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America's Voucher Politics

America's Voucher Politics
How Elites Learned to Hide the State


  • Publication planned for: April 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from April 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108491419

£ 75.00

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About the Authors
  • What explains the explosive growth of school vouchers in the last two decades? In America's Voucher Politics, Ursula Hackett shows that the voucher movement is rooted in America's foundational struggles over religion, race, and the role of government versus the private sector. Drawing upon original datasets, archival materials, and more than one hundred interviews, Hackett shows that policymakers and political advocates use strategic policy design and rhetoric to hide the role of the state when their policy goals become legally controversial. For over sixty years of voucher litigation, white supremacists, accommodationists, and individualists have deployed this strategy of attenuated governance in court. By learning from previous mistakes and anticipating downstream effects, policymakers can avoid painful defeats, gain a secure legal footing, and entrench their policy commitments despite the surging power of rivals. An ideal case study, education policy reflects multiple axes of conflict in American politics and demonstrates how policy learning unfolds over time.

    • Articulates a new theoretical framework, deepening our understanding of the 'submerged state' by showing how deep-seated religious, racial, and civic controversies structure American politics
    • Provides the most extensive analysis of voucher politics to date, including 101 interviews with policymakers across the United States
    • Integrates analyses of public law and public policy
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: April 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108491419
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 30 b/w illus. 17 tables
    • availability: Not yet published - available from April 2020
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. Subtle forms of circumvention
    1. America's foundational identity struggles
    2. Two dimensions of attenuated governance
    3. The racial struggle: segregation grants in the Brown era
    4. The religious struggle: vouchers and the church-state question
    5. The public-private struggle: union opposition and the educational establishment
    6. Tax credit scholarships in an era of Republican dominance
    7. Education savings accounts and controversies beyond
    Conclusion. Attenuated governance and the state.

  • Author

    Ursula Hackett, Royal Holloway, University of London
    Ursula Hackett is Senior Lecturer in Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her Oxford doctorate won the Political Studies Association's Sir Walter Bagehot Prize in Government and Public Administration. She researches religion, race, public policy, and American Political Development, and speaks on American politics regularly at Chatham House and the UK Foreign Office.

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