Elizabeth Shanahan

D.A., Idaho State University, 2005

Curriculum: Public policy processes and analysis, research methods and applied statistics, foundations of public administration


PSCI 210 - Introduction to American Government (online)
PSCI 310 - Applied Statistical Techniques
PSCI 437 - Environmental Politics
PSCI 551 - Research Methods for Public Administrators
PSCI 552 - Public Policy Processes
PSCI 554 - Foundations of Public Administration

Research Agenda: Public policy decision making,
environmental politics of the Greater Yellowstone Area

Phone: 406-994-5167
E-mail: shanahan@montana.edu


Educational Background

D.A., Political Science, Idaho State University, 2005.

Doctoral Dissertation - “Land Conservation Initiatives in the American West: An Examination of Varying Levels of Support.” Mark McBeth, advisor.

Master of Public Administration, Public Policy, Idaho State University, 2004.

Master of Counseling, Community Counseling, Idaho State University, 1994.

A.B., Comparative Literature, Dartmouth College,1986.

Academic Positions

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Montana State University, Bozeman. (October 2011–present)

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Montana State University, Bozeman. (August 2005–September 2011)

Doctoral Fellow, Department of Political Science, Idaho State University, Pocatello. (2001-2005)

Professional Activities

ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research) Training

Social Network Analysis, with Stanley Wasserman (2011) and Katherine Faust (2012)

Research & Publications

Central to my research is the study of how policy narratives influence policy outcomes. With colleagues, we have developed the Narrative Policy Framework, which identifies for empirical testing various classes of narrative variables at the micro, meso, and macro levels of analysis. In other words, how does the use of characters (villains, heroes, and victims) influence public opinion (micro)? How do different coalition group narrative strategies influence policy outcomes (meso)?

Currently, my colleagues (Mark K. McBeth—Idaho State University and Michael D. Jones—Virginia Tech) and I are working on a trifecta of books: an edited volume of NPF studies at the three levels, an NPF policy analysis book, and an NPF theory book. I welcome inquiries and ideas on using NPF.

Historically, the policy issues I have used in studying policy narratives have been some of the contentious issues in the Greater Yellowstone: management of bison, wolf reintroduction, snowmobile access to YNP. Currently, I am exploring climate change narratives at the local, state, and national levels.

Selected Publications:

Publication on Narrative Policy Framework

McBeth, M.K., Shanahan, E.A., Anderson, M., & Rose, B. (2012). Policy story or gory story: Narrative policy framework analysis of Buffalo Field Campaign’s YouTube videos. Policy and Internet, forthcoming.

Shanahan, E.A., Jones, M.D., and McBeth, M.K. (2011). Policy Narratives and Policy Processes. Policy Studies Journal, 39(3), 535-561.

Shanahan, E.A., McBeth, M.K., & Hathaway, P.L. (2011). Narrative policy framework: The influence of media policy narratives on public opinion. Policy & Politics, 39(3), 373-400.

McBeth, M.K., Shanahan, E.A., Tigert, L.E., Hathaway, P.L., & Sampson, L.J. (2010). Buffalo tales: Interest group policy stories and tactics in greater Yellowstone. Policy Sciences,43(4), 391-409. 

Shanahan, E.A., McBeth, M.K., Hathaway, P.L., & Arnell, R.J. (2008). Conduit or contributor? The role of media in policy change theory. Policy Sciences,41(2), 115-138.

McBeth, M.K., Shanahan, E.A., Arnell, R.J., & Hathaway, P.L. (2007). The intersection of narrative policy analysis and policy change theory. Policy Studies Journal,35(1), 87-108.

McBeth, M.K. & Shanahan, E.A. (2005). Public opinion for sale: The role of policy marketers in greater Yellowstone policy conflict. Policy Sciences,37(3/4), 319-338.

McBeth, M.K., Shanahan, E.A., & Jones, M.D. (2005). The science of storytelling: Measuring policy beliefs in greater Yellowstone. Society and Natural Resources,18(5), 413-429.

Shanahan, E.A. & McBeth, M.K. (2010). The science of storytelling: Policy marketing and wicked problems in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. In J.D. Johnson (Ed.), Knowing Yellowstone: Science in the Nation’s First National Park (pp. 140-159). Boulder, CO: Taylor Trade.

Other Publications

Rossmann, D. & Shanahan, E.A. (2012). Defining and achieving normative democratic values in participatory budgeting processes. Public Administration Review,72(1), 56-65.

Shanahan, E.A. (2010). Open space ballot initiatives in the American West: A new west--old west phenomenon?Studies in Sociology of Science, 1(1),22-35.

Shanahan, E.A., McBeth, M.K., Tigert, L.E., & Hathaway, P.L. (2010). From protests to litigation to YouTube: A longitudinal case study of strategic lobby tactic choice for the Buffalo Field Campaign. Social Science Journal,47(1), 137-150.

Lachapelle, P.R. & Shanahan, E.A. (2010). The pedagogy of citizen participation in local government: Designing and implementing effective board training programs for municipalities and counties. Journal of Public Affairs and Education,6(3), 401-419.


American Political Science Association, (2004- present).
Midwest Political Science Association (2011).
Western Political Science Association, (2003-present).
MSU’s Women’s Faculty Caucus, (2009-present)
Casque and Gauntlet, a senior honor society at Dartmouth College (1985-1986).