Rosenson, Beth A. (Beth Anne Rosenson)

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Rosenson, Beth A. (Beth Anne Rosenson)


Education: Wesleyan University, B.A., 1987; Yale, University, M.A., 1991; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D., 2000.


Office—University of Florida, Department of Political Science, P.O. Box 117325, Anderson Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer, educator. University of Florida, Gainesville, assistant professor.


The Shadowlands of Conduct: Ethics and State Politics, Georgetown University Press (Washington DC), 2005.

Contributor of articles to journals, including State Politics and Policy Quarterly and Public Integrity.


Professor of political science Beth A. Rosenson focuses her research, as she notes on her University of Florida Web site, on "understanding democratic accountability" among legislators. This theme comes to play heavily in her 2005 book The Shadowlands of Conduct: Ethics and State Politics, which Rosenson describes as an examination of the "enactment of conflict of interest laws for legislators, … focusing on the evolution and limitations of such ethics regulation" at the state level over the past fifty years. Rosenson has also written article-length works about ethics investigations at the Congressional level, as well as the support in Congress for the state of Israel.

In The Shadowlands of Conduct, Rosenson examines American conflict-of-interest laws passed between 1954 and 2004, laws that were engineered to regulate the ethical behavior of legislators. The author uses case histories and an analysis of the process of the passage of such laws across the United States, looking in particular for those who opposed and those who supported such laws. Rosenson spotlights people both in and out of government responsible for the passage of these laws and also focuses on various loopholes that exist in the acts, state by state. Rosenson, as a result of her research and analysis, concludes that there are limits to such self-regulatory legislation, as even the seemingly strictest of laws might have gaps in them. Much of Rosenson's focus is on scandals in government that have prompted such reforms, including greater separation of legislators from lobbyists and their temptations.

Michael J. Carson, assessing the book in the Reviewer's Bookwatch, described The Shadowlands of Conduct as a work of meticulous scholarship that examines the propensity for state legislators to enact ethics laws that apply "to their own behavior." Carson further noted that Rosenson makes use of case studies as well as research and personal expertise in this "excellent history and thought-provoking discussion resource." Reviewing the same work in the Political Science Quarterly, contributor Frank Anechiarico wrote, "One reasonable but limiting characteristic of the book is its focus on legislative behavior." Thus, for example, Rosenson's account does not include situations where legislatures attempted to control the ethics and behavior of private companies and individuals. Anechiarico suggested that this might be a fitting topic for a second volume. Meanwhile, he concluded of the current volume, "Rosenson has made a needed contribution to the study of corruption in a well-written, systematic analysis."



Australian Journal of Political Science, March, 2006, Rodney Smith, "Comparative and International Politics," p. 125.

Choice, February, 2006, T. Fackler, review of The Shadowlands of Conduct: Ethics and State Politics, p. 1093.

Political Science Quarterly, spring, 2006, Frank Anechiarico, review of The Shadowlands of Conduct, p. 175.

Reference & Research Book News, August, 2005, review of The Shadowlands of Conduct, p. 169.

Reviewer's Bookwatch, September, 2005, Michael J. Carson, review of The Shadowlands of Conduct.


University of Florida, Department of Political Science Web site, (March 24, 2008), "Beth A. Rosenson, Assistant Professor."

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Rosenson, Beth A. (Beth Anne Rosenson)

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