Nominee for Social Science Paper of the Year: Kenneth J. Meier, "Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth, 'Cause I'm Kissin' You Goodbye: The Politics of Ideas," Policy Studies Journal 32(2). Abstract excerpt:

The thesis of this article is that country music is a crucial part of the politics of ideas, and in fact, many policy debates are resolved in country music well before the intellectual community of policy analysts reaches a consensus. This article will recap some of the key policy debates in which country music set the agenda [footnote omitted], established the key policy alternatives, or resolved the policy debate and permitted the adoption of public policy . . .


Perhaps the most noteworthy contribution to public policy has been country music’s framing of the death penalty debate after Furman v. Georgia. On the one side is the classic argument for deterrence by Roger Miller (1964):

Dang, me. Dang, me.

They ought to take a rope and hang me,

high from the highest tree.