Baumgartner, Frank R. 1958–

views updated

Baumgartner, Frank R. 1958–

PERSONAL:

Born September 29, 1958, in Gainesville, FL; divorced. Education: University of Michigan, B.A. (honors in political science, honors in French), 1980, M.A., 1983, Ph.D., 1986.

ADDRESSES:

Home—PA. Office—Pennsylvania State University, Department of Political Science, University Park, PA 16802-6200. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

University of Iowa, Iowa City, visiting assistant professor, 1986-87; Texas A&M University, College Station, assistant professor, 1987-92, associate professor, 1992-97; California Technical Institute, Pasadena, visiting professor, 1998-99; Pennsylvania State University, University Park, department of political science, professor, 1998-2005, department head, 1999-2004, distinguished professor, 2005-07, Bruce R. Miller and Dean D. LaVigne professor of political science, 2007—. Visiting scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland; the Institute for Public Management, Paris, France; Sciences Po, Paris, France; the European University Institute, Florence, Italy; and the Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France. Serves as an ongoing researcher at CEVIPOF-Sciences Po, Paris.

MEMBER:

American Political Science Association (Public Policy and Political Organizations and Parties section), Midwest Political Science Association, Southern Political Science Association, Conference Group on French Politics and Society.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Awarded several grants from the National Science Foundation.

WRITINGS:

Conflict and Rhetoric in French Policymaking, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1989.

(With Bryan D. Jones) Agendas and Instability in American Politics, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1993.

(With Beth L. Leech) Basic Interests: The Importance of Groups in Politics and in Political Science, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1998.

(Editor, with Bryan D. Jones) Policy Dynamics, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2002.

(With Bryan D. Jones) The Politics of Attention: How Government Prioritizes Problems, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2005.

(With Suzanna L. De Boef and Amber E. Boydstun) The Decline of the Death Penalty and the Discovery of Innocence, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2008.

Contributor of chapters to numerous books. Contributor to various journals, including European Union Politics, Mass Communication and Society, Journal ofEuropean Public Policy, Social Science Research, Policy Studies Journal, Journal of Politics, and the American Journal of Political Science. Serves on the editorial boards of Policy Studies Journal, 2003—, Journal of European Public Policy, 2004—, American Journal of Political Science, 2006—, Political Research Quarterly, 2006—, Journal of Information Technology and Politics, 2006—, and Public Administration, 2008—. Member of book review board, French Politics, Society, and Culture, 1997—.

SIDELIGHTS:

Writer and educator Frank R. Baumgartner was born September 9, 1958, in Gainesville, Florida. He studied at the University of Michigan, where he first earned his undergraduate degree with honors in both political science and French. He then went on to complete his master's and his doctorate, both in political science with a strong leaning toward the workings of the French political system. Baumgartner serves on the faculty of Pennsylvania State University, where he is the Bruce R. Miller and Dean D. LaVigne Professor of Political Science—the first to hold the post. He has also taught at a number of other institutions of higher learning, including the University of Iowa, Texas A&M University, and the California Institute of Technology. In addition, he has been a visiting professor at a number of universities, both in the United States and abroad, such as the University of Michigan, the University of Washington, the University of Bergen in Norway, and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, as well as the CEVIPOF-Sciences Po, in Paris, where he also holds an ongoing appointment as a visiting researcher. In addition to his academic duties, Baumgartner is a regular speaker at academic conferences worldwide, and serves on the editorial board of a number of journals. He has also contributed articles to various journals, including European Union Politics, Mass Communication and Society, Journal of European Public Policy, Social Science Research, Policy Studies Journal, Journal of Politics, and the American Journal of Political Science, writing about his primary interests, which include public policy and the setting of agendas, as well as a number of American political special interest groups. With fellow professor, Bryan D. Jones, Baumgartner created the Policy Agendas Project. He is also the author and/or editor of a number of books on politics, policy, and how different aspects of both are given governmental priority.

In Agendas and Instability in American Politics, a collaborative effort with Bryan D. Jones, Baumgartner discusses the practical application of public policy theory and illustrates the ways in which actual policy formation rarely conforms to the models that are utilized as examples of the proper way for policies to be developed and implemented. Because of the varying of the different systems in practice, scholars examining them versus the models question which behaviors are mere exceptions caused by specific conditions at a given time, and which are actually considered the norm. Baumgartner and Jones address these questions, looking at the way that policy incrementalism over long periods of time as well as periodic shifts and changes can both be worked into the same policy system. They also illustrate the ways in which subsystems that are inherently stable and supportive can still be shifted if the attacking forces are sufficiently strong. Using the United States as a primary example, they show that despite the nation's overall stable policy structure in the long term, it has still participated in numerous policy shifts through the decades, many of which were significant. Christopher J. Bosso, writing for the American Political Science Review, commented of Baumgartner and Jones's effort that "there is so much offered in this book that any one review may not do it justice."

