI development where social dimensions are organized across ecological and technological aspects of GI, exposing how governance differs across specific forms of ecological and technological hybridity. In this study, we highlight the knowledge system challenges of urban planning institutions as a key consideration in the realization of innovative infrastructure crisis ‘fixes.’ Disconnected definition and measurement of GI emerge as two distinct challenges across the knowledge systems examined. By revealing and discussing these challenges, we can begin to recognize—and better plan for—gaps in municipal planning knowledge systems, promoting decisions that address the roots of infrastructure crises rather than treating only their symptoms.