Excerpt: National Insecurities, by Deirdre M. Moloney

Historically, race and gender have had the most significant impact on the creation of immigration policy and its outcomes; but those factors have always been intertwined with larger social concerns about foreign policy and national security, the economy, scientific and medical issues, morality, and attitudes about class, religion, and citizenship. Continue Reading Excerpt: National Insecurities, by Deirdre M. Moloney

Isaac Campos: Today’s Synthetic Drugs Provoking New Reefer Madness

Have the recently reported bizarre behaviors related to synthetic drugs been primarily caused by these chemical compounds or by the set and setting of their ingestion? The answer is still unclear, but history and science suggest that anxiety produced by unfamiliarity with these drugs and the accompanying horror stories in the press are probably contributing in some way. Continue Reading Isaac Campos: Today’s Synthetic Drugs Provoking New Reefer Madness

Video: Trailer for ‘Death Row,’ a film by Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian, included in their new book

View the trailer for the documentary film ‘Death Row,’ included in the new book by Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian called ‘In This Timeless Time: Living and Dying on Death Row in America.’ Continue Reading Video: Trailer for ‘Death Row,’ a film by Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian, included in their new book

Sarah S. Elkind: The Allure of an Inefficient Government

“Beltway politics” are not the only barrier to efficiency in government. Despite what they say, the American people have long preferred an inefficient federal government that they could shape rather than an efficient government that they could not. Continue Reading Sarah S. Elkind: The Allure of an Inefficient Government

Sarah S. Elkind: Los Angeles and the History of Air Pollution

We have become so used to hearing of regulations–particularly consumer protections like banking rules or the proposed controls on mercury emissions—as threats to prosperity that it has become nearly impossible to imagine these debates in any other way. But in 1940s Los Angeles, controlling air pollution and creating a healthy environment was understood as essential to prosperity, and the business community led the regulatory effort. Continue Reading Sarah S. Elkind: Los Angeles and the History of Air Pollution

Michael H. Hunt: Afghanistan and an unkind God

Turning our backs on the grim prospects for Afghanistan is part of a long tradition. We drew a veil over the struggle against insurgents in the Philippines. A combination of amnesia and speculative might-have-beens disposed of the Korean stalemate and the Vietnam defeat, and it seems likely the Iraq invasion and occupation will suffer the same fate. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Afghanistan and an unkind God

New ebook offers blueprint for building a globally competitive South

Gitterman and Coclanis argue that our leaders must find a way to forge a bipartisan, pro-growth economic agenda and, in order to implement it, embrace creative public-private partnerships of various kinds. Continue Reading New ebook offers blueprint for building a globally competitive South

Jorge Duany: The Fear of the Other

The prevalence of xenophobia in diverse places and historical periods invites us to reflect on its common causes and consequences. Continue Reading Jorge Duany: The Fear of the Other

North Carolina’s eugenics history: Testimonies from victims (video)

Rock Center with Brian Williams airs a story about North Carolina’s history of state-ordered sterilizations, featuring audio recordings of social workers involved in the program that were uncovered in Johanna Schoen’s research on the subject in the 1990s. Continue Reading North Carolina’s eugenics history: Testimonies from victims (video)

Michael H. Hunt: Polanyi’s ‘Great Transformation’: A classic for our hard times

Polanyi’s classic suggests we should ignore the profoundly false choice between markets and the state. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Polanyi’s ‘Great Transformation’: A classic for our hard times

Vanessa May: Domestic Workers, “Nannygates,” and the IRS

Vanessa May discusses the history of the struggle for domestic workers to be protected by labor laws. Continue Reading Vanessa May: Domestic Workers, “Nannygates,” and the IRS

Interview: Michael Barkun on the Gap between Real and Perceived Terror Threats

Michael Barkun discusses the gap between real and perceived terror threats and the nonrational decision making that has shaped U.S. homeland security policy. Continue Reading Interview: Michael Barkun on the Gap between Real and Perceived Terror Threats

Shane Maddock on the Ongoing Delusion of Nuclear Safety

Nuclear policy historian Shane Maddock considers environmental safety and national security in his arguments against government funding for nuclear power. Continue Reading Shane Maddock on the Ongoing Delusion of Nuclear Safety

Vanessa May: When the Workplace Is Someone Else’s Home

Today we welcome a guest post from Vanessa May, author of Unprotected Labor: Household Workers, Politics, and Middle-Class Reform in New York, 1870-1940 (June 2011). Here she reflects on how some of the recent policies that now protect domestic workers in New York mirror the struggle for rights and reform during the era highlighted in… Continue Reading Vanessa May: When the Workplace Is Someone Else’s Home

Susan Ware: Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day!

In celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, we welcome a guest post from Susan Ware, author of Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women’s Sports.  Ware explains King’s importance in gender equality both within and beyond the world of sports, even before Title IX.  Here, she recalls her… Continue Reading Susan Ware: Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day!

Michael Barkun: A New Era of Rational Thinking at DHS?

We present commentary today from Michael Barkun, author of the forthcoming Chasing Phantoms: Reality, Imagination, and Homeland Security Since 9/11 (April 2011). In the book, Barkun demonstrates that U.S. homeland security policy reflects significant nonrational thinking, and he offers new recommendations for effective–and rational–policymaking. In this post, he addresses changes at the Department of Homeland… Continue Reading Michael Barkun: A New Era of Rational Thinking at DHS?

Hannah Gill: Durham and the Matricula Consular

We welcome a guest post from Hannah Gill, author of The Latino Migration Experience in North Carolina: New Roots in the Old North State, who updates us on recent political activity regarding the Latino immigrant community in Durham, North Carolina.–ellen <br /> On November 15, 2010, Durham City adopted a resolution supporting recognition of the… Continue Reading Hannah Gill: Durham and the Matricula Consular

Philip Rubio hits the airwaves to talk snail mail and the effects of postal cuts on African American postal workers

The U.S. Postal Service faces an $8.5 million budget shortfall this year. NPR is broadcasting a series of stories about cuts in postal services and facilities and the lives and communities already being affected. One person with great insight into the social history of the USPS is Philip Rubio, author of There’s Always Work at… Continue Reading Philip Rubio hits the airwaves to talk snail mail and the effects of postal cuts on African American postal workers

Election 2010: Making the Wars Go Away

Proponents of military force learned from Vietnam that their freedom of action depended on insulating the public from the effects of war. Contractors were an ingenuous solution to the problem of a public squeamish about fighting and killing. Continue Reading Election 2010: Making the Wars Go Away

American Democracy and the Challenge of Globalization

The midterm election campaign now approaching the home stretch has brought with it striking but fairly empty calls to action–from the Tea Party frenzy over fiscal virtue to a president exhorting his base with the banal promise of “moving America forward.” But this and all the other lamentable features of our democracy, it is worth… Continue Reading American Democracy and the Challenge of Globalization