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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




Daniel Denvir, "All-American Nativism: How the Bipartisan War on Immigrants Explains Politics as We Know It" (Verso, 2020)

It is often said that with the election of Donald Trump nativism was raised from the dead. After all, here was a president who organized his campaign around a rhetoric of unvarnished racism and xenophobia. Among his first acts on taking office was to issue an executive order blocking Muslim immigrants from entering the United States. But although his actions may often seem unprecedented, they are not as unusual as many people believe. This story doesn’t begin with Trump. For decades,...


Nancy D. Campbell, "OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose" (MIT Press, 2020)

For years, drug overdose was unmentionable in polite society. OD was understood to be something that took place in dark alleys―an ugly death awaiting social deviants―neither scientifically nor clinically interesting. But over the last several years, overdose prevention has become the unlikely object of a social movement, powered by the miracle drug naloxone. In OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose (MIT Press, 2020), Nancy D. Campbell charts the emergence of naloxone as a technological...


Ian Wray, "No Little Plans: How Government Built America’s Wealth and Infrastructure" (Routledge, 2019)

Is planning for America anathema to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness? Is it true, as thinkers such as Friedrich Von Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand have claimed, that planning leads to dictatorship, that the state is economically inefficient, and that prosperity is owed primarily to the workings of a free market? To answer these questions Ian Wray’s book goes in search of an America shaped by government, plans and bureaucrats, not by businesses, bankers and shareholders. He...


Nicci Gerrard, "The Last Ocean: A Journey Through Memory and Forgetting" (Penguin, 2019)

Dementia provokes profound moral questions about our society and the meaning of life itself. How much are we connected to one another? In what ways are we distant and separated? What does it mean to have a self? How can we offer dignity to those who suffer from Alzheimer's and other forms of this terrible disease? Worldwide around 50 million people have dementia. The US Centers for Disease Control estimates that the U.S. total is more than five million. The numbers are growing with the...


Maria Dimova-Cookson, "Rethinking Positive and Negative Liberty" (Routledge, 2019)

Maria Dimova-Cookson's new book Rethinking Positive and Negative Liberty (Routledge, 2019) offers an analysis of the distinction between positive and negative freedom building on the work of Constant, Green and Berlin. The author proposes a new reading of this distinction for the twenty-first century. The author defends the idea that freedom is a dynamic interaction between two inseparable, yet sometimes fundamentally, opposed positive and negative concepts – the yin and yang of freedom....


Ben Green, "The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future" (MIT Press, 2019)

The “smart city,” presented as the ideal, efficient, and effective for meting out services, has capture the imaginations of policymakers, scholars, and urban-dweller. But what are the possible drawbacks of living in an environment that is constantly collecting data? What important data is ignored when it is not easily translated into 1s and 0s? In his new book, The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future, critical data scientist Ben Green, an...


Wendy Bottero, "A Sense of Inequality" (Roman and Littlefield, 2020)

How should we understand inequality? In A Sense of Inequality (Roman and Littlefield, 2020), Wendy Bottero, a Reader in Sociology at the University of Manchester offers a detailed and challenging new approach to how we conceive of, how we study, and how we might challenge, social inequality. The book contends we need a new approach to the everyday subjective experience of inequality, appreciating people’s constrained resistance to often highly unequal social situations. Whilst never...


Rachel Louise Moran, "Governing Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique" (U Penn Press, 2018)

How did the modern, American body come into being? According to Rachel Louise Moran this is a story to be told through the lens of the advisory state. In her book, Governing Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), she tracks the emergence of the American advisory state -- a key analytic introduced and developed by the author in this book -- and draws attention to polyvalence of bodies as both instruments and objects of...


Joseph Blocher and Darrell A.H. Miller, "The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller" (Cambridge UP, 2018)

In The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Joseph Blocher and Darrell A.H. Miller insist that the Second Amendment is widely recognized but fundamentally misunderstood by the public and public officials. Misconceptions about what the amendment allows, forbids, and how it function as law distort American debates and public policy. Blocher and Miller provide a nuanced synthesis of politics, history, and legal arguments...


Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, "Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump" (NYU Press, 2019)

Immigration is one of the most complex issues of our time in the United States and around the world. Enforcing immigration law in the U.S. involves a mix of courts and executive agencies with lots of opportunities for confusion, miscommunication, and changes in approach from administration to administration. While these things are nothing new, they take on a new dimension when the lives of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers are at stake. Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Samuel Weiss...


