Just don’t ask for NSF Support

Below is a post that was sent this morning to the Political Methodology listserv.  Note that the discipline is Sociology, yet the research is, I would guess, the kind that Senator Coburn would like to see universities and professional associations fund.  It is a nice demonstration of why Coburn’s language does not actually achieve its intended goal. [Yes, I know that this person does not ask for funding; that is beside the point as they person might learn that he would like funding to collect the data he seeeks.]  Of course, my argument suggests that Coburn’s goal was to squelch support for research he does not like, when his goal is more likely to score points with his constituency, in which case I am mistaken (much as those who argue that economic sanctions do not change country’s human rights performance fail to recognize that the goal of economic sanctions might primarily be to satisfy a constituency).

Dear Political Methodologists,

My name is Theo Leenman and I am a PhD candidate at Harvard studying political sociology. I was hoping you might be able to assist me with a research question I had.

For my current project, I am analyzing political discourse around education policy at the state level. As one of my data sources, I am compiling Governors’ State-of-the-state addresses. Unfortunately, these are easy to find online for most recent years (2011-2013) but I have trouble locating earlier years.  A complete archive would be ideal, but I fear it doesn’t
exist. So, what is most crucial is to have all state-of-the-state addresses from 1990-present. I know similar databases have been compiled by universities such as UPenn’s collection of Presidential Campaign discourse.
I am hoping that something comparable exists for governor speeches!

Please let me know if you are aware of any such database or if you have any recommendations. Even if I cannot create my ideal complete database, if you have any idea how I could find some years of state-of-the-state addresses any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you very much,


Theodore S. Leenman
*Doctoral Candidate*
*Department of Sociology*
*Harvard University*

About Will H. Moore

I am a political science professor who also contributes to Political Violence @ a Glance and sometimes to Mobilizing Ideas . Twitter: @WilHMoo
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