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Julia Payson

Julia Payson

Ph.D. Candidate


Julia Payson is a PhD Candidate in Political Science and the 2016-17 Thomas D. Dee II Fellow at the Bill Lane Center for the American West. Her research interests include American politics, representation and accountability in state and local government, public service provision, and intergovernmental lobbying.

Her book-style dissertation entitled "Intergovernmental Lobbying as Alternative Representation" examines the conditions under which local governments hire lobbyists to represent them before their state capitals and assesses whether spending money on intergovernmental lobbying is a good investment. She finds that cities use lobbying as a tool to compensate for perceived gaps in representation by state officials. These lobbying efforts then lead to increased grant transfers from the state. However, not all cities benefit equally. Rich cities are disproportionately likely to hire lobbyists to address their representational concerns, and these wealthy municipalities then reap additional benefits from lobbying. She concludes that although lobbying can serve as an alternative path for local governments to achieve representation, it has the additional consequences of contributing to horizontal inequality in multilevel government.

At Stanford, Julia has served as a teaching assistant for “Campaigns, Voting, Media, and Elections,” “Urban Politics,” and “Introduction to American National Government and Politics.” She was also the instructor for the 2015 Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes course, “Topics in Politics and Public Policy.” In recognition of her commitment to teaching and service, Julia was granted the university-wide Centennial Teaching Assistant Award in 2014 and was named a 2014-2015 Graduate Public Service Fellow.