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JoBeth Shafran

JoBeth Shafran

Assistant Professor

College of Arts and Sciences

Political Science and Public Affairs

Contact Information

Phone: 828.227.2526
Office: 351 Stillwell Building


I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in December of 2015 with my Ph.D. in Government, specializing in American Politics and Public Policy. My dissertation, and much of my research, focuses on information sharing at the subsystem level. I also have a M.A. in Government from UT-Austin as well as a M.A. in Political Science with a focus on Public Policy from West Virginia University. For the past eight years, I have been working with the Policy Agendas Project—a large resource of free data on American (and now many European) governmental institutions which have been coded according to policy content. I try to incorporate both my research and work with the PA Project when teaching my American government and public policy courses.


  • Ph D, University of Texas Austin, Government
  • MA, University of Texas Austin

Teaching Interests

American politics and institutions;policy theories and processes; bureaucratic politics; congressional-bureaucratic interactions; subsystem policy making, including problem definition, agenda setting, and implementation; and research design

Research Interests

My research centers on information sharing in subsystems which consist of issue-specific experts from three sources: congressional committees with jurisdiction, relevant bureaucracies, and vested interest groups. I focus on the conditions under which information is supplied to Congress and the effects of information on problem definitions and the policy process. Substantively, much of my research centers on energy and finance.

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