No Jargon, a weekly podcast from the Scholars Strategy Network, presents interviews with top university scholars on the politics, policy problems, and social issues facing the nation. Powerful research, intriguing perspectives -and no jargon.
Episode 39: Change from the Inside
June 28, 2016
David Dagan outlines the GOP’s journey from being “tough on crime” to embracing prison reform. Despite falling crime rates, the party could only change from the inside - with key Republicans leading the way after experiencing prison for themselves. Dagan is PhD Candidate in Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.
Read more about Dagan’s research in his two-page brief or his book, Prison Break, with Steven Teles. Follow him on Twitter @DavidDagan.
For more on mass incarceration, read Black Politics and the Origins of America’s Prison Boom and The Growth of Incarceration in the United States - Causes, Consequences, and Proposed Reforms.
Episode 38: When Workers Become Owners
June 21, 2016
Professors Joseph Blasi, Richard Freeman, and Douglas Kruse explain how sharing the ownership or profits of a company with workers can improve productivity, pay, and work life quality - all while reducing economic inequality.
Blasi is a Professor of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University, Freeman is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and Kruse is a Professor of Economics at Rutgers University.
Read more about their research in this two-page brief or read their books, The Citizen’s Share and Shared Capitalism at Work. To find examples of shared ownership, read about Market Basket and Isthmus Engineering. Follow Blasi on Twitter @josephblasi.
For more on addressing income inequality, read How States Can Fight Growing Economic Inequality and Rising Income Inequality - And What Can Be Done About It.
Episode 38 Bonus: Jump on the Bandwagon
Professors Blasi, Freeman, and Kruse stay post-interview to discuss why trade unions, business schools, and foundations should get on board with employee ownership and profit sharing programs.
Episode 37: Immigration beyond the Border
June 14, 2016
Professor Anna On Ya Law lays out meaningful and responsible reforms that the next President could use to address immigration. Law encourages the incoming administration to look beyond the undocumented population and learn from history’s failures and successes. Law is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York, Brooklyn College.
Read more about Law’s suggestions for the 45th president in her essay for the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. Read more in her 2-page brief on unsuccessful immigration proposals. Follow her on Twitter @UnlawfulEntries.
For more on immigration politics in the U.S., read The Downside of Separating "Good" Undocumented Immigrants from "Bad" Criminals and Why the Democratic Party – Not Just the GOP – Has an Immigration Problem.
Episode 36: Giving away Guilt
June 7, 2016
Professor Sofya Aptekar explores the gift economy through Freecycle, a network of groups where people can give and receive used items. Aptekar examines how income inequality and consumption patterns impact the organization, people, and the environment. Aptekar is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Learn more about Aptekar’s work in her article, "Gifts Among Strangers: The Social Organization of Freecycle Giving." Follow her on Twitter @sofyaaptekar.
For more on the social and environmental impacts of consumption, read How Private Programs Have Developed to Certify Social and Environmental Standards in Local and Global Commodity Markets.
Episode 35: The Overlooked Section
May 31, 2016
Professor Jamila Michener discusses one way the U.S. tries to incorporate low-income and minority individuals into the political system and why the effort has been failing. The core issues are those of partisanship, race, and who implements policies. Michener is an Assistant Professor of Government at Cornell University.
Learn more about Michener’s work in her two-page brief, and be sure to read her forthcoming article discussed on today’s show in the June issue of the Journal of Poverty and Public Policy. Follow her on Twitter @povertyscholar.
For more on voting rights, read The Dismantling of the Voting Rights Act and What Struggles over the Right to Vote Reveal about American Democracy.
Episode 34: The Rise of Islamophobia
May 24, 2016
Professor Saher Selod explains how 9/11 changed the lives of Muslims in America. This small and diverse group faces hostility, discriminatory policies, and Islamophobic rhetoric in the media and now the 2016 election in the name of national security. Selod is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Simmons College.
