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Laura Jensen

Associate Professor, Center for Public Administration & Policy (CPAP)
Laura Jensen
104 Draper Rd, SW
Blacksburg, VA 24061
  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of Connecticut, 1996
  • M.P.A., Public Affairs, University of Connecticut, 1991
  • M.F.A., Music Composition, Princeton University, 1979
  • B.A., Music, Wellesley College, 1977
  • Public policy
  • Social welfare policy
  • Government contracting and accountablility
  • State development
  • American political developmennt
  • PAPA 5014: Concepts and Approaches in Public Administration
  • PAPA 6014: Theory and Context of Public Administration
  • PAPA 6254: Advanced Topics in Public Policy: Poverty, Inequality, and Social Policy
  • PAPA 6254: Advanced Topics in Public Policy: Legal Dimensions of Public Administration
  • PAPA 6264: Advanced Topics in Policy Systems: Federalism and Intergovernmental Management
  • PAPA 6294: Doctoral Research Seminar
  • PAPA 6394: Doctoral Writing Seminar


  • Patriots, Settlers, and the Origins of American Social Policy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 

Selected articles and book chapters

  • “Habitual Path Dependence of Interorganizational Relationships—A Response to Sydow” (with Donna Sedgwick). 2021. Perspectives on Public Management and Governance 4 (3), forthcoming. Published online 28 April 2021.
  • “Path Dependence and the Roots of Interorganizational Relationship Challenges” (with Donna Sedgwick). 2021. Perspectives on Public Management and Governance 4 (1): 47-62.
  • “Access to Autism Spectrum Disorder Services for Rural Citizens (with A. Scarpa-Friedman, D. Gracanin, S. L. Ramey, A. V. Dahiya-Singh, L. M. Ingram, J. Albright, A. Gatto, J. Scott, and L. A. Ruble). 2020. Journal of Appalachian Health 2 (1): 25-40.
  • “The Utility of Narrative Voices in the Federal Procurement Contract” (with L. Maria Ingram). 2018. Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation 4 (1-2): 58-74. First published online on 22 April 2020.
  • “The Twentieth-Century Administrative State and Networked Governance.” 2017. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 27 (3): 468-484.
  • “Is Public Management Neglecting the State?” (with Brint Milward, Alasdair Roberts, Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna, Veronica Junjan, René Torenvlied, Arjen Boin, H.K. Colebatch, Donald Kettl, and Robert Durant). 2017. Governance 29 (3): 3-34.
  • “Fiduciary Responsibilities to Whom? Federal Grant Recipients’ Perceptions of the Public Interest” (with Emily Brock and Meredith Hundley). 2016. Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, and Financial Management 28 (1): 72-102.
  • “Social Provision before the Twentieth Century,” in The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Social Policy, ed. Béland, Howard, and Morgan. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 23-40).
  • New Deal – Cold War outsourcing
  • Path dependency theory
  • Twilight networks
  • Development of the American welfare state and welfare policy
  • Social construction of citizens and groups of citizens in public policy
  • Political development
  • Government contracting
  • Conditions attached to grants and entitlement programs