This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Role and Reputation of Government Research Organizations in State Policymaking




Hankins, Ryan

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Political Science


This research explores the role and reputation of state-level nonprofit policy research organizations, which are members of the Government Research Association (GRA). The research traces the development of municipal research bureaus, the GRA, and ASPA during the Progressive Era. Modern GRA organizations are examined, focusing on mission, finances, publications, and media exposure. The organizations seek to be seen as objective and nonpartisan rather than advocacy organizations. The research also includes surveys of state policy actors in 16 states to understand their view of GRA organizations. Findings suggest that GRA organizations fare well compared to more partisan research organizations in the same state and are seen as the most trusted state policy organizations in 11 of 13 policy areas.