For more on the impacts of discrimination, read How Discrimination Hurts Health and Personal Wellbeing and Discrimination as an Obstacle to Wellbeing for Transgender Americans.
Episode 33: The 10 Minute Change
May 17, 2016
Joshua Kalla describes a new door to door canvassing technique, “deep canvassing,” that encourages voters to tell their own stories of discrimination and leads to dramatic, long-lasting decreases in prejudice. Kalla is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.
For more on the power of canvassing, read Contacting Disadvantaged Citizens Turns Them into Voters and As People Learn about Affordable Care, Support Increases.
May 10, 2016
Professor Christopher Parker shows the role of racial resentment in the rise of the Tea Party and connects it to “the paranoid style” in American politics. Parker points to white fears of America’s changing demographics as a driving force in today’s GOP. Parker is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington.
Learn more about Parker’s work in his book, Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America, or check out his two-page brief.
For more on the Tea Party, read The Tea Party Lives On - And Pulls Republicans to the Right or listen to our third No Jargon episode: The Tea Party Divided.
May 3, 2016
Learn more about Jacobs’s work in his new book Fed Power with Desmond King, University of Oxford. Find reviews and interviews for their book in the Huffington Post and Market Watch or read the SSN Spotlight for additional media coverage.
For more on government intervention in markets, read Financial Deregulation, U.S. Party Politics, and Rising Income Inequality or listen to SSN scholar Heath Brown’s podcast episode featuring Professor Jacobs.
Episode 30: Part 2. What Made America Great, Again?
April 26, 2016
Professor Jacob Hacker shows how the war on government made America forget the root of its prosperity - a healthy mix of government and business. This was no accident, as a more politicized business community helped shift public discourse and then policy. Hacker is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University.
Learn more about Hacker’s work in his new book American Amnesia with Paul Pierson or read the SSN spotlight. Find excerpts from their book featured in The American Prospect, Mother Jones, and the New York Times.
For more on businesses influencing policy, read How Mobilized Small Businesses - Real and Disguised - Tilt the Partisan Playing Field on Tax Cuts or listen to our very first No Jargon episode: The Kochs, Americans For Prosperity, and The Right.
Professor Paul Pierson presents the forgotten history of American prosperity: how public and private sectors worked together for economic growth and social progress. This mixed economy increased life spans, built infrastructure, and spurred innovation. Pierson is the John Gross Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.
Learn more about Pierson’s work in his new book American Amnesia with Jacob Hacker or read the SSN spotlight. Find excerpts from their book featured in The American Prospect, Mothers Jones, and the New York Times.
For more on the government’s role in the market, read Why Regulation is Necessary and Proper for a Well-Functioning Democracy and Market Economy and To Reduce Inequality, Use Well-Structured Regulations to Make Markets Work Better for Everyone.
April 12, 2016
Vanessa Williamson dispels the misconception that Americans hate taxes. In fact, most Americans support taxes and are willing to increase them for services they care about. She outlines how, despite this, anti-tax policies became so popular. Williamson is a Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution.
For more on U.S. taxes, read How Mobilized Small Businesses - Real and Disguised - Tilt the Partisan Playing Field on Tax Cuts and Reforming Tax Policy for the Wealthiest One Percent.
In light of recent news about abortion and birth control, this episode revisits our interview with Professor Carole Joffe. She discussed the politics of abortion, the economic importance of reproductive choice, and state-level restrictions to abortion access. Joffe is a Professor in the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco.
Check out her book, “Dispatches from the Abortion Wars: The Costs of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients, and the Rest of Us” and her brief on laws targeting abortion providers. Follow her on Twitter @carolejoffe. For more on recent developments in reproductive health issues, read Joffe’s article in Dissent or Deana Rohlinger’s piece in the American Prospect.
For more on women’s reproductive health read: Why It Matters That Abortions are Kept Secret in the United States and Can Pro-Choice and Pro-Life Activists Recognize the Socioeconomic Realities of Abortion?
