Current Fellow

Justice at Work: Movements for Economic and Social Equality in American Cities
Marc Doussard
Fellow 2017-18

Economic and social inequality stands as a defining problem of our time. It endures in substantial part because the national and global reforms necessary to contest it remain beyond the scope of political possibility. Out of necessity, the project of reversing inequality has moved to local venues. Relocating advocacy to cities has both strengthened anti-inequality movements, and changed their composition, strategies and goals.

Justice at Work is a book that asks how U.S. cities became potent sites of economic reform and anti-inequality advocacy. The literature on cities and inequality remains insistent that urban-level equity reforms are at best unlikely – the result of individual instances of political luck or organizing skill. By contrast, Justice at Work will scrutinize the systematic development of the social movement authoring these reforms. Informed by more than 200 interviews with organizers and activists campaigning for reform, Professor Doussard details the institutional changes that made cities meaningful cities of reform, and shows how the urbanization of advocacy changes activists’ expectations about work, home and politics.