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Comparing Reform and Resistance, Then and Now

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Elebash Recital Hall, The Graduate Center

365 5th Avenue

New York, NY 10016

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Panel 3: Comparing Reform and Resistance, Then and Now
3 - 4:45 pm

If this is a second Gilded Age, what lessons should we draw from the first? Recently, for example, scholars have argued that we might do far better to adopt the solutions that Progressives offered to deal with the Gilded Age, such as monopoly-busting or public ownership, against the more familiar prescriptions of the New Dealers. So, which reforms are most "usable" from our past​, and what new policies might we have to create for today's unique conditions? ​More importantly, perhaps, are there lessons to be drawn about the kind of social movements or electoral reform that may be needed to enact these policies, or do today's problems require different approaches? We end the day's conversation by shifting the debate from analysis to solutions.

  • Joshua B. Freeman is Distinguished Professor of History at Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. His books include Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World, American Empire, 1945-2000: The Rise of a Global Power, the Democratic Revolution at Home, Working-Class New York: Life and Labor since World War II; and In Transit: The Transport Workers Union in New York City, 1933‑1966. He has received the Philip Taft Labor History Book Award, the New York Society Library Book Prize, the John Commerford Labor Education Award, and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

  • Elisabeth Clemens is Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago, where her research explores the role of social movements and organizational innovation in political change. Her first book, The People's Lobby: Organizational Innovation and the Rise of Interest Group Politics in the United States, 1890-1925, received awards in both organizational sociology and political sociology. She is co-editor of Private Action and the Public Good (1998), Remaking Modernity: Politics, History and Sociology (2005), Politics and Partnerships: Voluntary Associations in America's Past and Present (2010), and the journal Studies in American Political Development. She is now completing a book tracing the tense but powerful entanglements of benevolence and liberalism in the development of the American nation-state.

  • K. Sabeel Rahman is Associate Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School and the President of Demos, "a think-and-do tank committed to advancing policy and social change on issues of racial justice, democracy, and inequality." Previously a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and a Fellow at New America, he is the author of Democracy Against Domination (2017), which examines how democratic ideals fueled reform movements in the Progressive Era, and their implications for post-financial crisis debates about economic inequality. He is currently at work on a book exploring new approaches to organizing, power, and institutional reform in the present crisis of American democracy.

  • Joseph Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia, and is the recipient of both a Nobel Prize and Clark Medal. He is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and is a former member and chairman of the (US president's) Council of Economic Advisers. The recipient of more than 40 honorary degrees, and decorated by several governments, he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.He is known for his support of Georgist public finance theory and for his critical view of the management of globalization, of laissez-faire economists ("free market fundamentalists"), and of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.

  • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, and the author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation and How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, winner of the 2018 Lambda Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction. Dr. Taylor is currently completing a manuscript titled "Race for Profit: Black Homeownership and the End of the Urban Crisis," which looks at the federal government's promotion of single-family homeownership in black communities after the urban rebellions of the 1960s.

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Elebash Recital Hall, The Graduate Center

365 5th Avenue

New York, NY 10016

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