Governance Lab Research

Nonprofit Organizations and the Decision to Advocate

It's well recognized that 501(c)(3) nonprofits play integral roles in democratic governance. Yet, little is known about what drives nonprofit charities to engage in policy advocacy. This project examines how the policy environments and network contexts in which nonprofits operate influence their decision to advocate. 

Organic regulation reflects a complex design. For example, the USDA sets national organic standards, but relies on agents from across the public, nonprofit, and private sectors to monitor and enforce organic regulations. There is much to be learned about complex regulation from the case, as reflected in this project.

This project develops an institutional approach for analyzing the policy designs written into public policy documents. The approach has been used to dissect policy designs, assess policy design divergence during policy implementation, and trace policy design changes over time, among other research objectives.

A deep literature on collective action cross-cuts the social sciences, with important governance insights and raising a range of unanswered questions. This project takes up some of those unanswered questions by examining how rock climbers organize to advocate, self-regulate, and manage recreational resources. 

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