Politics & Policy

Summer Scholars Rice and Lewis-Beck to Work on "Iowa Small Towns Project"

Composite photo of Rice and Lewis-Beck

The Public Policy center welcomes the first of its summer scholars-in-residence teams, Colin Lewis-Beck (visiting assistant professor in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science), and Tom Rice (professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Political Science). Lewis-Beck and Rice will work on their “Iowa Small Towns Project” May 25 through June 5. 

The Iowa Small Towns Project was started in 1994 by a team of rural sociologists and economists at Iowa State University to collect data on the social and economic conditions in Iowa rural communities.  The survey questions covered a range of topics, such as the quality of government and community services, community attitudes, community behavior, community health, political attitudes, as well as economic and demographic information on the respondents.  The project was such a success the survey was repeated in 2004 and 2014. 

Rice and Colin-Beck will analyze all three waves of the data to better understand how small Iowa communities have been changing over time, through three broad research questions looking at community attachment, political attitudes and the politics of resentment, and finally the dynamics of community power.  Their proposed outcome of the project is at least two articles, in either a sociology or political science journal.

This project is supported by the PPC. For more information about the PPC Summer Scholars-in-Residence program, click here.