Episode 27: Regulating Inequality
March 29, 2016
Professor Arthur MacEwan explains how market regulations - from patent laws to healthcare to early childhood education - can address the roots of economic inequality. MacEwan is a Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Learn more about MacEwan’s work in his two-page brief and his book Economic Collapse, Economic Change: Getting to the Roots of the Crisis with John Miller. Read his opinion on the importance of early childhood education in the Boston Globe.
For more on economic inequality and reform, read Financial Deregulation, U.S. Party Politics, and Rising Income Inequality and Evidence That Higher Minimum Wages Improve Economic Wellbeing.
Professor Joshua Inwood describes how truth and reconciliation processes address legacies of racism, violence, and conflict and move toward community healing. Inwood is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Tennessee.
Read more about grassroots truth and reconciliation commissions in his two-page brief and the opinion piece by Faria Davis, founder of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, cited in the show. Follow him on Twitter @JoshGeog.
For more on restorative justice, read Lessons from Rwanda's Quest for a Just Response to Genocide and The Challenge of Ensuring Just Compensation for Wrongfully Convicted Former Prisoners.
March 15, 2016
Read more about Torres-Spelliscy’s work in her article. Shooting Your Brand in the Foot: What Citizens United Invites. Follow her on Twitter @ProfCiara. Find the Barbie music video and Target protests on YouTube and consumer choice phone apps on the left and right in your app store.
For more on political donations read Torres-Spellicy’s brief How the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Could Require Transparency for Corporate Political Expenditures and Evidence that Legislators Grant Special Access to Donors, or listen to our previous No Jargon Episode 21: Big Money, Big Power.
Professor Dana Fisher shows that policymakers only hear scientific information about climate change that reaffirms their own positions. Fisher is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland.
For more on political attitudes on climate science read The Climate Change Denial Campaign or The Hidden Campaign to Spread Doubt about Climate Science.
Episode 23: The Highest Glass Ceiling
March 1, 2016
Professor Ellen Fitzpatrick tells the stories of three women who - long before Hillary Clinton - sought to win the U.S. presidency despite overwhelming challenges. Fitzpatrick is a Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire.
Read more about Fitzpatrick’s work in an SSN Spotlight or read her new book The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women’s Quest for the American Presidency. Follow her on Twitter @EllenFitzp.
For more on women in politics, read Are Gender Stereotypes a Problem for Female Candidates?, and The Impact of Family Obligations on Women's Willingness to Seek Election, or check out our working group on Women and Representation.
Episode 22: The Case for $15
February 23, 2016
Professor Robert Pollin gives three reasons why a $15 minimum wage is feasible for the fast food industry and shows how it is better for workers and the economy overall. Pollin is a Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Learn more in Pollin’s two-page brief Why Fast Food Employers Can Adjust to a $15 Minimum Wage without Shedding Jobs, based on his paper with Jeannette Wicks-Lim, or a PBS article on their research.
For more on minimum wage workers, read Evidence That Higher Minimum Wages Improve Economic Wellbeing and How Innovative Worker Centers Help America's Most Vulnerable Wage Earners.
Episode 21: Big Money, Big Power
February 15, 2016
Professor Rick Hasen explores why a few wealthy Americans have most of the influence in U.S. politics - and how changing the Supreme Court is the best way to fix that. Hasen is a Professor of Law and Political Science at University of California, Irvine.
Learn more in Hasen’s new book, Plutocrats United, or in his New York Times article. Read his take on Justice Scalia’s passing on the Election Law Blog. Follow him on Twitter @RickHasen and on his podcast, the ELB Podcast.
For more on money in politics, read Why Campaign Finance Reforms That Weaken U.S. Parties Promote Extreme and Unresponsive Politics and Making Sense of the Koch Network, or listen to our very first No Jargon episode, "The Kochs, Americans For Prosperity, and The Right."
Episode 20: Does Your Vote Count?
