In the Spotlight

Heather R. Lee
Mellon Fellow in Global Studies and Languages, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

After the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, a joint restaurant owner could gain legal status if he ran the enterprise for at least one year. To help as many newcomers as possible, “chop suey palaces” spread like wildfire and regularly rotated their management. 

Sarah Bush
Assistant Professor of Political Science, Temple University

In previous decades, government programs and non-governmental organizations often sought to foster regime change abroad by aiding dissidents and oppositional political parties. Today, a less confrontational style of democracy assistance is much more common. Sarah Bush explores the reasons behind this shift.

Britain’s voters just replaced a broken coalition with a bare-majority Conservative government that will struggle to cope with rising Scottish nationalism and disputes over Britain’s role in Europe. To govern effectively amid fierce divisions, British leaders – and others – could learn from Jonathan Schneer’s brilliant account of Winston Churchill’s World War II cabinet.

In a compelling new report, Putting Families First, Dorian Warren dissects the damage wreaked by uncertain, lousy jobs in America’s burgeoning low-wage economy – and explains how government can spur the creation of good jobs with improved wages and benefits sufficient to let all families thrive. A broad alliance of community groups is rallying to press this cause.

Raymond Hogler
Professor of Management, Colorado State University

“Right-to-work” laws – which allow workers to benefit from union collective bargaining without paying union dues – are spreading across the states. In an era when labor earnings have already declined, these laws disable unions and further undercut wages and benefits for American workers and their families.

Peter Lindsay
Associate Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, Georgia State University

With the Supreme Court about to hear Constitutional arguments, legal gay marriage remains a contentious issue. But widely appreciated ideas about personal liberty, separation of church and state, and the limited role of government may help many Republicans and Democrats find common ground.

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