Michael Hankinson is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the George Washington University.
Dr. Hankinson studies how institutional spatial scale affects political behavior to undermine democratic representation. He uses original data to show that collective outcomes in housing, health policy, and voting behavior are all shaped by the spatial scale of institutions. Previous research has suggested that when institutions are designed to shift power to smaller spatial scales, they may result in normatively positive outcomes. His research indicates that the smaller spatial scale of institutions may change political behavior in ways that prevent the development of needed public goods, such as housing and public health infrastructure. In short, the design of political institutions can subvert representation and collective action around the siting of things society needs, but nobody wants nearby.