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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




Jonathan Rothwell, "A Republic of Equals: A Manifesto for a Just Society" (Princeton UP, 2019)

Inequality in the U.S. has increased dramatically over the past decades -- on that there is agreement. There is less agreement on the causes of that inequality, the consequences of it, and, perhaps least of all, what to do about it. Join us to hear Jonathan Rothwell talk about his new book, A Republic of Equals: A Manifesto for a Just Society (Princeton University Press, 2019), which pushes back against some of the conventional wisdom about the sources of inequality to offer his own...


Ruha Benjamin, "Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code" (Polity, 2019)

From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce White supremacy and deepen social inequity. In Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Polity, 2019), Benjamin argues that automation, far from being a sinister story of racist programmers scheming on the dark web, has the potential to hide, speed up, and deepen discrimination while appearing neutral and even benevolent when...


Mary Anne Franks, “The Cult of the Constitution” (Stanford UP, 2019)

We Americans are defined by our Constitution and we cherish especially the First and Second Amendments. But like all texts, the Constitution can be read to empower and protect our individual rights, but it can also be used selectively, self-servingly, and in bad faith. And the Constitution guarantees two things: our own personal liberties, unfettered by threats from the government, and equal treatment before the law. So is online harassment, assault weapons in every hand, and hate speech the...


Johanna Taylor, "The Art Museum Redefined: Power, Opportunity, and Community Engagement" (Palgrave, 2019)

What is the future of the museum? In The Art Museum Redefined: Power, Opportunity, and Community Engagement (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), Johanna Taylor, an assistant professor at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts’ Design School at Arizona State University, explores the relationship between art museums and the contemporary city. Using a case study of Corona Plaza and Queens’ Museum in New York, the book details how museums can co-operate, collaborate and organise with and for...


William P. Hustwit, "Integration Now: Alexander v. Holmes and the End of Jim Crow Education" (UNC Press, 2019)

In this episode of Talking Legal History, Siobhan talks with William P. Hustwit about his book Integration Now: Alexander v. Holmes and the End of Jim Crow Education (UNC Press, 2019). Hustwit is the Associate Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Birmingham-Southern College. Fifty years after the Supreme Court decision, Integration Now explores how studying the case Alexander v. Holmes (1969) enhances understandings of the history underlying school desegregation. This...


Bert A. Rockman and Andrew Rudalevige, "The Obama Legacy" (UP of Kansas, 2019)

Presidency scholars Bert A. Rockman and Andrew Rudalevige have compiled an excellent array of authors and essays in their edited volume, The Obama Legacy (University Press of Kansas, 2019). This book, with twelve chapters that explore multiple dimensions of Barack Obama’s Administration, provides readers with substantial analysis of policy, partisanship, historical and political context in considering both the administration itself and the legacy of Obama’s administration. This book is part...


Serin D. Houston, "Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Governance" (U Nebraska Press, 2019)

In Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Governance (University of Nebraska Press, 2019), the geographer Serin Houston complicates Seattle’s liberal and progressive reputation through a close ethnographic study of its urban governance. She sheds light on the institutional classism and racism and market-orientated thinking that pervades the decisions and practices of environmentalism and economic growth in the city. Houston’s finds three major social values--social justice,...


Kathryn Conrad on University Press Publishing

As you may know, university presses publish a lot of good books. In fact, they publish thousands of them every year. They are different from most trade books in that most of them are what you might called "fundamental research." Their authors--dedicated researchers one and all--provide the scholarly stuff upon which many non-fiction trade books are based. So when you are reading, say, a popular history, you are often reading UP books at one remove. Of course, some UP books are also...


Eileen Boris, "Making the Woman Worker: Precarious Labor and the Fight for Global Standards, 1919-2019" (Oxford UP, 2019)

Founded in 1919 along with the League of Nations, the International Labour Organization (ILO) establishes labor standards and produces knowledge about the world of work, serving as a forum for nations, unions, and employer associations. Before WWII, it focused on enhancing conditions for male industrial workers in Western, often imperial, economies, while restricting the circumstances of women's labors. Over time, the ILO embraced non-discrimination and equal treatment. It now promotes fair...


Lynne Pettinger, "What’s Wrong with Work?" (Policy Press, 2019)

How should we understand work? In What’s Wrong with Work? (Policy Press, 2019), Lynn Pettinger, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, explores how work is organised, interconnected, and what work does. The book offers a history of work, as well as challenging and destabilising taken for granted categories such as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ work, foregrounding what is usually taken to be invisible and is deleted. The book covers a range of theoretical territory too, but is...


