In the Spotlight

Police killings of young minority men are all too common. But the recent broad-daylight slaying of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, raises disturbing questions for many Americans of all backgrounds. In several media outlets, SSN experts on race relations, urban politics, and criminal justice provide thoughtful perspectives on pathologies of policing in many minority communities.

Stephen Ansolabehere
Professor of Government, Harvard University
David M. Konisky
Associate Professor of Public Policy, McCourt School, Georgetown University

Reconfiguring the U.S. energy sector requires hearing from citizens. A new book shows that most Americans are ready to pay more to replace "dirty energy" with natural gas, wind, and solar power.

Immigration reform is supported by businesses, churches, and most voters. In 2013 the U.S. Senate passed bipartisan reforms, but the GOP-led House has shunned compromise in favor of threats to deport all eleven million undocumented residents, including law-abiding workers, families, and young adults originally brought to this country as children. What are the roots and implications of this impasse? We asked nine SSN experts to weigh in.

Diana S. Dolliver
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Cybercrime, University of Alabama

Bringing global connections to local settings, cyberspace transforms human interactions for criminal as well as constructive purposes. To handle growing threats from cybercrime, police and security agencies are racing to adapt legal definitions and deploy new preventive intelligence capabilities.

Peter Dreier
Distinguished Professor of Politics, Occidental College

America's housing crisis is far from over, because millions of homeowners still owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth and more than half the states have cities dragged down by depressed housing markets. Given an inadequate federal response, some cities are refinancing loans on their own.

Nathan Wilmers
PhD Candidate in Sociology, Harvard University

Many businesses compete to attract dollars from the most affluent. But an innovative study finds that industries catering more to the wealthy have higher wage gaps, raising the prospect of a self-reinforcing cycle of inequality propelling wider pay gaps in the future.

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