Featured Scholar: Peter Federman, Ph.D.
Paul H. O' Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
State-Level Executive Orders on COVID-19 in the United States
Dr. Peter Federman's current research on COVID-19 with his co-investigator Cali Curley (University of Miami) involves collecting, coding and analyzing the language in thousands of executive orders issued across the United States since February 2020 that directly address the ongoing pandemic. With their team of graduate students, they are developing a unique dataset that captures not only the existence of these orders, but the nuance and language contained within them. Currently, he and his team have presented their work to practitioners at the Oklahoma Department of Health, the Office of the Governor of Oklahoma, and in venues sponsored by the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. Dr. Federman and his team have also published their work in multiple leading public administration journals and well-read policy blogs, with several further articles in progress or under review. The research is evidence-based because all of the findings are developed directly from issued orders codified into law across all 50 states, and brings together data collected on social distancing, testing rates, infection rates, spread rates, and other elements to provide a cross-disciplinary understanding of how executive power has been wielded during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of this research project is to develop a public-facing dashboard that will provide insight into this ongoing work, as well as serve as an informational hub for policymakers, practitioners, and academics to work with data for both academic research and evidence-based policymaking.
Dr. Federman's utilization of qualitative techniques including process tracing and institutional grammar to highlight decision-making practices and policy priorities across the United States is another excellent example of how IUPUI's faculty are TRANSLATING their RESEACH INTO PRACTICE.