Zoltan Hajnal, "Dangerously Divided: How Race and Class Shape Winning and Losing in American Politics" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

In his new book Dangerously Divided: How Race and Class Shape Winning and Losing in American Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Zoltan Hajnal examines the political impact of the two most significant demographic trends of last fifty years. Examining federal and local elections over many decades, as well as policy, Hajnal finds that race more than class or any other demographic factor shapes not only how Americans vote but also who wins and who loses. America has become a racial...


Gary J. Adler, Jr., "Empathy Beyond US Borders: The Challenges of Transnational Civic Engagement" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

Do immersion trips really transform those who participate and how so? In his new book Empathy Beyond US Borders: The Challenges of Transnational Civic Engagement (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Gary J. Adler, Jr. explores this question and more. Using mixed methods, including surveys, interviews, and ethnography, Adler investigates how an immersion travel organization located on the U.S./Mexico border uses particular pedagogy in their programming, as well as the cultural fractures that...


J. Neuhaus, "Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers" (West Virginia UP, 2019)

The things that make people academics -- as deep fascination with some arcane subject, often bordering on obsession, and a comfort with the solitude that developing expertise requires -- do not necessarily make us good teachers. Jessamyn Neuhaus’s Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers (West Virginia University Press, 2019) helps us to identify and embrace that geekiness in us and then offers practical, step-by-step guidelines for...


Steven White, "World War II and American Racial Politics: Public Opinion, the Presidency, and Civil Rights Advocacy" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

World War II played an important role in the trajectory of race and American political development, but the War's effects were much more complex than many assume. In order to unpack these complexities and mine underutilized sources of public opinion data, Steven White had written World War II and American Racial Politics: Public Opinion, the Presidency, and Civil Rights Advocacy (Cambridge University Press, 2019). White is an assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University....


Melanie Simms, "What Do We Know and What Should We Do About the Future of Work?" (Sage, 2019)

What is the future of work? In What Do We Know and What Should We Do About the Future of Work? (Sage, 2019), Melanie Simms, a Professor of Work and Employment at the University of Glasgow offers an overview off a vast range of issues associated with work- in a short and accessible book. The book asks us to remember the continuities of problems associated with work, as well as the emerging future trends. The latter include automation, an aging population and pensions, emotional and aesthetic...


David Farber, "Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

A shattering account of the crack cocaine years from award-winning American historian David Farber, Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed (Cambridge University Press, 2019) tells the story of the young men who bet their lives on the rewards of selling 'rock' cocaine, the people who gave themselves over to the crack pipe, and the often-merciless authorities who incarcerated legions of African Americans caught in the crack cocaine underworld. Based on interviews,...


Elizabeth F. Cohen and Cyril Ghosh, "Citizenship" (Polity, 2019)

Political Theorists Elizabeth F. Cohen and Cyril Ghosh have written a sharp, concise, and complex analysis of the concept of citizenship, the theoretical origins of the term and idea, and they have provided some contemporary examples of the difficulties surrounding issues of citizenship. As part of the Polity Press series “Key Concepts in Political Theory,” Citizenship (Polity, 2019) takes the reader through our own approaches to this concept and begins by highlighting how it is not always...


Wendy Brown, "In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West" (Columbia UP, 2019)

Neoliberalism is one of those fuzzy words that can mean something different to everyone. Wendy Brown is one of the world’s leading scholars on neoliberalism and argue that a generation of neoliberal worldview among political, business, and intellectual leaders led to the populism we’re seeing throughout the world today. But is it mutually exclusive to democracy? Not necessarily. Wendy joins us this week to help make sense of what neoliberalism is, and where things stand today. We were lucky...


T. L. Bunyasi and C. W. Smith, "Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter" (NYU Press, 2019)

Tehama Lopez Bunyasi and Candis Watts Smith have written an accessible and important book about the #BlackLivesMatter social movement and broader considerations of, essentially, how we got to where we are, in the United States, in regard to race and racism. They also go on to suggest and encourage readers and citizens to move towards a more equal and better future. Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter (NYU Press, 2019) compiles social science research and data to...


Lucas Richert, “Strange Trips: Science, Culture, and the Regulation of Drugs” (McGill-Queens UP, 2018)

Strange Trips isn’t only the title of Dr. Lucas Richert’s new book; it’s also a good description of the journey substances take from the black market to the doctor’s black bag—and, sometimes, back to the black market again. In Strange Trips: Science, Culture, and the Regulation of Drugs (McGill-Queens UP, 2019), Richert investigates the myths, meanings, and boundaries of recreational drugs, palliative care drugs, and pharmaceuticals, as well as struggles over product innovation, consumer...