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We document the broad patterns of COVID-19 as it affects minority communities. We present a theoretical framework rooted in Global North democracies’ racial and ethnic legacies to analyze the health and economic disparities between these communities and the white majority population. Marshalling first-cut empirical evidence from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Sweden, we find patterns of the pandemic’s distribution consistent with how the burden of racial and ethnic legacies endures: people from minority communities have worse health and economic outcomes under normal circumstances, inequalities the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated. The comparison shows that the impact of racial and ethnic discrimination on pandemic policy outcomes is not unique to the United States. Health inequalities stemming in part from patterns of institutional racism and discrimination perversely help reproduce these societal inequities. We find that governments’ initial responses have failed to mitigate the disproportionate impact of this health and economic crisis on minority communities because they did not acknowledge or address the particular challenges that these groups face.
Over the past half century, the old lines between cities and suburbs have lost the significance they once had. Growing numbers of African Americans have moved to suburbs even as new cohorts of immigrants have transformed the populations of cities and suburbs. Moreover, the economic divisions of the past no longer define the geography of the metropolis: many cities have experienced economic booms and an influx of affluent residents, while poverty in the suburbs has risen. Intertwined with these spatial shifts is growing economic inequality that has richly rewarded those at the top of the income spectrum and left the middle class increasingly stressed. Place of residence presents a uniquely formidable risk in the United States. Legally sanctioned racial segregation created a template for a particularly vicious form of inequality that has endured long after formal residential segregation was outlawed. Since the 1980s, spatial inequalities have been exacerbated by the federal government’s turn away from place-based assistance. Growing economic inequality has magnified spatial differences, turning place of residence into a coveted prize -- or deep disadvantage. The profound effect of place means that understanding inequality and opportunity in America requires assessing the economic and political forces that exacerbate spatial inequalities and those that temper them. These forces and the role of the institutional structure of local government in shaping them are the subject of this chapter, focusing on segmented localism, attitudes to tax and redistribution, and the potential of a nascent progressive urbanism to reduce spatial inequality.
The public health crisis of COVID-19 has compounded preexisting crises of democratic stability and effective governance, spurring debate about the ability of developed democracies to respond effectively to emergencies confronting their citizens. These crises, much discussed in recent political science, are joined by a further crisis which complicates and reinforces them: A migration crisis. Widespread travel and immigration restrictions instigated the largest and fastest decline in global human mobility in modern history, and COVID-19 may fundamentally change immigration over the longer term.
The migration crisis heightens three crucial and preexisting concerns within immigration policy: the role of visa design; the status of undocumented migrants and other migrants without recourse to public funds; and the interaction of immigration and the labor market policy. It could reinforce a rising tide of nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment, protectionist sentiment within labor-market policy debates, and a K-shaped recovery in migration patterns.
After more than half a century in which American racial politics has been structured primarily as a clash between two rival “racial orders” or “policy alliances,” the longstanding coalitions are transforming into ones centered on significantly new themes. The racially conservative “color-blind” policy alliance is, under the leadership of President Donald Trump, becoming an alliance promising “white protectionism.” The “race-conscious” policy alliance is, with the mobilizations around the slogan of Black Lives Matter, becoming an alliance focused on “racial reparations” to end “systemic racism.” These new, even more, polarized racial policy alliances have counterparts across the globe, and they are likely to shape political life for many years to come.
“Illiberalism” has assumed an invigorated if unanticipated significance in the 21st century. Aspects of illiberalism populate not only states long known as indifferent to such principles as personal liberty, human equality and the rule of law but have expanded in “liberal” democracies as their rulers employ purportedly “illiberal” practices more frequently than in the recent past. Indeed, the term “illiberal” seems to have lost its negative aura in the context of state action. We contend that illiberalism represents either an opposition to procedural democratic norms—as disruptive illiberalism—or an ideological struggle—termed ideological illiberalism. We first discuss the term as used in the vast literature on regime types in the debate on authoritarian/democratic hybrid-regimes. We then turn to the key puzzle in what one may call “illiberalism studies”: the rise of illiberal practices and policies in liberal democracies. To inform our analysis empirically, we investigate the ways in which illiberal arguments and institutions (notably camps) were deployed historically and in immigration policy. We conclude with an example of illiberal policy from modern day Hungary.
Progress toward racial equality requires the engagement of the American state, centered in the presidency and the executive branch, and in fact is not possible without the state's direct and forceful intervention. The key to this transformation is what we call “Forceful Federalism,” a multidimensional understanding of the American state. Forceful Federalism has four essential dimensions: standard-setting, coercion, associationalism, and fiscal authority. These four processes rise and fall over time, each charting its own history and unfolding according to its own logic. These processes usually work against each other. But occasionally they align with each other so that the state can pursue and achieve even difficult and challenging policy aims in a focused way. We sketch the outlines of Forceful Federalism and demonstrate its explanatory power with a case study of Forceful Federalism in action: James Meredith's integration of the University of Mississippi in 1962. The Meredith case exemplifies the convergence of the four dimensions of Forceful Federalism and marks the first time the modern American state was thus mobilized on behalf of civil rights. The case offers suggestive evidence that Forceful Federalism was a necessary condition for the emergence of the Civil Rights State.
