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  1. Toward a Sociology of Colonial Subjectivity: Political Agency in Haiti and Liberia

    The authors seek to connect global historical sociology with racial formation theory to examine how antislavery movements fostered novel forms of self-government and justifications for state formation. The cases of Haiti and Liberia demonstrate how enslaved and formerly enslaved actors rethought modern politics at the time, producing novel political subjects in the process. Prior to the existence of these nations, self-determination by black subjects in colonial spaces was impossible, and each sought to carve out that possibility in the face of a transatlantic structure of slavery.
  2. Towards a Dynamic Theory of Civil Society: The Politics of Forward and Backward Infiltration

    This article develops a conceptual framework to theorize the processes of mutual penetration between civil society, the state, and the economy, where incumbents and challengers continuously formulate new strategies against each other. We criticize the prevailing Weberian and Tocquevillian concepts of civil society, and then, drawing on research in social movements and comparative political economy, propose a new framework: the politics of forward and backward infiltration.
  3. Performative State-Formation in the Early American Republic

    How do proto-state organizations achieve an initial accumulation of power, such that they are in a position to grow (or shrink) as an organization, maintain their prestige (or lose it), and be viewed, by elite and populace, as something real and consequential that can be argued about, supported, or attacked?
  4. The Commons: Separating Tragedy and Triumph at a City Park

    Littering in a city park is often considered a capricious act of neglect associated with simple carelessness. Using Ostrom's model, Governing the Commons, this research finds that littering is correlated with specific park activities. This article advances our understanding of the Commons and littering by considering the concept of “pollution,” as well as understanding patterns of litter for a communal city.

  5. Crisis as Opportunity: Nixon’s Announcement to Close the Gold Window

    The authors reexamine the announcement of the August 1971 decision to suspend convertibility of U.S. dollars to gold, or closing of the gold window, which ended the Bretton Woods system and ushered in the neoliberal era. Existing accounts identify critical pressure on the U.S. gold supply after May 1971 international currency disruptions as a tipping point for this policy. In contrast, using new archival evidence, the authors reveal that Nixon strategically framed May 1971 events as an urgent economic “crisis,” deploying “crisis” as a justification for closing the gold window.
  6. A Puzzle of Racial Attitudes: A Measurement Analysis of Racial Attitudes and Policy Indicators

    In the 1970s and 1980s, researchers argued that a new dimension of racial prejudice, termed “symbolic racism” and later “racial resentment,” emerged among white Americans as their endorsement of traditional prejudice declined. Recently, Carmines, Sniderman, and Easter have challenged this conceptualization. Relying on American National Election Surveys data, they argue that racial resentment and the attitudes about racial policy that it presumably explains are part of the same latent construct (labeled racial policy attitudes).

  7. The Advantaged Cause: Affect Control Theory and Social Movements

    The role of grievances in drawing public concern and activist support is a surprisingly understudied topic in modern social movement literature. This research is the first to parse issues into core components to understand whether some grievances are more successful than others in evoking reactions that can benefit social movements.

  8. Equalization or Selection? Reassessing the “Meritocratic Power” of a College Degree in Intergenerational Income Mobility

    Intergenerational mobility is higher among college graduates than among people with lower levels of education. In light of this finding, researchers have characterized a college degree as a great equalizer leveling the playing field, and proposed that expanding higher education would promote mobility. This line of reasoning rests on the implicit assumption that the relatively high mobility observed among college graduates reflects a causal effect of college completion on intergenerational mobility, an assumption that has rarely been rigorously evaluated. This article bridges this gap.

  9. Crossing Categorical Boundaries: A Study of Diversification by Social Movement Organizations

    When do protest organizations borrow issues or claims that are outside their traditional domains? Sociologists have examined the consequences of borrowing claims across movement boundaries, but not the antecedents of doing so. We argue that movement boundaries are strong when there is consensus about the core claims of a social movement, which we measure by cohesion and focus. Cohesion and focus enhance the legitimacy of a movement and impede member organizations from adopting claims associated with other movements.

  10. What Happens When the United States Stops Taking in Refugees?

    Most of the world’s 25.4 million refugees have been displaced for five or more years. A sharp curtailment in refugee arrivals to the United States, then, isn’t just a national decision, but a global disruption.