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April 5, 2012

ULM faculty-student collaboration yields publication exploring environmental policy and governance

Dr. John W. Sutherlin, associate professor in political science and co-director of the Social Science Research Lab at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Dale Willson, a ULM graduate in political science from Orchard Park, Wash., have published an article in "American International Journal of Contemporary Research."

The article is titled "Better Environmental Governance: A Function of Democracy or Authoritarianism?"

The paper explores the ties between environmental policy and democratic versus authoritarian governance structures - specifically, do authoritarian regimes represent an "efficient" manner to improve environmental conditions over their democratic counterparts?

Can authoritarian systems offer a different approach that is more ecologically friendly?

"Dale and I began working on the idea for this paper more than three years ago," noted Sutherlin, "Then it expanded to a conference presentation and finally into a research paper. We have edited and rewrote it many times to get it where it is now."

According to Willson, "The paper was an amalgamation of the things I had learned through my studies at ULM, being supplemented by my own personal interest and research into the subject. I'm greatly interested in state-building, and was delighted to further interest in the field of international studies."

Since ULM, Willson has enlisted in the U.S. Army and currently participates in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan where he is learning the trade of a paralegal in the JAG Corps.

After this deployment, he will attend the University of Oklahoma this fall and pursue a master's degree in public administration.

He is also obtaining a commission in the U.S. Army.

"When the Social Science Research Lab was started," added Sutherlin, "this is what we hoped would emerge: students and faculty conducting research and getting published or making conference presentations."

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