State-Level Executive Orders on COVID-19 in the United States
My current research on COVID-19 with my co-investigator Cali Curley (University of Miami) involves collecting, coding and analyzing the language in thousands of executive order issued across the United States since February 2020 that directly address the ongoing pandemic. Together with our team of graduate students, we are developing a unique dataset that captures not only the existence of these orders, but the nuance and language contained within them. Utilizing qualitative techniques including process tracing and institutional grammar, we are currently engaged in multiple projects that highlight decision-making practices and policy priorities across the United States. Thus far, we have presented our 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. We have also published our work in multiple leading public administration journals and well-read policy blogs, with several further articles in progress or under review. Our research is evidence-based, as all of our 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. Our current specific goal is the development of a public-facing dashboard that will provide insight into our ongoing work, as well as serve as an informational hub for policymakers, practitioners, and academics to work with our data for both academic research and evidence-based policymaking. With the generous support of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University, this portion of the project is set to be completed and online by September 2020.