My dissertation project investigates the construction of the mid-20th century civil rights agenda. I examine how liberals in the Democratic Party responded to pressures from constituents, interest groups, and social movements when constructing their response to the “race problem” from the 1930s to 1960s. By identifying plausible alternative issue domains and policy design, this project aims to (1) more accurately characterize the content of racial liberalism as it emerged among white Democratic Party elites and; (2) explain the mixed consequences of racial liberalism for the trajectory of racial inequality in the U.S.
Civil rights and social policy
Development of family and medical leave policy, ongoing
Research project tracing the political development of family and medical leave policy in the United States, arguing that its distinctive policy design and timing are explained by its origins in contestation over the civil rights policy regime. Working papers from this project have been presented at the Social Science History Association Conference (Montreal, Nov 2017), the Policy History Conference (Tempe AZ, May 2018), the Law & Society Association Conference (Toronto, Jun 2018), the Midwest Law & Society Retreat (Madison, WI, Oct 2018), and the Toronto Political Development Workshop (Toronto, ON, Oct 2019). An article is under review.
Impact of civil rights on U.S. social policy, ongoing
Building on the above project, this project examines the broader impact of civil rights law and policy on social policy in the United States. A working paper from this project has been presented at the NU APD/Social Policy Workshop (Evanston, IL, May 2019).
Criminal justice policy frames and white racial attitudes, ongoing
Collaborative project with Denzel Avant and Briana White, examining the impact of knowledge about racial disparities on support for criminal justice policies among whites. Working papers from this project has been presented at the Midwestern Political Science Association Conference (Chicago, IL, May 2018) and the Law & Society Association Conference (Toronto, ON, Jun 2018), and at the American Political Science Association Conference (Boston, MA, Aug 2018).
Changing dimensions of neighborhood politics in Chicago, ongoing
A set of collaborative research projects with the Chicago Democracy Project, examining changes in neighborhood-level politics in Chicago, with a particular focus on rapidly changing neighborhoods. Two projects under this banner are:
- A survey of the Chicagoland area, with oversamples of rapidly changing neighborhoods and suburbs. Collaborative project with Tom Ogorzalek, Matt Nelsen, Reuel Rogers, and Traci Burch.
- A study of how elected officials use social media as a site of local politics, with a particular focus on how local elected officials engage with state and national politics in constituent-oriented communication. Collaborative project with Tom Ogorzalek. A paper from this project has been presented at the Midwestern Political Science Association Conference (Chicago IL, May 2018).
- A study of political attitudes and behavior in gentrifying neighborhoods. Collaborative project with Tom Ogorzalek and Matt Nelsen.
Immigrant political participation
Non-citizen voting rights
Proposed project examining non-citizen political participation in two types of Chicago elections in which they are enfranchised (participatory budgeting and local school councils). Collaborative project with Matt Nelsen.
Asian American political participation
Collaborative project on Asian American political incorporation and participation in 2016, published as:
- Masuoka, Natalie, Kumar Ramanathan, and Jane Junn. “New Asian American Voters: Political Incorporation and Participation in 2016.” Political Research Quarterly (2019): doi:10.1177/1065912919843342.
For a full list of working papers and conference presentations, see CV.