Basic Interests: The Importance of Groups in Politics and in Political Science, which Baumgartner wrote with Beth L. Leech, takes a look at various writings on the subject of American political interest groups. The book covers everything from the basics, including various suppositions regarding how and why the various interest groups have formed over the years, and theories regarding their overall effect on government agendas and how government officials interpret and ultimately make decisions regarding the different issues that are being addressed. There is a fair amount of disagreement among scholars as to the answers to these questions, and this is well-documented in the literature available and discussed in the book. Over the course of their work, Baumgartner and Leech first look at the past fifty years' worth of literature related to political interest groups in America, analyzing their development and various approaches. From there, they attempt to determine why some of these groups have far outstripped others in terms of advancement. Using these examples, they go on to look into ways in which future interest groups might be more effectively and efficiently run in order to match the more successful efforts of the past. Writing for the Public Opinion Quarterly, John R. Wright remarked: "This book, like most works that advocate a research agenda rather than execute one, ends where it should have begun. The authors provide numerous suggestions about how to advance the state of research on interest groups, and yet they are content simply to talk about what to do rather than do it." However, Richard A. Smith, writing for the American Political Science Review, found the book to be "an excellent guide to where the literature has advanced and where it has not." He added: "It assumes, however, that the reader is familiar with much of the literature being reviewed and does not go into great detail about any particular theory or body of work."

The Politics of Attention: How Government Prioritizes Problems, cowritten by Bryan D. Jones, takes a look at the various policies on how the government determines which issues receive top priority, and how those policies have altered over the years. The authors address the varying flow of information output from different types of bodies, ranging from the stock market and media outlets to government and legislative bodies, and how the rate of information flow can differ in part due to the body's position in the information stream, with those positioned earlier having a more regulated output of information in relationship to the amount processed and those later in the stream resulting in a disproportionate output. Scott E. Robinson, in a review for the Political Science Quarterly, remarked that "the book illustrates the continuing development of the punctuated equilibrium model of policy change and the diversity of issues that the model provides leverage in explaining." John C. Scott, reviewing for Social Forces, found the work "a well-crafted book that will influence … debates over political life for years to come."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Political Science Review, December, 1990, John T.S. Keeler, review of Conflict and Rhetoric in French Policymaking, p. 1416; September, 1994, Christopher J. Bosso, review of Agendas and Instability in American Politics, p. 752; December, 1999, Richard A. Smith, review of Basic Interests: The Importance of Groups in Politics and in Political Science, p. 967.

Australian Journal of Political Science, July, 1999, Clive Beauchamp, review of Basic Interests, p. 285.

Canadian Journal of Political Science, September, 1999, Harold M. Waller, review of Basic Interests, p. 596.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, September, 1993, D.R. Imig, review of Agendas and Instability in American Politics, p. 218; October, 1998, M.E. Ethridge, review of Basic Interests, p. 388; March, 2006, M.C. Price, review of The Politics of Attention: How Government Prioritizes Problems, p. 1305.

Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, spring, 1995, Donald L. Shaw, review of Agendas and Instability in American Politics.

Journal of Politics, May, 1991, David Wilsford, review of Conflict and Rhetoric in French Policymaking, p. 583; November, 1994, Jeffrey E. Cohen, review of Agendas and Instability in American Politics, p. 1164; August, 1999, Anthony J. Nownes, review of Basic Interests, p. 844.

New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, fall, 1990, review of Conflict and Rhetoric in French Policymaking; fall, 1993, Alex P. Darrow, review of Conflict and Rhetoric in French Policymaking.

Policy Studies Journal, winter, 1994, L. Christopher Plein, review of Agendas and Instability in American Politics.

Political Science Quarterly, spring, 1999, Ken W. Kollman, review of Basic Interests; fall, 2006, Scott E. Robinson, review of The Politics of Attention.

Prairie Schooner, spring, 1999, review of Basic Interests.

Public Opinion Quarterly, spring, 1999, John R. Wright, review of Basic Interests.

Social Forces, December, 2006, John C. Scott, review of The Politics of Attention, p. 1042.

Social Science Quarterly, December, 1990, Jurg Steiner, review of Conflict and Rhetoric in French Policymaking, p. 879.

ONLINE

University of Chicago Press Web site,http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ (April 16, 2008), Policy Dynamics publisher description.