Strategic Growth Area: Policy

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The Policy SGA is a dynamic hub with spokes, focused on undergraduate through doctoral education, research, and scholarship. The policy hub brings together teams of experts with different, but complementary specializations and comprehensive policy expertise in key areas. The spokes of the hub connect to and integrate this expertise within and across the destination areas to translate scholarship to practice through the complex decision-making processes of policy making, implementation, and evaluation.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 66
  • VTIPG News, January 2022
    (Virginia Tech, 2022-01)
    This quarterly newsletter provides updates on activities at the institute, including news, student and faculty accomplishments, and a letter from the director.
  • VTIPG News, October 2021
    (Virginia Tech, 2021-10)
    This quarterly newsletter provides updates on activities at the institute, including news, student and faculty accomplishments, and a letter from the director.
  • VTIPG News, July 2021
    (Virginia Tech, 2021-07)
    This quarterly newsletter provides updates on activities at the institute, including news, student and faculty accomplishments, and a letter from the director.
  • Crack-Powder Cocaine Disparity and Commodity Fetishism
    Agozino, Onwubiko (2021-11-01)
    This is a case study of discriminatory drug policy in the US from a political economy perspective. Convictions and sentencing for drugs offenses are far higher for African Americans than white Americans even though white people use more drugs than African Americans. Two kinds of cocaine usage are bifurcated in penal policy – cocaine powder, more expensive and used more by whites and the affluent, and crack cocaine, cheaper and hence used more by the poor and by African American users (though two-thirds of those who use crack are white). The theory of commodity fetishism in the legal form will be applied to offer an original insight into this problem and the innovative abolitionist solution consistent with the theory.
  • Thinking beyond domestic water supply: approaches to advance multiple-use water systems (MUS) in the rural hills of Nepal
    GC, Raj K.; Hall, Ralph P.; Hammett, A. L. (Tom) (Informa, 2021-09-21)
    The development of multiple-use water systems (MUS) in Nepal has mostly relied on international/non-governmental organizations. Despite the growing interest in MUS within the country, the approach has not yet received space in government policy and programmes, limiting its wider implementation. We seek to understand both the challenges to, and strategies for, scaling-up MUS, especially with regard to how MUS could be incorporated into Nepali institutional and policy processes arising from the adoption of a three-tier (federal, state and local) federal governance system. Our recommendations are informed by a study of MUS in the middle hills of Nepal.
  • VTIPG News, April 2021
    (Virginia Tech, 2021-04)
    This quarterly newsletter provides updates on activities at the institute, including news, student and faculty accomplishments, and a letter from the director.
  • VTIPG News, January 2021
    (Virginia Tech, 2021-01)
    This quarterly newsletter provides updates on activities at the institute, including news, student and faculty accomplishments, and a letter from the director.
  • Rethinking US Policy Toward Iran: A Forum
    Razavi, Negar; Entessar, Nader; Homayounvash, Mohammad; Fathollah-Nejad, Ali; Boroujerdi, Mehrzad; Ghazvinian, John (Middle East Report, 2020-05-27)
    While US relations with Iran have been adversarial since the 1979 Islamic revolution, President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) in 2018 and his belligerent implementation of a “maximum pressure” policy has on more than one occasion risked escalation. Even though Trump seems to want to avoid war, the administration’s emphasis on Iran as a threat to the region defines much of current US policy toward a Middle East suffering from numerous other conflicts and humanitarian crises. Any effort to imagine new paths for US policy would have to redefine US relations with Iran and the roles both play in the region. To discuss the current context and future possibilities, Middle East Report reached out to seven scholars and policy analysts for their thoughts on some critical questions.
  • VTIPG newsletter, October 2020
    (Virginia Tech, 2020-10)
    This quarterly newsletter provides updates on activities in IPG, including news, student and faculty accomplishments, and a letter from the director.
  • Catawba Sustainability Center and Catawba Hospital Renewable Energy Site Planning Process Study
    Meyers, Ron; Carstensen, Laurence W.; Ford, W. Mark; Grant, Elizabeth J.; Klopfer, Scott D.; Schenk, Todd; Taylor, Adam (Virginia Tech, 2020-09-29)
    The transdisciplinary Renewable Energy Facilities Siting Project produced a white paper outlining their proof-of-concept using a case study from the Catawba Valley.
