Ashley Tallevi

Ph.D. Student in American Politics

Dissertation Title:  Making the Political Private: State Visibility, Health Policy, and Trust in Government

Committee:  Matthew Levendusky (Co-chair), Marc Meredith (Co-chair), Adolph Reed

Dissertation Summary: 

     Over the past half-century, much of the growth in government programs has been carried out by non-state actors, creating the so-called hidden or submerged state.  My dissertation investigates whether this privatization influences people’s understanding of when they are interacting with a government program, and it traces how these perceptions shape evaluations of the political system.  

     This inquiry is fundamentally an assessment of the relationship between policy design and democratic accountability.  I show how the administration of public policies can fracture the basic premise of democratic accountability by distorting perceptions of what government is doing and when government affects you personally, and I demonstrate how these distortions have tangible consequences for how people evaluate government.  I use the movement toward Medicaid managed care and recent changes to contraceptive regulations – policies which disproportionately impact low-income women – to pursue this line of inquiry.  

      This research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and The Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics.

University of Pennsylvania
208 S. 37th Street, Room 217
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6215
Phone: (215) 898-7641

Anne Norton Chair
Matthew Levendusky Graduate Chair
Marc Meredith Undergraduate Chair