Center for the Study of Law and Politics
The USC-Caltech Center for the Study of Law and Politics (CSLP) is a unique network of inter-connected scholars, drawn from diverse disciplines such as law, political science, economics, public administration, psychology, and communications. Since its creation in 2000, the Center's scholars have combined law and the social sciences to study voters, democratic institutions, political process' and the law. The research center has brought together leading experts and researchers from throughout the nation, over a breadth of topics to share their knowledge throughout the academic year via conferences and symposia. The result has been a successful expansion of knowledge and work in the field as highlighted by the CSLP working paper series, many publications, and references from a myriad of media vehicles as a source of invaluable information.
In January 2004, the Initiative and Referendum Institute (IRI), the nation's most prominent educational and research organization focused on direct democracy, joined CSLP as it made its new home at USC. Together, these two institutions form the leading center in the United States in studying the tools of popular government: initiative, referendum and recall. In addition to maintaining the award-winning Ballotwatch service with current and historical data on initiatives and referendums in the U.S., the IRI and CSLP plan projects to study the influence of direct democracy on local governments, particularly urban centers like Los Angeles, and the effects of new information technologies on the process.
Thanks to a generous grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, CSLP, IRI, and the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate have formed a collaboration to focus on issues of popular democracy in local governments. The Local Governance and Direct Democracy Project has generated a database of local government initiatives and referenda, their characteristics and outcomes. Initially the project began as gathering information from local cities in Southern California, where direct democracy first took root at the local level, and then from locations nationwide. It has also produced a body of scholarly work that will help policy makers, citizens, and scholars better understand the use and consequences of initiatives and referenda in cities and counties across the nation.
INITIATIVE & REFERENDUM REPORTS
- Ballotwatch: Election 2012 Results
- Ballotwatch: Election 2012 Preview
- Ballotwatch: Election Results 2010: Tea Party Spillover?
- Ballotwatch: Election 2010 Preview: Not About the Economy
- Ballotwatch: Same-Sex Marriage and TELS
- Ballotwatch: Election 2009 Preview