  • What's the Big Deal? Global Trends and Movements Shaping Higher Ed
    Butler, Brandon (Virginia Tech, 2019-10-23)
    For the last two decades, research institutions have been buying research the same way consumers have been buying television: in big bundles. And like big cable packages, these bundles have become bloated with content nobody wants, and their prices have exploded at rates only a monopolist could love. Come learn why the global research community is increasingly serious about cutting the cord, and how open access is both the foundation for this move, and the next step in the process. Welcome by Rachel Miles, Research Impact Librarian. Introduction by Tyler Walters, Dean of the University Libraries. About Brandon Butler: Brandon Butler is the first Director of Information Policy at the University of Virginia Library. He provides guidance and education to the Library and its user community on intellectual property and related issues, and advocates on the Library’s behalf at the federal, state, local, and campus level. Butler is the author or co-author of a range of articles, book chapters, guides, and presentations about copyright, with a focus on libraries and the fair use doctrine. Before coming to UVA, Brandon taught copyright and supervised student attorneys in the IP Law Clinic at American University, and advocated for research libraries around the country at the Association of Research Libraries. He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2008.
  • Policy Brief: Veterans’ Health Care In Rural Virginia
    Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Goverance (Virginia Rural Health Association, 2011-12)
    The Commonwealth of Virginia is home to an estimated 748,3451 military veterans, ranging in age from centenarian, pre‐World War II veterans, to teenage veterans recently returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). These veterans are faced with wide‐ranging and complex health needs, which are further complicated if they live in rural regions of the Commonwealth. Research and study undertaken by the Virginia Rural Health Association (VRHA) and the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program (VWWP) identify major veteran health care issues such as the inclusiveness and accessibility of health care, coordination of health care services, the availability of health care services in a veteran’s community, and the cultural competency of health care providers serving veterans. A primary challenge facing Virginia’s program and policy leaders is how to leverage state, federal, and local resources to meet the health care needs of all Virginia veterans.
  • Fragile Foundations and Enduring Challenges: Essays on Democratic Politics and Governance
    Stephenson, Max O. Jr. (VT Publishing, 2019-05-22)
    In this volume of timely essays, Max O. Stephenson Jr. offers unique insight into the state of politics and policymaking in the United States. Covering the period 2010-2018, his essays chronicle a growing crisis in American governance with many of the nation’s professed values and principles increasingly under attack—including the rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the ability of a share of its citizens otherwise eligible to vote to exercise their right to do so. But Stephenson does more than sound a warning cry. He urges all Americans to reclaim self-governance and democracy by embracing the central values and core purposes underpinning the United States. Max O. Stephenson Jr. is Professor of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech where he also directs the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance (VTIPG).
  • International Refugee Research: Evidence for Smart Policy
    (Virginia Tech. School of Public and International Affairs, 2018-09)
    The Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs Refugee Research Project was prompted by discussions among institutional partners in the aftermath of the 2015 refugee crisis in Europe. With the number of displaced people growing exponentially throughout the world due to failed or failing states, civil war, or other devastating conditions reaching over 68 million in 2017, rigorous research to inform policy decisions is a necessity. Institutional partners from the United States, Germany and Belgium decided to undertake a research platform that would address refugee integration into local communities, based on the combined areas of expertise of international partners, and allowing for methodological pluralism. Case studies in integration were undertaken in the European Union, the United States, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Mali, and Sri Lanka; where appropriate, the findings highlight global commonalities of processes of integration, and local population reception. This research team recognizes that while most countries in which case studies were undertaken make a genuine effort to invest in and provide mechanisms of integration for the refugees, there are limits to how many resources any country can invest in refugee integration, particularly considering the sky-rocketing numbers of displaced people around the world. That is precisely why projects like this are necessary to lift up experiences of integration, give credit where it is due to a country’s efforts, and emphasize the urgent need for adequate research to inform policy, so decisions are made based on facts and evidence, not hearsay or anecdotal evidence. This brief is organized into six sections: I. Methodologies, II. Data Sources, III. Findings, IV. Policy Recommendations, V. Institutional Partners, and VI. Participating Institutions and People. Findings are organized in three sub-sections: 1. Triggers and Journey, 2. Arrival, (Temporary) Stay and Processing, and 3. Integration. Policy recommendations are organized on the basis of the agency they target including, government, non-governmental institutions, the media, and donor organizations.
