IBS Newsletter

November 2000

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado

Program Activities

Problem Behavior Program

Joanne Belknap attended the National Institute of Justice meeting in Washington, DC on October 1-3. She presented two invited papers: "Factors Related to Domestic Violence Court Disposition in Large Urban Areas" and "A Longitudinal Study of Battered Women in the System: The Victims' Perceptions." These papers are from two different projects funded by National Institute of Justice with Violence against Women Act monies.

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

Delbert S. Elliott continued his Safe Communities--Safe Schools Initiative tour with Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar. On October 3-5 they visited Clear Creek, Summit, Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin, Mesa, Delta, Rio Blanco, Moffat, Routt, Jackson, and Grand counties. On October 25 they visited Teller, Fremont, and Custer counties. He also presented, along with Attorney General Ken Salazar, the Safe Communities--Safe Schools Initiative at North High School, Denver and Monarch High School, Louisville on October 1 and at Coronado High School, Colorado Springs on October 19.

October 30-31 Elliott attended The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's "Prevention 2000: Moving Effective Programs Into Practice" in St. Michaels, Maryland. This is a working group to discuss the state of the prevention field.

On October 12, Jane Grady, Jennifer Carroll, and Landa Heys attended a meeting of the Colorado Interagency Task Force at the Attorney General's Office in Denver. The meeting was held for further discussion about development of an Interagency Agreement.

On October 25, Heys presented on CSPV, the Safe Communities--Safe Schools Initiative, and hosted an exhibit at CU-Boulder's Teacher Night at the CU Museum of Natural History.

Environment and Behavior Program

On October 17, Mary Fran Myers and Gilbert F. White reported to the Boulder City Council on the views of the Independent Review Panel on a proposal by the City Public Works staff to move ahead with Phase B of a plan to deal with the flood problem in Fourmile Canyon and Wonderland Creeks. The Panel had suggested that in this next stage more attention should be given to a variety of factors, including: the benefits and costs of environmental effects; collaboration with Boulder County on land use upstream and downstream; plans for emergency warning and response; the possible effects of floods of 500-year frequency; and the opportunities to flood-proof individual structures. The Council approved such consideration, and asked the Panel to continue its work in the next phase.

Lori M. Hunter presented at CU Department of Geography's colloquium on "Land Use Futures in the California Mojave: The Integration of Socioeconomic and Biophysical Concerns." on September 25.

Environment and Behavior Program

In Print

White, Gilbert F., 2000, "Preface," pp. 3-4 in Hiroshi Hori, The Mekong: Its Development and the Environment, Tokyo: United Nations University Press. Outline of the significance of and historical changes in approaches to water management under international auspices in the Mekong Basin.

Natural Hazards Center

Mary Fran Myers was invited to speak about the resources of the Natural Hazards Center at the annual meeting of the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) in Portland, Oregon, on October 6. EDEN is a consortium of 32 state university-based extension services dedicated to reducing the impact of natural and human-caused disasters through coordinated interdisciplinary and multi-state research and education programs addressing disaster mitigation, preparation, and recovery.

Political and Economic Change Program

Keith E. Maskus attended a conference on U.S.-Japan Trade Issues and the World Trade Organization at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, on October 5-6. He presented an invited paper "Intellectual Property Rights in the United States and Japan: Common Interests and Disputes." On October 16-19 he presented an invited paper "Implications of the TRIPS Agreement for Developing Countries" at a conference on The World Trade Organization, Regionalism, and the New Trade Agenda at the International Islamic University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On October 27-29 he presented (joint with Yongmin Chen) an invited paper "Vertical Pricing and Parallel Imports," at the Southeastern International Trade Meetings held at Rice University, Houston, Texas.

Edward S. Greenberg presented an invited paper at the Symposium on Alcohol in the Workplace on October 12 at the Cornell Club in New York City. The symposium was sponsored by the Smithers Institute for Alcohol-Related Workplace Studies at Cornell University. The paper, coauthored with Professor Leon Grunberg of the University of Puget Sound, is titled "The Changing Workplace, Alcohol Problems and Employee Well-Being." The paper attempts to summarize the results of the Greenberg-Grunberg research program on the impact of workplace structural factors (such as participation in decision making, layoff and job reengineering experiences, degree of job autonomy and work overload, etc.) on alcohol use and abuse, and on employee well-being. This research collaboration has spanned almost a decade, included a range of industries, and has been supported by two major grants from the National Institutes of Health. The paper suggests the following: (1) there is little direct "spillover" from workplace structural factors to alcohol behavior, though "spillover" models are powerful predictors of broader wellbeing outcomes (namely, physical and mental health); (2) where alcohol use and abuse outcomes occur, they are best understood in terms of fairly complex, combined "mediatedmoderated" models; and (3) particular groups of employees are especially "at risk" for alcohol problems and negative wellbeing outcomes, in particular, women managers, employees who experience substantial overload during the course of company job reengineering, and those employees who have been most closely touched by layoffs (but who remain employed in the company).

