projects

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place and politics

This project explores the growing relevance of place as a factor in contemporary politics. Due to changes in the political economy, state capacities, the techniques of political management, and the nature of activism, the distinctiveness of places are becoming more salient and problematic for parties and political managers. This project builds on my "Revolt of the Rust Belt: Place and Politics in the Age of Anger" article in the British Journal of Sociology.

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george floyd square

Barricades went up at the intersection of 38th and Chicago Ave. in Minneapolis after police attacked people there who were peacefully mourning George Floyd's murder. Within that space a world beyond policing is being imagined and a new political intelligence has emerged, enabling an autonomous zone to survive for nearly a year in a very complicated urban neighborhood. This project explores the dynamics of contemporary protest, urban politics and sociology, and the racial dynamics of an autonomous zone protest in a diverse neighborhood.

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social change organizations
and social movements

States, economies, and media are all changing, and with them so is civil society and the protests that emerge from it. Ungovernability is as much a goal as getting legislation passed. The role of street protests, disruptive tactics, and formal organizations have all changed as a consequence. This project interrogates these changes with the goal of gaining a better understanding of contemporary protest and social change organizations.

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working people and formal politics

The mission of the Center for Work and Democracy, which I direct, is to do research that helps rebuild the voice of working people in the American polity. Right now, the Center has three active research projects. One on alt-unionism, one on ballot initiatives as a tool of redistributive policy, and one on the politicization of care and care work.