Friday, December 14, 2007

Combining Research and Tourism

You know how everyone says that Hawaii is a relaxing paradise? Well, it is. We hung out at the beach with the kids all week. We ate and drank. I did a lot of snorkeling. It was all quite nice. Okay, it rained quite a bit, but it was always in the 70s or 80s, and the water never dropped below 75˚F, so the rain wasn't much of a deterrent.

Now, a good political scientist should be able to figure out a way to visit tropical islands and do research at the same time. Jerry Wright at Indiana has been collecting roll call data from state capitols, but he is stymied with Hawaii because they almost never have a contested roll call vote there. The legislature just agrees on everything. Now, things are nice there, but they can't be that nice. Decisions are being made somewhere else. But where? This sounds like a good area to investigate.

My co-conspirator Greg has some other ideas about bringing Samoa, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands into the purview of state politics. It might also be nice to compare these governments with those of independent nations like Jamaica. I wonder if NSF is willing to fund this sort of research.

No comments: