Governors Without Borders
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Governors have a central place in the U.S. democracy. This thesis explores how conservative governors use political power, and how they reach other states with their political agenda. Both formal and informal aspects of gubernatorial power play important roles in this process. In-depth studies of Governors Mitt Romney’s health reform and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approach to environmental issues have helped to understand how these political areas are diffused from one state to another, and sometimes even to the federal government. The theory chapter includes political diffusion, executive orders, policy- and budget games, political motivation, and the concept of framing. Additionally, political affiliation and degree of idealism are important for the political diffusion’s effect. The results of this study indicate that political diffusion from moderate Republicans is more effective in spreading policies than idealistic experiments and executive orders.