Mark Allen James

University of Oklahoma
Political Science

1213 Spalding Road
Haskell, OK

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I am a doctoral student in Political Science, with emphasis in public policy and public administration. I received a masters of public policy and administration from the California State University-Sacramento in 2001, Masters of Political Science from the University of Oklahoma in Fall of 2012, and anticipate completion of a PhD in Political Science from OU in the Spring of 2015. My dissertation work considers how individuals respond to public policy messages, specifically, how do individuals respond when they receive tornado warnings, and the factors which influence these decisions.

James, Mark. 2013. "Individual Loss Avoidance in the Face of a Tornado: Compliance costs of seeking shelter." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, May, 2013.
Abstract: The impacts of individual trust in the risk communication source, previous experience with severe weather events, as well as trust in institutions, are evaluated in terms of individual risk avoidance behavior. Compliance costs associated with risk reducing actions may shift what would appear to be loss avoidance behavior to actually becoming risky behavior, therefore a less preferable option. The author examines voluntary compliance by the general public in regards to severe weather warnings. A more robust understanding of how apparently low compliance costs, such as seeking shelter in a the face of a potential on-coming tornado, may in fact be comprised of additional embedded costs. The additional costs may result in the individual re-evaluating the cost-benefit of seeking shelter. Data utilized was collected in a large survey (n ˜ 4000) and analyzed to examine individual risk avoidance behavior. The impacts of individual trust in the risk communication source, previous experience with severe weather events, as well as trust in institutions, are evaluated in terms of individual risk avoidance behavior.
Peaden, Charles, Mark James, and Ron Woosely. "Public Housing and NIMBY: The Effects of Citizen Participation in the Siting of Public Housing Facilities." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southwest Political Science Association, Houston, TX, March 21, 1996.
Abstract: Public housing has entered the realm of toxic waste dumps in terms of public opposition to the siting of facilities. This response is known as NIMBY, or Not In My BackYard syndrome. In this paper, Tulsa, Oklahoma is examined to determine the expected levels of opposition to these types of sitings and if anything can be done to reduce public opposition. A random sample of 426 residents of Tulsa were surveyed in order to measure both the levels of opposition to a public housing siting and what, if any, tradeoffs could be offered to the public that would lesson opposition to the siting of the facility. This study compared two groups: those that had actual experience with public housing in their neighborhood, and those who had not. We found that the use of participatory tradeoffs had very little impact on either group in reducing opposition. In terms of factors that could influence opposition, the hypothetical group was significantly influenced by socio-economic levels, general participation levels, and the perception that the facility would be a danger. The only factor that significantly effected the actual group was the perception that the public housing facility presents a danger to the neighborhood.
James, Mark, and Haley Murphy. 2011. Shaking Up State Disaster Policy: "How Does Risk Communication Influence Public Perception and Policy Making." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, May 1, 2011.
Abstract: In 2008 FEMA warned that a major earthquake along the New Madrid fault line within the next 50 years could likely cause the worst economic damage associated with a natural disaster in United States history. FEMA has elevated Missouri?s earthquake risk assessment to high. High consequence, low frequency events of this type pose daunting policy implications. communicate The authors determine which factors increase successful risk communication, increased public awareness, and preventive policy making in California, where citizens and government officials have recent memory of earthquake damage, and Missouri, where there is a high risk of earthquake activity but no recent earthquake damage. This research has application in many disaster scenarios where risk is high, but public awareness is low.
Jenkins-Smith, Hank, Carol Silva, Rob P. Rechard, Kuhika Gupta, Matthew Nowlin, Joe Ripberger, Savannah Collins, Mark James, Geoboo Song and Sarah Trousset. August 2011. "US Department of Energy. Fuel Cycle Research & Development. Perspectives on Nuclear Waste Management."
Abstract: As the United States (US) reviews the current waste management policy for used nuclear fuel (UNF) and high-level waste (HLW), the Used Fuel Disposition (UFD) Campaign of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy is identifying alternatives and conducting research to facilitate storage, transportation, and disposal of radioactive wastes generated by the current and alternative nuclear fuel cycles, and, thereby, develop a suite of options that will enable future decision-makers to make informed decisions about how best to manage UNF. However, as noted by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America?s Nuclear Future, ??the core difficulty remains what it has always been: finding a way to site these inherently controversial facilities and to conduct the waste management program in a manner that allows all stakeholders, but most especially host communities, states, and tribes, to conclude that their interests have been adequately protected and their well-being enhanced?? Hence, in addition to technical issues, the UFD Campaign is building upon past social/political science to provide background and information to help implement site selection schemes in the future for nuclear fuel cycle facilities including consolidated storage and disposal facilities. This report discusses the status of this work. Similar work will continue into FY12.

Substantive Focus:
Environmental Policy PRIMARY
Science and Technology Policy SECONDARY

Theoretical Focus:
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation PRIMARY
Public Opinion SECONDARY