February 9, 2016
Professor David Schultz explains that only a tiny sliver of the American population - the voters in just 10 swing states - will truly matter in the November presidential election. Schultz is a Professor of Political Science at Hamline University.
Follow him on Twitter @ProfDschultz. Learn more about swing states in his book, Presidential Swing States: Why Only Ten Matter.
For more on voting practices affecting outcomes, read When Election Rules Undermine Democracy and How the New Voter ID Laws Impede Disadvantaged Citizens.
Episode 19: Changing Neighborhoods for Better or Worse
February 2, 2016
Jackelyn Hwang discusses gentrification in America - how race and class impact who moves where and when. How can decision-makers encourage investment that protects long-time residents? Hwang is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Princeton University.
Follow her on Twitter @jackiehwang17. Learn more in her American Sociological Review article or her two-page brief, How "Gentrification" in American Cities Maintains Racial Inequality and Segregation.
For more on the human impacts of changing cities, read The Health Consequences of Moving From Place to Place and The Downside of Urban Growth by Undemocratic Means.
Episode 18: Feminism, A Century Later
January 26, 2016
Professor Kristin Goss explains how women’s groups have grown, shrunk, and fought against getting pigeonholed in the century since they gained the vote. Goss is an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University and co-leader of the SSN Research Triangle network.
Follow her on Twitter @KAGoss. Learn more in her book, The Paradox of Gender Equality: How American Women’s Groups Gained and Lost Their Public Voice, or her two-page brief.
For more on identity politics and women’s political voice, read How Do People Make Political Decisions When Compelling Identities Pull Them in Different Directions? and Shattering the Glass Ceiling for Women in Politics and see SSN’s Working Group on Women in Representation.
Episode 17: The Politics of Abortion in America
January 19, 2016
Professor Deana Rohlinger talks about five decades of American abortion battles and analyzes the successes and failures of groups on both sides. Rohlinger is a Professor of Sociology at Florida State University.
Learn more in her book or her two-page briefs on abortion politics and media strategies of pro- and anti-abortion movements. Follow her on Twitter @deanarohlinger1. You can find Rohlinger’s suggested website on debunked myths about Planned Parenthood at Politifact.
For more on social movement politics and abortion, read The New Wave of State Laws Targeting Abortion Providers and What Happens when Women Planning Abortions View Ultrasounds?
Episode 16: Local Agents of Democracy
January 12, 2016
Professor Colleen Casey describes how community organizations help disenfranchised groups participate in democracy and addresses questions of nonprofit accountability. Casey is an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration at University of Texas at Arlington.
Learn more from her brief, How to Enlarge Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Minorities and People without Wealth.
For more on types of community-level democratic engagement, read How Participatory Budgeting Strengthens Communities and Improves Local Governance and Community Dialogue Forums as a Route to Shared Democratic Governance.
Episode 15: Too Many Workers
January 5, 2016
In this episode, Daniel Alpert explains how the opening of the global market has reduced the bargaining power of workers at home and encouraged a global cycle of booms and busts. Alpert is a Fellow at The Century Foundation and a Managing Partner at Westwood Capital.
Learn more about how globalization is transforming America in his book, The Age of Oversupply: Overcoming the Greatest Challenge to the Global Economy. Follow him on Twitter @DanielAlpert.
For more on the impacts of oversupply read Alpert’s brief, On Its Jobs Report Card for 2013, the U.S. Economy Gets a Gentleman's "C", The Great Recession and America's Underemployment Crisis, and Why Jobless Americans Experience Deep and Prolonged Distress.
Episode 14: Family Values, Family Leave
December 28, 2015
In this episode, Marion Johnson discusses the costs and benefits of giving workers paid time off to recover from illness, care for a sick family member, or be with a new baby. Johnson is a Policy Analyst at Think NC First, and was a graduate fellow for SSN’s Research Triangle chapter.
