William & Mary Policy Review Symposium Transcript

“Good Morning, and welcome to the Fourth Annual William & Mary Policy Review Symposium. Here, at The Review, we are always eager to foster dialogue between academics, practitioners and activists— people who are in the field of policy-making and of studying policy, to bring a fresh perspective and something different to our readers. I’d like to thank our panelists for being a part of that. I'm excited about the conversation that we'll have today.

Just to give you a brief description of Policy Review: we are a peer-reviewed academic journal that's completely student-run at the College. This year, we have two different issues, one of which has to do with vulnerable and underserved groups and policy-making, and the other which focuses on international issues related to policy.

Our symposium this year examines the role of social protest in policy making, both in the United States and abroad. I think that this symposium will do a great job of blending both of the focal points of our two issues together. Moreover, I think that this topic is important to discuss, given recent events that we've seen in Virginia. I think that it's something that's on the hearts and minds of policy-makers and people all around the state. So, thank you so much for being here. With that, I'm going to pass it over to our Executive Editor and moderator, Logan, who will introduce our guests.”

Read the full transcript of the symposium here.

The Required Law & Public Policy Course in the College of William & Mary's Master of Public Policy Program: 25 Years of Lessons

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 9, Issue 1 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

In recent years, several commentators have called for an increased emphasis on law in public affairs education. Citing the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Code of Ethics, Sheila Suess Kennedy, professor of law and public policy in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and Deanna Malatesta, associate professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington wrote that public affairs instructors are “obliged to teach with a ‘healthy respect for the Constitution and law.’” But these commentators disagree on precisely what law should be taught, and how.

Find the full version of this article in PDF form here

Blockchain and International Development: Can Blockchain Technology be the Solution to Effective Land Registration Systems in Developing Nations?

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 9, Issue 1 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

Blockchain technology (BT), the technology that underpins the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin, is a secure, decentralized, and distributed online ledger that records and stores information accurately. A blockchain is public, transparent, and immutable. Everyone can inspect but no one controls it; it does not require a central authority like a government agency or bank to manage transactions. While the mania surrounding Bitcoin and competing cryptocurrencies has alarmed many observers who are worried about market volatility and staying power, BT is predicted to become widely adopted in an ever-broadening range of private and public transactions. This article explores the emerging application of BT to land registration in places governed by customary law and practices where determining who owns land and property is not practically possible or feasible today. If the applications can scale up sufficiently to serve large segments of a country or region under customary land tenure, BT provides a path out of poverty for individual landowners and the opportunity to bolster a country’s economy by freeing up huge amounts of previously locked capital and allowing land to be used as collateral for lending, bought and sold, and taxation.

Find the full version of this article in PDF form here.

The Illusion of Broken Windows Theory: An Ethnographic Engagement with the Theory That Was Not There

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 9, Issue 1 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

This article critically engages with the debate over Broken Windows Theory by drawing on three years of findings from an ethnographic case study of an urban space in Jersey City, New Jersey, in which rates of serious crime were relatively low, yet levels of “disorder,” as typically conceived by advocates of Broken Windows Theory, were relatively high. At the very least, these findings demonstrate that there is no necessary connection between “disorder” and crime.

Such findings do not, however, serve to refute Broken Windows Theory even though it is commonly translated into the simple proposition “disorder causes crime”1 or into the much more ambitious notion that “crime is the inevitable result of disorder.”2 It is not clear that the findings even so much as count as evidence against the theory. Rather, as my efforts to engage with the theory revealed, it became increasingly unclear what evidence, if any, could ever count against it, much less disprove it.

Find the full version of this article in PDF form here.