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Interviews with Scholars of Public Policy about their New Books

Interviews with Scholars of Public Policy about their New Books
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Interviews with Scholars of Public Policy about their New Books




Steven Alvarez, “Brokering Tareas: Mexican Immigrant Families Translanguaging Homework Literacies” (Suny Press, 2018)

In this episode, I speak with Steven Alvarez about his book, Brokering Tareas: Mexican Immigrant Families Translanguaging Homework Literacies (SUNY Press, 2017). This book highlights a grassroots literacy mentorship program that connects emerging bilingual and trilingual K-12 students with college students from similar backgrounds. We discuss how New York immigration...


Thomas Mulligan, “Justice and the Meritocratic State” (Routledge Press, 2018)

Thomas Mulligan’s new book, Justice and the Meritocratic State (Routledge Press, 2018), posits a theory of justice that is based on the allocation of valuable goods (jobs and appropriate income) according to merit. This is an abstract concept that Mulligan details according to economic, philosophical, and political understandings. He weaves...


Jacob Levine, “Cannabis Discourse: Facts and Opinions in Context” (Jacob Levine, 2018)

What is the landscape of our cannabis knowledge? In his new book Jacob Levine author of the Cannabis Discourse: Facts and Opinions in Context (Jacob Levine, 2018) gives readers an overview of the perceptions, opinions, and arguments surrounding cannabis present in today’s political discourse. Levine encourages the reader to “read between...


Timothy J. Lombardo, “Blue-Collar Conservatism: Frank Rizzo’s Philadelphia and Populist Politics” (U Pennsylvania Press, 2018)

President Donald Trump is not sui generis. Populist impulses and political actors have been pulsating in the American soul since the nation’s founding. Timothy J. Lombardo’s excellent book, Blue-Collar Conservatism: Frank Rizzo’s Philadelphia and Populist Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018) recounts one such example. Starting in the mid-1960s, Rizzo dominated...


Suzanne Mettler, “The Government-Citizen Disconnect” (Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2018)

One of the paradoxes of US politics today is the widely dispersed benefits, but overall distrust, of government. Citizens enjoy many types of social policy, yet reject the process that provides for much aid to individual health, income, and education. What explains this paradox? In The Government-Citizen Disconnect (Russell Sage...


Annie Lowrey, “Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World” (Crown, 2018)

How can we end the scourge of poverty? How we can sustain ourselves once robots eliminate the need for many jobs? Annie Lowrey offers an answer in the title of her book, Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World (Crown, 2018). She...


Heather Schoenfeld, “Building the Prison State: Race and the Politics of Mass Incarceration” (U Chicago Press, 2018)

How did prisons become a tool of racial inequality? Using historical data, Heather Schoenfeld’s new book Building the Prison State: Race and the Politics of Mass Incarceration (University of Chicago Press, 2018) “answers how the United States became a nation of prisons and prisoners” (p. 5). Schoenfeld exposes the reader to the historical...


Robert N. Gross, “Public vs. Private: The Early History of School Choice in America” (Oxford UP, 2018)

There are numerous political debates about education policy today, but some of the most heated surround vouchers, charter schools, and other questions about public funding and oversight of private schools. Though many of these questions feel new, they, in fact, have a long history. Public vs. Private: The Early History...


Simone Wesner, “Artists’ Voices in Cultural Policy: Careers, Myths and the Creative Profession after German Unification” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018)

Why is the artist’s voice missing from cultural policy? In Artists’ Voices in Cultural Policy: Careers, Myths and the Creative Profession after German Unification (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), Dr. Simone Wesner, a lecturer in arts management at Birkbeck, University of London, explores this question in the context of post-war and post-unification Germany. The...


Katherine Benton-Cohen, “Inventing the Immigration Problem: The Dillingham Commission and Its Legacy” (Harvard UP, 2018)

In 1907 the U.S. Congress created a joint commission to investigate what many Americans saw as a national crisis: an unprecedented number of immigrants flowing into the United States. Experts—women and men trained in the new field of social science—fanned out across the country to collect data on these fresh...


Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik, “Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It” (Penguin, 2018)

How can we learn from large system failures? In their new book Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It (Penguin Press, 2018), Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik explore system failures and what we can learn from them. The book takes readers through a diverse set of...


Edward Khantzian, “Treating Addiction: Beyond the Pain” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018)

Treatment of addiction often focuses on abstinence or ‘harm reduction.’ While many people benefit greatly from such approaches, the underlying pain and heartache often go untreated, leaving individuals vulnerable to relapse. Focusing on the emotional undercurrents of addiction can help individuals address, once and for all, the deep-seated factors that...


David Peter Stroh, “Systems Thinking For Social Change” (Chelsea Green, 2015)

While Systems Thinking has enjoyed an increasing amount of societal influence through work of such practitioner/authors as Peter Senge, it is also true that the vast majority of the popular literature on the systems view has taken place within a business context and, as such, often avoids placing the “first...


Eric Winsberg, “Philosophy and Climate Science” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that there is a warming trend in the global climate that is attributable to human activity, with an expected increase in global temperature (given current trends) of 1.5- 4.5 degrees Celsius (2.7-7.2 degrees Fahrenheit). But how do climate scientists reach these conclusions?...


Stephen C. Yeazell, “Lawsuits in a Market Economy: The Evolution of Civil Litigation” (U Chicago Press, 2018)

Stephen C. Yeazell‘s Lawsuits in a Market Economy: The Evolution of Civil Litigation (University of Chicago Press, 2018) is an in-depth look at the development and current situation of civil litigation. It beings with the question of why civil lawsuits have become such a political question and uses that to...


Warren Treadgold, “The University We Need: Reforming American Higher Education” (Encounter Books, 2018)

Though many people know that American universities now heavily favor leftist ideology, few people understand how much this matters, how it happened, how bad it is, or what can be done about it. In The University We Need: Reforming American Higher Education (Encounter Books, 2018), Professor Warren Treadgold shows the...


Frank R. Baumgartner, “Suspect Citizens: What 20 Million Traffic Stops Tell Us about Policing and Race” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

We recently marked the 50th Anniversary of Terry vs. Ohio, the US Supreme Court case that dramatically expanded the scope under which agents of the state could stop people and search them. Taking advantage of a North Carolina law…


Linda Ross Meyer, “Sentencing in Time” (Amherst College Press, 2017)

If you look at the history of punishment (at least in the West), what you’ll see is that we’ve gone from a penal regime that used (inter alia) physical violence–whipping, beating, branding, amputation, and killing–to one that uses…


Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey, “Waste of a Nation: Growth and Garbage in India” (Harvard UP, 2018)

Is India facing a waste crisis? As its population, cities and consumption grow what are the implications for the health, well being and everyday lives of Indians? In Waste of a Nation: Growth and Garbage in India (Harvard University Press,…


Adam Tanner, “Our Bodies, Our Data: How Companies Make Billions Selling Our Medical Records” (Beacon Press, 2017)

Personal health information often seems locked-down: protected by patient privacy laws, encased in electronic record systems (EHRs) and difficult to share or transport by and between physicians and hospitals. But as Adam Tanner argues in his latest book, Our Bodies, …