Research

Professor Galaskiewicz just received a research grant from the NSF to complete work on a project started in 2003 on the spatial distribution and use of organizaitonal resources by families in the Phoenix metropolitan area (“Community Organizational Resources and Children’s Well-Being,” National Science Foundation Research Grant, 2013-2015, $252,830, SES 1259129).
 
When done we will have household data of what children did on Saturday in 2003 and 2013, the organizations that provide the activities and services in both years, and a complete census of for-profits, nonprofits, government agencies, and congregations that provided activities and services to children on Saturday for 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2013.  Most importantly we will have all these households and providers geo-coded and a sample of service providers will be tagged and traced as they move across the urban landscape throughout the years.  In addition to understanding changing use patterns among households, we will be able to talk about the growth and decline of different types of service providers over the ten year period in different areas of the metropolitan community.  (See Galaskiewicz, Mayorova, Duckles 2013 below.)
 
A second project looks at the funding of nonprofits and local governments by foundations before, during, and after the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. It was supported by the Center for Civil Society at UCLA.  This study examines the effects of state context (e.g., liberal vs. conservative; rich vs. poor; etc.) on disbursements.   We find that private foundations in particular were more likely to fund nonprofits and governments in states where the latter were experimenting with more progressive solutions to welfare issues, but they were not more likly to fund nonprofits and governments in states that had the greatest unemployment and poverty.  This supports private foundations' claim that they are social innovators rather than charities that help the disadvantaged.  However, it challenges the characterization of private foundations as operating independent of government and government policies and views them more as partners in addressing societal needs.  Whether they lead and governments follow or vice versa remains unclear, although our data seem to suggest the latter. 
 
The third project examines the ratification of environmental treaties by 166 countries from 1980 to 2008. This research was funded by the National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan.  This project utilizes network (peer effect) models developed by Friedkin and Johnsen (1999) to describe the importance of social influence and social learning on ratifications and the role that power plays in the process. (See Yamagata, Yang, and Galaskiewicz 2013 below)  We are now extending our analysis and examining the role that economic and military power play in the process of social influence.  Our preliminary results suggest that more powerful countries were immune to the social influence of economic, political, and cultural peers when ratifying environmental treaties, while weaker countries were more likely to ratify if their peers ratified.  We explore the implications of these findings for the future of global environmental initiatives.