My research program has two sometimes intersecting foci. The first is a lasting interest in the realm of activity that is neither market nor state. I research the politics of nonprofit organizations in the policy process (see my 2017 Policy Studies Journal article). What intrigues me is the work of people and organizations who work to fulfill a social mission. I am particularly interested in utilizing institutional analysis to understand the provision of goods and services by nongovernmental actors (see Bushouse 2011 and Bushouse et al. 2016). Currently I am exploring the role of foundations as actors in the policy process, an understudied but important policy player.
A second lasting area of my research focuses on the most vulnerable in our society: children. In Universal Preschool: Policy Change, Stability, and the Pew Charitable Trusts (SUNY Press 2009; awarded the Virginia Hodgkinson Research Prize) I explain why state governments invested in pre-kindergarten education. This research focus took me to New Zealand to understand why it chose a similar policy (Bushouse 2008, 2009). Currently I am working on two projects including a study (with Doug Imig) analyzing social movements and policies for children in the U.S. from 1900 - 2015. Utilizing New York Times coverage, Congressional Hearings, and historical documents, we analyze policy processes for child labor, child health and nutrition, child abuse, and early education. The second project focuses on 37 state pre-k programs utilizing an original dataset of spending and administration spanning three time periods (see Bushouse and Imig and McSweeney and Bushouse).
Area of Study:
- Public policy and organizations
- Nonprofit organizations
- Political Science