Follow Johnson on Twitter @mariontjohnson. Learn more about paid sick days and family leave in her report, “Family Matters: How Paid Leave Pays Off for Working Families,” and an SSN brief, Paid Family Leave in California and New Jersey: The Benefits for Working Families and Employers, by Eileen Applebaum and Ruth Milkman
For more background on obstacles facing working women and families, read Johnson’s brief on Why America's Women of Color Have Lost Ground Since the Great Recession and the SSN Forum on Support for America’s Working Women.
Episode 13: The Misinformation Age
December 22, 2015
This week, Professor Brian Southwell explains why people tend to believe false information and discusses strategies for correcting the public perception of misinformation. Southwell is the Director of the Science in the Public Sphere Program at RTI International, a research professor of Mass Communication at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an Adjunct Faculty at Duke University.
Southwell is the host of a weekly radio show, "The Measure of Everyday Life." Follow him on Twitter @BrianSouthwell and @MeasureRadio. Read more about misinformation in his article, "The Prevalence, Consequence, and Remedy of Misinformation in Mass Media Systems."
For more on information dissemination and social media, read his brief, Why New Social Media are Not Certain to Save Democracy, and the brief by SSN scholar Steven Michael Polunsky on Using Social Media to Improve Citizen Engagement with Government.
Episode 12: The Price for Parking Your Car(bon)
December 15, 2015
In this episode, Professor James Boyce explains how putting a price on carbon would increase the cost of non-renewable energy like oil, coal and gas and help reduce global warming. Boyce is Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Learn more about carbon pricing in Boyce’s New York Times OpEd. To find out about the outcomes of the December 2015 Paris international climate negotiations, visit the United Nations website for the conference.
For more on carbon pricing and climate change, read Why Now is the Time to Build a Broad Citizen Movement for Green Energy Dividends, Can Market-Based Programs Help Emerging Economies Reduce Carbon Emissions to Fight Global Warming?, and What Do Americans Think about Climate Change at the State and Local Level?.
Episode 11: Christmas in April
December 8, 2015
In this episode, Professor Laura Tach discusses the Earned Income Tax Credit and explains why it is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in America. Tach is an Assistant Professor of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University.
Learn more in Tach’s book, It’s Not Like I’m Poor, and her brief How Low-Income Americans Understand and React to the Earned Income Tax Credit.
For more on the connections between taxes, poverty, and inequality, read How States Can Fight Growing Economic Inequality and The Strengths and Limits of the Earned Income Tax Credit as a Tool to Fight Poverty.
Episode 10: Immigrant and Refugee Deja Vu
December 1, 2015
Professor Benjamin Railton recounts a short history of U.S. immigration law and times in history that parallel the reaction to the Syrian refugee crisis. Railton is an Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Fitchburg State University.
Follow him on Twitter @AmericanStudier. Read the articles mentioned in today’s episode at Talking Points Memo, "No, Your Ancestors Didn’t Come Here Legally" and "For More Than 200 Years, America Has Shunned A 'War On Islam.'"
For more on immigration, read Railton's brief, SSN’s Forum on the Immigration Impasse, and An Over-Hyped Immigration Crisis.
Episode 9: Welfare for the Wealthy
November 24, 2015
This week, Professor Christopher Faricy explains how the U.S. federal tax code provides billions in private welfare that disproportionately benefits the rich and increases inequality. Faricy is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University.
For more on tax expenditures and welfare, read Could Reducing Tax Expenditures Tame the Federal Debt? and Why Americans Can't See Government - And Why It Matters.
Episode 8: Organizing for Leadership
November 24, 2015
In this episode, Professor Hahrie Han discusses how the most effective civic organizations reach out to the public and develop leaders. Han is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara and co-leader of the SSN Working Group on Civic Engagement.
Find her on Twitter @hahriehan. For more, see her books, How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century and Groundbreakers: How Obama's 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America, or her two-page brief.
For more on citizen mobilization, read How Efficient Internet Communication Undercuts American Civic Institutions and Talking about Politics Boosts Civic Participation.
