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New Resource: Voting Rights for Whom? Examining the Effects of the Voting Rights Act on Latino Political Incorporation

By The Center for Civic Literacy on January 8, 2016 in Civic Blog
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New study published in the American Journal of Political Science from SPEA Faculty, Amanda Rutherford and Melissa Marschall of Rice University.Voting Rights for WhomFrom the Abstract:

“This study applies insights from principal-agent models to examine whether and how the language assistance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, Sections 203 and 4(f)(4), affect Latino representation. Using panel data from 1984–2012, we estimate two-stage models that consider the likelihood and extent of Latino board representation for a sample of 1,661 school districts. In addition, we examine how policy design as well as federal oversight and enforcement shape implementation and compliance with the language assistance provisions. Our findings not only provide the first systemic evidence that the language assistance provisions have a direct effect on Latino representation, but also link the efficacy of the language assistance provisions to the duration and consistency of coverage and the presence of federal elections observers. Overall, our study underscores the continued need for federal government involvement in protecting the voting rights of underrepresented groups, in this case, language minority citizens.”

Download the study.


rutherford_amandaAmanda Rutherford: Amanda Rutherford joined SPEA as an assistant professor in 2015. She earned her Ph.D. in political science from Texas A&M University, where she concentrated on public administration, public policy, and race and ethnic politics. Her dissertation focused on politics, management, and performance in the context of higher education. Rutherford earned her MPA from the University of Oklahoma, where she focused on education policy. Her undergraduate work was also at the University of Oklahoma, where she studied advertising and marketing and supply chain management.  Rutherford’s research interests include managerial values and decision making, performance management, organization theory, representative bureaucracy, higher education policy, and research methodology. Her work has been published in various journals, including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, International Public Management Journal,and Public Administration. Rutherford has also won numerous honors and awards, including the Junior Scholar Research Grant from the Paul A. Volcker Endowment for Public Service Research and Education.

Melissa_MarschallMelissa Marschall, Ph.D.: is a professor of political science at Rice University and a Rice faculty scholar at the Baker Institute Center for the Middle East. Her research focuses on urban politics and policy, education policy, political behavior and representation mostly in the U.S., but also in Turkey. Her book, Choosing Schools: Consumer Choice and the Quality of American Schools (coauthored with Mark Schneider and Paul Teske) was recipient of the Policy Studies Association Aaron Wildavsky Award for the Best Policy Book in 2000-2001. She is PI of the Local Elections in America Project (LEAP), funded by The National Science and the Ken Kennedy Institute of Information Technology at Rice University. Marschall created the Urban Lab Program at Rice University and has taught a lab course on urban politics and policy in Istanbul since 2011. She also teaches courses on urban politics, education policy, comparative urban politics & policy, and research methods. Marschall received her M.A. in political science and international relations from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul and her Ph.D. in political science from SUNY Stony Brook.

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Whitney FieldsView all posts by Whitney Fields

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