Date of Award
Master of Community Planning
Rhode Island is a small state, perhaps the closest thing in North America to an ancient city state. The area of the state is compact; most of the state's population lives in the metropolitan Providence area. Because the state is so small everything is handy. “Everybody knows everybody or knows someone who does," marveled one person who moved here. The bureaucracy is small and concentrated. For this reason it is supposed by some that Rhode Island is the perfect, small laboratory to test innovation in government. Everything happens on a small scale; for that reason it should be easy for the elected politicians to conceive an idea and get it implemented.
I propose to turn this idea upside down. Rhode Island's true value is to discover why things don't work. It is so small its bureaucracy is comparatively easy to observe. Rhode Island public figures are, in the experience of this writer, fairly accessible. (No one I approached for an interview turned me down) What makes a bold new program, with a lot of high-powered support go wrong?
Haupt, Kenneth Daniel, "LOST IN THE IRON TRIANGLE: PUBLIC POLICY MAKING IN RHODE ISLAND" (1982). Open Access Master's Theses. Paper 512.