What are the political, social, and economic barriers to addressing the extreme inequality facing the United States today? When have public officials and communities successfully overcome these barriers? The following categories describe areas of my research that probe different aspects of these pressing questions.
POLITICAL DYNAMICS OF POLICY FAILURE
One avenue for understanding persistent inequality is identifying when, how, and why actors learn that a policy is actually increasing inequality. Based on my dissertation, my current book project, Hindsight: The Politics of Acknowledging and Revising Failed Social Policy, studies the conditions under which public officials are willing to recognize and respond to policy failure. The project explores the following questions:
In what ways does a states research capacity influence public officials' recognition of policy failure?
When and how does information about policy outcomes constrain public official position-taking?
When do cross-party coalitions form on behalf of reforming a failed policy?
This article, forthcoming at State Politics and Policy Quarterly, argues that a state’s bureaucratic capacity to gather data—distinct from its analytical capacity—is necessary for public officials to acknowledge failure.