Episode 7: Mapping Black America
November 17, 2015
In this episode, Professor Marcus Anthony Hunter explores the geography of the Black American experience and gives historical context to Black politics and the Black Lives Matter movement. Hunter is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Follow him on Twitter @manthonyhunter. For more on Hunter’s map of Black America, read his book, Black Citymakers: How The Philadelphia Negro Changed Urban America, and keep an eye out for his upcoming book, Chocolate Cities.
Episode 6: Planned Parenthood, Abortion, and Birth Control
October 10, 2015
This week, Professor Carole Joffe explains the culture and politics behind the controversy over Planned Parenthood and the economic importance of reproductive health care. Joffe is a Professor in the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco.
Follow her on Twitter @carolejoffe. Check out her book, Dispatches from the Abortion Wars: The Costs of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients, and the Rest of Us and her brief on laws targeting abortion providers.
For more on women’s reproductive health read What Happens when Women Planning Abortions View Ultrasounds? and Birth Control is an Economic Issue for Women and Their Families.
Episode 5: Business at the Ballot Box
November 3, 2015
In this episode, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez explores how small business interests influence politics and explains what businesses do to politically mobilize their employees. Hertel-Fernandez is a PhD Candidate in Government and Social Policy at Harvard University.
For more on how business impacts politics, read How Businesses Can Cooperate to Propel Equitable Economic Growth and How the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Could Require Transparency for Corporate Political Expenditures.
Episode 4: The Student Debt Crisis
November 3, 2015
This week, Professor Nicholas Hillman discusses the burden of student debt and dispels common misconceptions. Hillman is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
For more about the rising cost of higher education, read Make the First Two Years of College Free - A Cost-Effective Way to Expand Access to Higher Education in America, Will Impending Reforms in Federal College Loan Programs Hurt Black Students and Families?, and How U.S. Education Promotes Inequality – And What Can be Done to Broaden Access and Graduation.
Episode 3: The Tea Party Divided
October 29, 2015
In this episode, Professor Heath Brown discusses the Tea Party, explaining how this conservative movement has grown and changed – and how it may shape the 2016 elections. Brown is an Assistant Professor of Public Management at John Jay College, City University of New York and a co-leader of SSN’s New York chapter.
Follow Brown on Twitter @heathbrown. Subscribe to his podcast, New Books in Political Science. Read more from Brown in The Hill or in his new book, The Tea Party Divided.
Learn more about the history of the Tea Party from a brief summary of The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, the book Brown mentioned that was authored by Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson.
Episode 2: Voter Fraud or Voter Suppression?
October 29, 2015
In this episode, Professor Erin O’Brien illuminates the absence of voter fraud in the United States and details how and why voter fraud legislation is passed across states. O’Brien is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a co-leader of SSN’s Boston chapter.
Follow O’Brien on Twitter @Prof_EOB. She blogs regularly at MassPoliticsProfs and is a regular contributor to Morning Edition on WGBH Radio in Boston.
For more information about restrictions on voting rights, read Unequal Voter Turnout in U.S. Presidential Elections, How Fair Rules Can be Designed for Photo Identification at the Ballot Box, and Evidence that Photo Identification and Proof-of-Citizenship Laws Lower Voter Turnout.
Episode 1: The Kochs, Americans For Prosperity, and the Right
October 29, 2015
In this episode, Professor Theda Skocpol discusses changes in and around the Republican Party and explains how conservatives are reaching out to new constituencies. Skocpol is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University and the Director of the Scholars Strategy Network.
Learn more about the Shifting Terrain Project from several two-page briefs, including Making Sense of the Koch Network and Why U.S. Conservatives Shape Legislation across the Fifty States Much More Effectively than Liberals.
For more information on the Libre Initiative, read The Libre Initiative - an Innovative Conservative Effort to Recruit Latino Support and see a map of Libre outreach efforts.