The substantive focus of this applied research project, sponsored by the US National Science Foundation, is international collaboration efforts regarding air quality monitoring and reporting initiatives that involve the United States and Mexico, and the United States and China. An international network of native research partners led by the Center for Technology in Government is exploring the issues in the context of these two bi-lateral collaborations. The goal is to analyze the actual experiences of government and partner organizations as the basis for developing both conceptual models and practical tools for effective transnational knowledge sharing.
The work addresses the following questions:
We will build on the work of two teams already formed; a multinational team from North America and a team of researchers from the United States and China, to examine such relationships in the form of extended “public sector knowledge networks” (PSKNs). In particular, the work will focus on cross-national knowledge networks in air quality, an area where the United States plays an active role in the international community and where the issues under consideration are significant in terms of both domestic and international impact.
The cases for preliminary study will include one in North America and one in China. The North American case involves the Joint Advisory Committee for the Improvement of Air Quality in the Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, El Paso, Texas, and Doña Ana County, New Mexico Air Basin (JAC). This initiative already has a functioning PSKN and a case study about this network has been written and published by members of the project team.
PSKNs are just emerging in relationships involving the United States and China. The US EPA is in the formative stages of building a PSKN with government officials and other interested actors in Shanghai, China. This particular PSKN initiative known as the AIRNow-International Shanghai Initiative involves the US EPA and the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau. Because this effort is at an earlier stage than the US and Mexican JAC case, it offers an opportunity to observe and analyze it as it develops.
The US-China case will extend work launched through the collaborative efforts of several members of the project team. In particular, the dissertation research of a former student at the Center for Technology in Government, Dr. Lei Zheng, who is now a faculty member at Fudan University in Shanghai provides the foundation for the connection between NSF-funded research on PSKNs and cross-boundary information sharing and a growing interest on the part of Chinese leaders and scholars for comparable studies in China.
This research effort will focus on these two preliminary case studies as vehicles for exploring the factors that shape transnational PSKNs and for building, testing, and refining a methodology for conducting such work in more depth in the future. This project will run for approximately 21 months.
The project’s research questions will be examined in the context of international relationships that are particularly important vis-à-vis the United States as a member of the international community and a leader in the global economy.
Below is a list of the project’s key research activities:
This project is funded by a $200,000 grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation.