University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Nongovernmental Actors in Politics and Policy

Political processes around the globe are increasingly decentralized. Transnational networks (both criminal and civil), social movements, NGOs, private firms, individuals using social media, scientists and expert groups all engage the state and one another, constraining and enabling political behavior and at times substituting for the state as providers of governance.

Faculty in this cluster share an interest in the influence of these non-state actors on all levels of domestic and global policy processes: issue construction, policy framing and implementation, effectiveness, and legitimacy. Whether studying  the impact of lobbying and political finance on policymakers, the input of experts on environmental and urban planning debates, or the role of advocacy networks in shaping or constraining global policy options, we take seriously the role of the "sovereignty-free" layer in local, national and global politics.


My main areas of specialization are social movements and protest politics, comparative and transnational feminisms, and Latin American politics and cultures, with a focus on Brazil and the Southern Cone. My recent (co-edited) books include Translocalities/Translocalidades: Feminist Politics of Translation in the Latin/a Américas; and Beyond Civil Society Agenda:...Read more

My research program has has a lasting focus on the realm of activity that is neither market nor state.  I research both the politics of nonprofit organizations in the policy process (see forthcoming article in Policy Studies Journal) and also the roles nonprofit perform in delivery of services that...Read more

Charli Carpenter

My teaching and research interests include national security ethics, the laws of war, transnational advocacy networks, gender and political violence, war crimes, comparative genocide studies, humanitarian affairs and the role of information technology in human security. I have a particular interest in the gap between intentions and outcomes among...Read more

Barbara Cruikshank

My research interests include modern and contemporary social and political theory, the history of reform, social movements, the politics of sex and sexuality, and relations of power and knowledge.Read more

My research interests include international relations, international relations theory, international political economy, international environmental politics, international institutions and global governance.

Current projects include: Book projects on The Evolution of Multilateral Environmental Governance, and on Improving Global Environmental Governance. I am currently a member of the editorial boards of Journal...Read more
Ray La Raja

My research interests include political parties, interest groups, elections, campaign finance, political participation, American state politics, public policy and political reform. I am co-founder and former co-editor of The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics and I am a member of the Academic Advisory Board of...Read more

My major areas of scholarly interest are social policy, voting rights policy, economic inequality, and political behavior. I have published a book on the development of federal education policy - An Education in Politics: The Origin and Development of No Child Left Behind - with Cornell University Press. My...Read more

Kevin Young

My research focuses on issues germane to international political economy, in particular the politics of financial regulation, transnational policy networks, and the role of private business in shaping global governance. I am particularly interested in analyzing the ways in which regulatory policy is affected by networks of elites and...Read more