Infrastructure Economics and Policy: International Perspectives

José Gómez-Ibáñez, Derek C. Bok Research Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy; Zhi Liu, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Cover of the book Infrastructure Economics and Policy International Perspectives

SUSTAINABLY BUILT AND FUNDED INFRASTRUCTURE is vital to making societies more resilient, equitable, and livable. The trillions of public dollars being poured into infrastructure, especially in the wake of the pandemic, are testimony to that. In this edited volume, José Gómez-Ibáñez, the Derek C. Bok Research Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy and an expert in transportation, infrastructure, and development, and Zhi Liu, director of the China Program at the Lincoln Institute, present case studies and essays with a global and cross-sectoral perspective. Chapters cover land value capture and other funding mechanisms; the role of infrastructure in urban form, economic performance, and quality of life, especially for disinvested communities; and other essential concepts, economic theories, and policy considerations. Several Harvard and Harvard Kennedy School scholars contribute, including Henry Lee, Akash Deep, and Edward Glaeser. The book offers an invaluable tool set for understanding infrastructure at a critical time.


Holding Together: The Hijacking of Rights in America and How to Reclaim Them for Everyone

Sushma Raman, former executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy; Mathias Risse, Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights, Global Affairs and Philosophy and director of the Carr Center; John Shattuck, former senior fellow at the Carr Center

Cover of the book Holding Together

IN A TIMELY EXPLORATION OF DEMOCRACY and disenfranchisement in the United States, the authors chronicle voting rights as they exist today, how the machinery of democracy has been used against itself, and what policies can be put into effect to ensure equal access to democracy for all. The book is written with data from a two-year study of voting rights in the United States conducted by the Carr Center and directed by Shattuck, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor.

Deftly blending history, politics, and current polling data, the volume is written for policymakers as well as the general public. Various sections focus on the battle for voting rights, equal protection (a chapter on LGBTQ rights was written by the HKS faculty affiliate Timothy Patrick McCarthy), legal protection, the media, and privacy. Although each section outlines attacks on voting rights—including the influence of “dark money,” the lack of civic education, the use of intimidation, and the misuse of redistricting—each chapter ends with concrete policy recommendations to address those concerns. For example, following “The Corrupting Influence of Money in Politics” is a call to authorize citizen funding of elections: “clean election laws.”


Reducing Racial Inequality in Crime and Justice: Science, Practice, and Policy

Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Ford Foundation Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy; Bruce Western, Columbia University; Yamrot Negussie; Emily Backes

Cover of the book Reducing Racial Inequality in Crime and Justice

IN THIS BOOK-LENGTH CONSENSUS STUDY REPORT from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine—building on reports from past years—the authoring committee, including cochair Khalil Muhammad, presents research and recommendations to address the fact that people of color, especially Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people, are disproportionally harmed by the criminal justice system in the United States. The committee’s mandate is to “review research to explain why there are such large racial inequalities in crime, victimization, and criminal justice involvement, and to offer evidence-based advice on reducing inequality.”

The comprehensive report considers both policy reforms to the criminal justice system itself and interventions outside the system to address racial inequality. In gathering information, the committee reviewed the existing academic literature and held listening sessions with people from historically marginalized groups who have had contact with the police, courts, and prisons to understand their firsthand experience. “Reducing racial inequality can reduce crime and improve safety,” the report finds. “Minimizing the overall harms from crime, including harms that result from society’s responses to crime, expands the toolkit of criminal justice responses beyond retribution, deterrence, and incapacitation to include victim restoration, prevention through improved community relations, addressing unmet needs, and cross-system coordination beyond criminal justice agencies.”


On Revolutions: Unruly Politics in the Contemporary World

Erica Chenoweth, Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment; Colin J. Beck, Pomona College; Mlada Bukovansky, Smith College; George Lawson, Australian National University; Sharon Erickson Nepstad, University of New Mexico; Daniel P. Ritter, Stockholm University

Cover of the book On Revolutions

IN THIS VOLUME, the Kennedy School’s Erica Chenoweth and five other scholars outline an approach to revolutionary theory for the 21st century, both building on and departing from prior generations of thought. They consider how scholars look at—and theorize, research, and advise on—revolutions. The authors explain that 21st-century revolutions are different from their forebears and thus require new methods of study. For instance, contemporary struggles are less likely to be armed and more likely to rely on civil resistance techniques, to involve cross-class collaborations, and to form around urban centers (such as Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the 2011 Egyptian revolution). They are also likely to have more-modest goals than earlier revolutions did—to be “small ‘r’ revolutions.”

“Yet even as the model of practice for many revolutionaries has shifted,” the researchers write, “the model of revolutionary theory for social scientists has not.” To address this concern, they consider new approaches, drawing on insights from fields including resistance studies, international relations, and the study of social movements. The authors also break down dichotomies that have traditionally defined research on this topic: whether revolutions are primarily political or social, violent or nonviolent, successful or failed, domestic or international. To advance revolutionary studies, they write, “we need to recognize the multifaceted nature of contemporary revolutions.” Their book provides fresh insights on how to think about revolutions around the world today.


Democracy in Hard Places

Tarek Masoud, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Governance and director of the Middle East Institute; Scott Mainwaring, University of Notre Dame

Cover of the book Democracy in Hard Places

The tide of democracy that seemed to sweep over so much of the world after the end of the Cold War has been ebbing for some time—not only from places where democracy had never been deeply ingrained in the political culture, but also from places where it seemed well established and, most frighteningly, from places where it was part of society’s genetic code. The hard populism in Poland and Hungary is an example, as is the worrying challenge to the smooth transition of power in the United States. The process—the expansion and then recession of democracy—has challenged scholars, causing them to rethink how democracy might take hold but also offering new opportunities to understand what “democracy” means and where it can survive. Tarek Masoud has long focused on this phenomenon; he established the Democracy in Hard Places program at HKS with Scott Mainwaring (who was on the HKS faculty for some years before returning to the University of Notre Dame). In this edited volume, the two bring together a number of experts to look at places where democracy has managed to survive under sometimes difficult conditions—places such as Indonesia and East Timor, South Africa, Argentina, and the former Soviet republics Moldova and Georgia. Those examples, the authors contend, will help readers understand how democracy has been maintained and how it can perhaps be built elsewhere.