I am currently researching the war on crime and New Deal liberalism. My dissertation tracks the Roosevelt admistration's adoption of law enforcement machinery from its prohibitionist predecessors, and how the emergence of what I call a "war on crime coalition" enabled not just the expansion of but the ambitious reform of a national crusade against crime even in the face of the 21st amendment and falling crime rates. A holistic distinctively liberal national program of "crime prevention" kept the coalition together, even as its most radical proposals collapsed in the late 1930s. I integrate Anslinger and the war on drugs into this story as well as the evolution of liberal ideas about constitutionalism and law enforcement. The war on crime, I contend, harmonized modern liberalism with incarceration and the security state even before World War II.
More generally, I study American legal, political, and intellectual history; political economy, legal and constitutional theory, state building, and the United States and the world.
Awards & Fellowships
David Hollinger Prize for Scholarship in Intellectual History, 2016
PROSE Award for Best Book in Law and Legal Studies (awarded by the Association of American Publishers), 2013