WSU professors, alumni publish political science book

‘Outside Looking In’ examines political discourse at local level



“Outside Looking In” features research and work from WSU professors, faculty and alumni.


Multiple WSU staff, faculty and alumni collaborated in putting together a book that examines current political discourse in U.S. state legislatures.

“Outside Looking In: Lobbyists’ Views on Civil Discourse in U.S. State Legislatures,” was published by WSU Press in early September 2021. 

Linda Bathgate, WSU Press assistant director, said the investigators did a survey on lobbyists throughout the U.S. and the book encapsulates what they found through that survey.

“They were trying to determine the level of civility or incivility in each of the 50 states,” Bathgate said. “They sent these surveys and compiled the results to come up with some conclusions about what kind of civility is going on in the United States government at the state level.”

Nicholas Lovrich, School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public emeritus regents professor, said he was the senior editor for the book and wrote a chapter for it.

Lovrich said he also organized who would write for the book; so during the development stage for the book, he called up some political science graduates from WSU to work with him. 

Several WSU faculty members and former students worked on the book by the time it was published. He said some were students he had in class in the past and others were old colleagues. 

“We’re all this group of people that have a connection through WSU,” Lovrich said. “The only way this book [happened] is because we have maintained this connection over a long period of time.” 

There are two audiences for this book, he said. One group is the people who work in political sciences and the other group is the people who study and write about politics in America. 

Bathgate also serves as editor-in-chief for WSU Press and said she has worked to publish other books along with “Outside Looking In.”

As editor-in-chief, she works with authors on their ideas from pitch to publication. She said they initially prepare a proposal and she helps the authors develop a manuscript. After she is sent the manuscripts, she reviews them and sends them to experts to get their perspectives. 

When Bathgate receives feedback on these ideas, she sends them to the WSU Press editorial board, she said.  The editorial board helps decide if the book should be published or not.

Initially, the book was not supposed to happen, Lovrich said. The contributors to the book were supposed to go to a conference in San Diego and present their papers. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference did not happen, and the authors had no place to show their work.

Lovrich said he had the idea to add more papers and take them to WSU Press to see if they were interested in publishing a book, which is how “Outside Looking In” came to be.

Bathgate said she enjoyed working with the authors and other editors on the book, especially Lovrich. 

“He was really engaged, and he’s extremely organized, and he’s a very nice man,” she said. “Nick is a very approachable man, he’s very easy to talk to, he’s very knowledgeable, but he’s just a normal guy.”

Lovrich said he has been at WSU for over 40 years and has helped a large number of students earn their doctoral degrees.

He said working on this book gave him the opportunity to stay in touch with his former students because the majority of the contributors were tied to WSU in one way or another. 

“They’re all very dear to me, and they’re like children in a way,” Lovrich said. “So when Papa Lovrich asks you to be a part of this, they all said yes.”