In addition to my ongoing work on a book and articles on property and social policy, I am developing two other lines of research.
Regulating the Resilient City
In this project I am again combining historical and ethnographic methods, to explore how thinking about cities as ecologies and as systems emerged in the U.S. over the past century, and understand how these modes of conceptualizing the city are informing projects to reshape urban governance. In addition to developing grant proposals for this research, I have begun work on a paper, “Properties of Urban Resilience,” that extends my current thinking about urban property in the direction of this next project.
Reinventing Urban Democracy
I am also developing a project on how U.S. cities can make voting a duty. Most existing work on compulsory voting in the U.S. suggests that it can’t happen here, whether because of constitutional or political barriers. And yet, it has happened, and it might again. I expect this project will produce at least two articles. One article will explain how and why the city of Kansas City (MO) briefly enacted compulsory voting in the 1890s. Another article will analyze the prospects and possible legal strategies for cities to enact and defend similar game-changing legislation today.
The Dilemmas of Human Rights Litigation (Previous Project)
In “Litigation Dilemmas: Lessons from the Marcos Human Rights Class Action,” I examined how litigating a human rights case in a U.S. court can pose a series of strategic dilemmas for transnational activists. For this research, I interviewed Philippine social movement activists and Philippine and U.S. attorneys who sued former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos following his ouster and flight to the U.S. in 1986. The article examines how the procedural features of the human rights class action creates a sequence of dilemmas that can pit members of a movement against one another.