Matt Grossmann, "Red State Blues: How the Conservative Revolution Stalled in the States" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

In his book Red State Blues: How the Conservative Revolution Stalled in the States (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Matt Grossmann examines, first, the watershed event of Republican takeovers of governors’ offices and state houses over the past twenty or so years. He then, through a triangular model, explores what actually happened in terms of policy outcomes and directional changes based on this political shift. What Grossmann finds, which might be a bit surprising, is that, overall,...


David Pettinicchio, "Politics of Empowerment: Disability Rights and the Cycle of American Policy Reform" (Stanford UP, 2019)

David Pettinicchio has written Politics of Empowerment: Disability Rights and the Cycle of American Policy Reform (Stanford University Press, 2019). He is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Toronto. In Politics of Empowerment, David Pettinicchio offers a history of the political development of disability rights in the United States. Since the 1920s, policy makers have framed and re-framed the obligations of the federal government to those with disabilities. Over time,...


Darius Sollohub, "Millennials in Architecture: Generations, Disruption, and the Legacy of a Profession" (U Texas Press, 2019)

Much has been written about Millennials, but until now their growing presence in the field of architecture has not been examined in depth. In an era of significant challenges stemming from explosive population growth, climate change, and the density of cities, Darius Sollohub, Millennials in Architecture: Generations, Disruption, and the Legacy of a Profession (University of Texas Press, 2019) embraces the digitally savvy disruptors who are joining the field at a crucial time as it...


David Brooks, "The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life" (Random House, 2019)

Colleges and universities can play a virtual role in the moral, intellectual and spiritual development of a student’s life. But there is a growing mismatch between the culture of many campuses, and the challenges young people will face in their careers, politics and personal lives Author and columnist David Brooks suggested solutions in his stirring speech, “How a University Shaped My Soul”, given at the recent annual conference of Heterodox Academy. He spoke about the life lessons he...


Taylor Pendergrass, "Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary" (Haymarket Books, 2018)

Long-term solitary confinement meets the legal definition of torture, and yet solitary confinement is used in every state in the United States. People are placed in solitary confinement for a variety of reasons, and long-term solitary confinement can have a harmful effect on mental and physical health. Reform is happening, but the use of solitary confinement is still a problem in the US. Taylor Pendergrass, a lawyer who works on criminal justice reform for the ACLU, has spent over a decade...


Louis Hyman, "Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream became Temporary" (Viking, 2018)

It has become a truism that work has become less secure and more precarious for a widening swath of American workers. Why and how this has happened, and what workers can and should do about it, is the subject of a wide-ranging new book, Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream became Temporary (Viking, 2018). In Temp, Louis Hyman, Professor of History at the Industrial and Labor Relations School of Cornell University, presents a detailed history of the unraveling...


Chris Arnade, "Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America" (Sentinel, 2019)

A lot of politicians like to say that there are “two Americas,” but do any of them know what life is really like for the marginalized poor? We speak with journalist and photographer, Chris Arnade, about the forgotten towns and people of back row America. In 2011, Chris left a high-powered job as a bond trader on Wall Street, hit the road, and spent years documenting the lives of poor people, driving 150 thousand miles around the U.S. His new book is Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row...


A. R. Ruis, "Learning to Eat: The Origins of School Lunch in the United States" (Rutgers UP, 2017)

In this this interview, Dr. Carrie Tippen talks with A.R. Ruis about the 2017 book Eating to Learn, Learning to Eat: The Origins of School Lunch in the United States – published in 2017 by Rutgers University Press. Ruis narrates the development of school lunch programs from the late 19th century to the present, describing the evolution from locally organized charitable initiatives into the federally funded and managed programs that we know today. While school lunches seem almost inseparable...


Vicky Pryce, "Women vs. Capitalism: Why We Can't Have It All in a Free Market Economy" (Hurst, 2019)

Free market capitalism has failed women, and even the recent progress that had been made in closing the gender wage gap has leveled off in many rich democracies. Vicky Pryce helps us understand the causes of this ongoing discrimination, the harm it does not just to women and their families but to productivity and economic growth, and what governments can do about it. Women vs. Capitalism: Why We Can't Have It All in a Free Market Economy (Hurst, 2019) is a fresh and timely reminder that,...


William D. Lopez, "Separated: Family & Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019)

What happens to families and communities after immigration raids? William D. Lopez answers this question and more in his new book Separated: Family & Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019). Using ethnographic methods and interviews to deep dive into the aftermath of a local immigration raid, Lopez provides the stories of community members affected by the event and how their lives are changed forever after. The book provides a robust background of...