In Focus

Class Dynamics Research

Tom Mayer and grandson Zachary

Thomas F. Mayer (pictured with grandson Zachary) has been a member of the professional staff of the Institute of Behavioral Science for over 31 years. He is with the Political and Economic Change Program at IBS and a professor of Sociology. He received his bachelor's degree from Oberlin College (1959) and his doctoral degree in sociology from Stanford University (1966). He works within a Marxist intellectual paradigm and specializes in mathematical models of class structure. He has published widely on the application of stochastic processes, Fourier analysis, and dynamical systems theory to the study of social change. Mayer's 1994 book Analytical Marxism has become the standard reference on that theoretical perspective.

I have devoted my intellectual energies over the last six years to developing the theory and methods of class dynamics. This endeavor combines history and mathematics, two subjects that have always fascinated me. The fundamental idea of class dynamics flows from the Marxist notion that at the heart of historical change lies class struggle. I interpret class struggle in terms of power, and claim that, as a result of such struggle, the power of each social class goes up and down over time. The balance of class power delimits the domain of possible events, and undergirds our shared sense of political and economic reality.

The fundamental idea of class dynamics flows from the Marxist notion that at the heart of historical change lies class struggle.

Class dynamics theory establishes principles for analyzing how the power of social classes changes over time. Class dynamics methodology translates these principles into concrete models and, on this basis, interprets the broad patterns of historical change. I construct class dynamics models using nonlinear differential equations typically analyzed by means of computers. I tend to prefer pictures over equations, and try to present the results of dynamic modeling in graphical form. I have carried out extensive class dynamics modeling of two important cases: (a) the rise and decline of Swedish social democracy (1945-95), and (b) the collapse of Soviet Communism (1985-91). Each is briefly described below.

Spurts in the growth of the Swedish welfare state occurred when the power advantage of the capitalist class over the working class was small. Prior to 1965, these intervals of relative power equality were brief and never threatened the capitalist structure of Sweden. During the late sixties and early seventies, however, there was an extended period during which the capitalist and working classes remained relatively equal in power. This extended interval of power equality induced a socialist offensive aimed at transcending the limits of capitalism. During this period, however, all Swedish classes declined in power, making it difficult to carry out an ambitious socialist project. After a while, the capitalist class pulled out of its power decline, which doomed the socialist offensive. Thereafter the capitalist class attacked working class power far more aggressively than it had previously. By the early nineties these attacks sharply reduced the defensive capacities of the Swedish working class resulting in significant declines in welfare state provisions, and increased exposure of the Swedish economy to capitalist globalization.

My analysis of Soviet collapse revolves around the way in which the Soviet bureaucracy responded to efforts at political and economic reform. I claim that this bureaucracy was effectively divided into competing sectors, which I call the political and the administrative classes. In the face of the Gorbachev reform effort, a unique form of class interaction was established which induced power cycling and had two possible outcomes: firm dominance by the political class or power loss by both classes. My analysis shows how events of the reform period, including the attempted coup by conservative Communists in August 1991, pushed the Soviet system towards the power loss outcome. The system collapsed because both branches of the ruling class suffered a drastic loss of power and there existed no other social class that could exercise power within the context of Soviet institutions.

I am currently working on two rather distinct class dynamics projects. In one project I analyze European class dynamics of the 1930's (between the onset of the Great Depression and the outbreak of World War II) concentrating upon England and France. This involves a dynamic interpretation of Erik Wright's concept of class compromise, and shows how quite different forms of class compromise prevailed within England and France leading to entirely different class dynamics.

The second project attempts to measure class power in the United States as it evolved during the last half of the 20th century. This project treats class power as a latent variable having certain observable consequences (e.g., wage and profit rates, legislative composition, rules of taxation, government expenditures, court decisions, foreign policy, etc.). I try to use this mass of disparate effects to estimate class power and how it changes. For this purpose I am currently fiddling with dynamic versions of confirmatory factor analysis plus several other data reduction methodologies. If the measurement project is successful, it will naturally lead into an analysis of United States class dynamics over the last fifty years, but that formidable endeavor remains shrouded in the mists of the future.

Research Proposals Funded

Problem Behavior Program

D.H. Huizinga Understanding delinquency: a longitudinal multidisciplinary study
DoJ 10/01/00 - 09/30/01 cont.


Population Processes Program


F.C. Pampel Intergovernmental personnel act assignment agreement (IPA) for Dr. Fred C. Pampel
NSF 08/21/00 - 08/20/01 new


Research Proposals Submitted

Problem Behavior Program

D.H. Huizinga A prototype remote data access center for the program of research on the causes and correlates of delinquency
DoJ, OJP 10/01/00 - 09/30/01 new


D.S. Elliott Safe communities--safe schools
Colorado Trust 07/01/00 - 09/30/02 supp


D.S. Elliott

S. Mihalic

Blueprints for violence prevention: training and technical assistance
DoJ, OJP 10/15/00 - 10/14/01 renew


Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.

Institute of Behavioral Science

Richard Jessor, Institute Director

IBS Newsletter

Julie Klauss and Sugandha Brooks, Co-editors
Richard L. Cook, Web Site Coordinator

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0483

(303) 492-8147