  • Virginia Tech Institute for Policy & Governance Quarterly Newsletter, July 2018
    (Virginia Tech, 2018-07)
    This quarterly newsletter provides updates on activities in IPG, including news, student and faculty accomplishments, and a director's letter.
  • Interactional dynamics of same-sex marriage legislation in the United States
    Roy, Subhradeep; Abaid, Nicole (The Royal Society, 2017)
    Understanding how people form opinions and make decisions is a complex phenomenon that depends on both personal practices and interactions. Recent availability of real-world data has enabled quantitative analysis of opinion formation, which illuminates phenomena that impact physical and social sciences. Public policies exemplify complex opinion formation spanning individual and population scales, and a timely example is the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. Here, we seek to understand how this issue captures the relationship between state-laws and Senate representatives subject to geographical and ideological factors. Using distancebased correlations, we study how physical proximity and stategovernment ideology may be used to extract patterns in statelaw adoption and senatorial support of same-sex marriage. Results demonstrate that proximal states have similar opinion dynamics in both state-laws and senators’ opinions, and states with similar state-government ideology have analogous senators’ opinions. Moreover, senators’ opinions drive statelaws with a time lag. Thus, change in opinion not only results from negotiations among individuals, but also reflects inherent spatial and political similarities and temporal delays. We build a social impact model of state-law adoption in light of these results, which predicts the evolution of state-laws legalizing same-sex marriage over the last three decades.
  • Global Systems Science (GSS) DA and Policy SGA (PSGA) Synergies and Opportunities Workshop
    (Virginia Tech, 2017-09-29)
    The goals of this day-long event, held on September 29, 2017, were to identify areas for collaborative synergy and cooperation between the GSS DA and PSGA and showcase a model for future DA/SGA collaboration and shared innovation.
  • Addressing the Impact of Housing for Virginia’s Economy
    Virginia Coalition of Housing and Economic Development Researchers (Governor’s Housing Conference, 2017-11)
    In October 2014, Governor McAuliffe issued Executive Order (EO) 32, “Advancing Virginia’s Housing Policy,” to “identify and implement actions to enable quality, affordable housing, which will strengthen families and communities and foster economic growth.” The Housing Policy Advisory Council (HPAC) was thus established under the leadership of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to help guide the development and implementation of Virginia’s housing policy. A key directive of EO 32 was identifying the links between housing and economic and community development. To this end, the HPAC commissioned a study from a consortium of researchers at Virginia Tech, George Mason University, The College of William and Mary, and Virginia Commonwealth University, with the premise that successful housing policy must be based on independent analytic findings and best practices. The collaborative research of the four universities provides key information on the Commonwealth housing sector, focusing on the economic impact of housing, future scenarios impacting housing needs, and links between housing and other key policy sectors. This report summarizes the research conducted by the four universities and the implications for Virginia’s housing policy development. The report is designed to assist stakeholders and policymakers think more creatively and collaborate more intensely at the state, regional, and local levels as Virginia strives to build on the successes of the past and meet the pressing housing challenges facing the commonwealth. The entirety of the research is included in nine supplemental appendices listed below: Appendix Report 1: Economic Impacts Of Virginia’s Housing Industry Appendix Report 2: Housing The Commonwealth's Future Workforce 2014-2024 Appendix Report 3: Housing Affordability, Msa Gap Analyses Appendix Report 4: Housing And Transportation Appendix Report 5: Virginia Housing Production Affordability Findings Appendix Report 6: Housing And Economic Opportunity Appendix Report 7: Housing, Education, And Economic Development - Literature Appendix Report 8: Housing, Health, And Economic Development - Literature Appendix Report 9: The Future Of Housing In Virginia
  • Virginia Tech Institute for Policy & Governance Quarterly Newsletter, April 2018
    (Virginia Tech, 2018-04)
    This quarterly newsletter provides updates on activities in IPG, including news, student and faculty accomplishments, and a director's letter.
  • Policy Strategic Growth Area 2018 Research Forum
    (Virginia Tech, 2018-04-19)
    The goal of the half day 2018 Spring Research Forum, held on April 19 at the Inn at Virginia Tech, was to showcase the Policy SGA's research and planning projects and provide an opportunity for participants to engage with a moderated panel on lessons learned about conducting interdisciplinary, policy-focused research over the past year. This program includes a schedule of events and a list of team members and project abstracts.