2017 Workshop CFP


Interdisciplinary Workshop invitation: PoliInformatics of Lawmaking

August 29-30, 2017  Bainbridge Island WA (a short boat trip from Seattle)

Application deadline: January 31, 2017

PoliInformatics refers to innovative uses of government data to address important questions of politics and public policy. We are excited to announce our second interdisciplinary workshop on the PoliInformatics of Lawmaking in late summer 2017. The workshop is primarily an opportunity for researchers from diverse disciplines to share research ideas and methods, possibly leading to future collaborations. Social scientists, information and computer scientists, and journalists are encouraged to apply.

We invite proposals for innovative research papers, datasets, visualizations or applications that exploit government data sources to advance basic research, transparency and public understanding of lawmaking, defined to include legislating, regulating and jurisprudence at the subnational, national and international levels. We especially encourage proposals from interdisciplinary teams.

[see below for additional project information]

Participants will be notified of acceptance by February 15. Travel and accommodations will be covered for at least one participant for each accepted proposal.



Additional Project Information

Because a central goal of the workshop is to promote interdisciplinary conversations and collaborations, we are interested in proposals that test the limits of research in a field rather than projects that draw on well-tilled data and commonly used methods.

We will be creating a list-serve to allow participants to share what they are doing, pose questions, and receive feedback during the months leading up to the workshop. [If you are interested in participating but do not anticipate proposing a project, please apply and let us know more about your research interests (using the abstract form on the application).]

For example, political scientists studying lawmaking at the US federal level have tended to focus on floor voting behavior in Congress or the progress of bills. More recent research is expanding the scope of legislative research to include such things as floor speeches, congressional press releases and bill substance.

However, a quick look at the figure below reveals that current research is only addressing the tip of the iceberg of data available for investigating lawmaking at the U.S. federal level.  Moreover, studies linking different stages of lawmaking are exceptionally rare despite the fact that the data needed to do so are publicly available. A directory of U.S. federal data resources is available at data.gov. We assume that the same is true for many other governments and levels of government.

There are also valuable opportunities for promoting transparency and public understanding in these data. Legislative Explorer (see below) is one example application that is a product of the PoliInformatics research initiative.




For more information, please visit poliinformatics.org or contact us at poli.informatics@gmail.com


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