Our Top Research in 2021

Explore the Ash Center’s ten most popular papers from the past year 

Published on December 16, 2021 

Throughout the year, the Ash Center works with experts from around the world to publish research and writing on the day's most pressing issues. Touching on topics as varied as relief funding for tribal nations, intelligent infrastructure, and the role of local election officials, the work of our scholars has an important impact on the field of public policy. 

We invite you to explore our top ten publications below. To find more of the latest Ash Center research, explore our publications

Assessing the U.S. Treasury Department’s Allocations of Funding for Tribal Governments under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021Assessing the U.S. Treasury Department’s Allocations of Funding for Tribal Governments under the American Rescue Plan Act of 202  

Eric C. Henson, Miriam R. Jorgensen, Joseph P. Kalt, & Isabelle G. Leonaitis; November 2021  

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) resulted in the single largest infusion of federal funding for Native America in U.S. history. Yet, the authors find that the distribution of ARPA funds to tribal governments was grossly inequitable, contrary to the policy objectives of Congress, the Biden Administration, and the Treasury Department itself.

The Risks for International Business under the Hong Kong National Security LawThe Risks for International Business under the Hong Kong National Security Law  

Dennis W. H. Kwok and Elizabeth Donkervoort, July 2021 

Analyzing the impact of China's Hong Kong National Security Law, this article explores the new legal risks and challenges international businesses face when dealing with businesses or matters impinging on national security in mergers and acquisitions, commercial transactions, and civil disputes in China. 

Toward a Smarter Future: Building Back Better with Intelligent Civil Infrastructure -- Smart Sensors and Self-Monitoring Civil WorksToward a Smarter Future Building Back Better with Intelligent Civil Infrastructure—Smart Sensors and Self-Monitoring Civil Works 

Stephen Goldsmith, Betsy Gardner, and Jill Jamieson; September 2021 

In a report primed to guide government leaders as they manage an influx of new infrastructure funds, the authors illustrate how smart infrastructure plans that integrate digital technology, sensors, and data can help bridge the country’s infrastructure deficit and advance sustainability and equity goals. 

2020 Public Narrative Impact Survey Overview Report2020 Public Narrative Impact Survey Overview Report

Emilia Aiello and Marshall Ganz, July 2021

In this landmark report, the authors survey how different groups, campaigns, and professions around the world are using public narrative. The findings detail the responses of over a thousand students of public narrative, demonstrating the efficacy of public narrative in a range of settings, from one-on-one meetings to nationwide campaigns.

Risk Mitigation and Creating Social Impact: Chinese Technology Companies in the United States

Wenchi Yu, April 2021

Ash Research Fellow Wenchi Yu details why Chinese businesses, increasingly subject to privacy and national security scrutiny, need to rethink how they add value to communities when they operate in the U.S.

Understanding the Role of Local Election Officials: How Local Autonomy Shapes U.S. Election Administration

Hannah Furstenberg-Beckman, Greg Degen, and Tova Wang; September 2021 

Following the 2020 elections, the authors explore how the autonomy of local election officials impacts voters’ access to the ballot—and whose vote is counted.

Chinese Regional Planning Under Xi Jinping: The Politics and Policy Implications of the Greater Bay Area Initiative

Jason Jia-Xi Wu, April 2021

This paper seeks to explain the logic of Chinese regional planning pertaining to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and details the challenges it entails for spatial development.

Democratizing the Federal Regulatory Process: A Blueprint to Strengthen Equity, Dignity, and Civic Engagement through Executive

Archon Fung, Hollie Russon Gilman, and Mark Schmitt; September 2021 

In this timely report, the authors explore the challenges to and advantages of a reformed regulatory review process, sharing insights from experts spanning administrative law, economic analysis, public participation, regulatory review, patent law, healthcare, and environmental justice.

Recommendations for Allocation and Administration of American Rescue Plan Act Funding for American Indian Tribal Governments

Eric C. Henson, Megan Hill, Miriam R. Jorgensen, and Joseph P. Kalt; April 2021

In this policy brief, published as the federal government was determining how to allocate ARPA funding, the authors set out recommendations for the distribution of funds to the nation’s 574 federally recognized American Indian tribes. 

Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Immigration Are Needed for the Middle Class

David Dapice, June 2021

In this policy brief, Dapice argues that regional trade agreements are critical to maintaining U.S. economic competitiveness and job growth into the future and calls for the U.S. to reconsider its rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

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