Critics charge President Donald Trump with racism, but he insists he opposes bigotry and is an American nationalist, not a white nationalist. We use analysis of Trump’s campaign rhetoric, his administration’s policies, and their reception to assess these rival claims. In his campaign, Trump narrated American identity as a tale of lost greatness in which a once-unblemished America gave way to globalist elites who have victimized many Americans, particularly traditionalist, predominantly white Christian Americans. His policies have systematically expanded protections for such Americans and sought to increase their share of the American electorate and citizenry, while reducing or eliminating initiatives designed to assist and increase the numbers of non-white, non-Christian American voters and citizens. The evidence thus shows that although Trump does not explicitly endorse white nationalism, his rhetoric and policies articulate not a consistent race-blind nationalism, but a vision of white protectionism.
Historically, vouchers, which provide a sum of money to parents for private education, were tools of racist oppression; but in recent decades some advocates claim them as “the civil rights issue of our time.” This article brings an analytic-historical perspective rooted in racial orders to understand how education vouchers have been reincarnated and reinvented since the Jim Crow era. Combining original primary research with statistical analysis, we identify multiple concurrent and consecutive transformations in voucher politics in three arenas of racial policy alliance contestation: expansion of color-blind policy designs, growing legal and political support from a conservative alliance, and a smorgasbord of voucher rationales rooted in color-blind framing. This approach demonstrates that education vouchers have never been racially neutral but served key roles with respect to prevailing racial hierarchies and contests.
It is commonplace to equate the arrival of a new conservative administration in Washington, DC, with the “rolling back” of the federal activities. We disagree with this conventional perspective, and seek to demonstrate that the equation of conservative Republicanism and retrenchment elides a critical change in the relationship between party politics and State power—a relationship that Donald Trump seems determined to nurture. Drawing on primary research, we argue that partisanship in the United States is no longer a struggle over the size of the State; rather it is a contest to control national administrative power. Since the late 1960s, conservative administrations have sought to redeploy rather than dismantle or roll back state power. Through “redeployment,” conservative presidents have sustained previous levels of State spending or State activity, but in a way reflecting a new administration’s ideology.
During the Obama presidency, Republicans made major gains in state legislative elections, especially in the South and the Midwest. Republicans’ control grew from 13 legislatures in 2009 to 32 in 2017. A major but largely unexamined consequence of this profound shift in state-level partisan control was the resurgence of efforts to re-segregate public education. We examine new re-segregation policies, especially school district secession and anti-busing laws, which have passed in these states. We argue that the marked reversal in desegregation patterns and upturn in re-segregated school education is part of the Republican Party's anti-civil rights and anti-federal strategies, dressed up in the ideological language of colour-blindness.
Why, many Americans rightly ask, can material racial inequality and widespread segregation still persist 50 years after the enactment of key civil rights legislation and eight years after the election of an African American to the nation’s highest office? Many from outside the US pose similar questions about modern America. The explanation, I argue, lies with inconsistent and fluctuating levels of federal engagement to building material racial equality. National engagement fluctuates because it is energetically resisted and challenged by opponents of racial progress. This vulnerability to disruption is exposed by varying strategies of resistance, some fiscal, some violent, some judicial, some desultory and some combining violent protest against change with local electoral triumphs for anti-reformers. Public resistance to employing national resources to reduce inequality encouraged a de-racialization strategy amongst many African American candidates for elected office who opt to de-emphasize issues of racial inequality in campaigns and in office. Whatever the means, the effect is uniform: the slowing down or outright death of federal civil rights activism.
In 2013, the United States Supreme Court decided Shelby County v. Holder, which invalidated Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The ruling is part of longstanding efforts to maintain American institutions that have provided wide-ranging benefits to White citizens, including disproportionate political power. Over time, such efforts are likely to fail to prevent significant increases in political gains for African Americans, Latinos, and other minority citizens. But they threaten to foster severe conflicts in American politics for years to come.
Many scholars note that racial policy issues now focus on color-blind versus race-conscious approaches to racial inequalities, but they have not adequately explained how this development occurred or its consequences. Using work theorizing the role of ideas in politics, this article argues that these changes represent a “critical ideational development.” Diverse strains in earlier racial policy positions were reformulated to advance not just old racial goals but new ones. This critical ideational development produced advantages for conservative coalition building and Republican electoral campaigns, thereby contributing to the Reagan Revolution and later polarization and gridlock, and it helped drive racial issues out of campaigns and into other venues, especially legislative, administrative, and judicial hearings. It has not been associated with great progress in reducing racial inequalities or promoting racial harmony