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From the publisher: "Over the past generation, the Democratic and Republican parties have each become nationally coordinated political teams. American political institutions, on the other hand, remain highly decentralized. 'Laboratories against Democracy' shows how national political conflicts are increasingly flowing through the subnational institutions of state politics—with profound consequences for public policy and American democracy.
Jacob Grumbach argues that as Congress has become more gridlocked, national partisan and activist groups have shifted their sights to the state level, nationalizing state politics in the process and transforming state governments into the engines of American policymaking. He shows how this has had the ironic consequence of making policy more varied across the states as red and blue party coalitions implement increasingly distinct agendas in areas like health care, reproductive rights, and climate change. The consequences don’t stop there, however. Drawing on a wealth of new data on state policy, public opinion, money in politics, and democratic performance, Grumbach traces how national groups are using state governmental authority to suppress the vote, gerrymander districts, and erode the very foundations of democracy itself."
Jacob M. Grumbach is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington and a Faculty Associate with the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. Grumbach’s research focuses broadly on the political economy of the United States, with an emphasis on public policy, racial and economic inequality, American federalism and statistical methods. His research has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, American Journal of Public Health, Business & Politics, Election Law Journal, Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Perspectives on Politics, and Political Research Quarterly. Previously, Grumbach was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley in 2018.
Corrine M. McConnaughy, PhD, is a Research Scholar and Lecturer in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. Her research engages questions of whether and how American democracy depends upon its institutional arrangements and the actions of those historically excluded from it. She is author of the book "The Woman Suffrage Movement in America: A Reassessment" (Cambridge, 2013), an in-depth account of the politics of women’s voting rights in the U.S. She has published broadly on American politics in both academic and public outlets, including as a regular contributor to the Washington Post, and has provided expert commentary on politics for a range of media, including PBS, the New York Times, CNN, NPR, and Vox.
Presented in partnership with Princeton University Press and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.