Learn about our existing and emerging projects
Studies in Comparative Anti-Racism
In collaboration with Howard University, University of Maryland, and University of Michigan
What strategies effectively dismantle structural racism and quell racially motivated violence? Research on structural racism proposes multiple paths towards decreasing race disparities. However, because of the dismal track record of dismantling racism in the United States, recommendations are largely empirically unsubstantiated. We propose to bridge the extensive collection of empirical evidence examining racism from across the world and the study of racism in the United States. Thus, our project centers African-Americans, Asian American-Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Latinx Americans in a larger cross-national group-level database – with attention to the theoretical tenets for addressing racism.
What is the intellectual merit of a comparative approach to help develop an empirical foundation for dismantling racism? Variance in minority discrimination across countries can provide clues as to when we see more racism (and when we see less). This allows us to identify which structural and behavioral conditions are associated with racism generally, and which ones need to be addressed for racial justice specifically. Briefly, our working theory is that there are at least two paths to ending racial discrimination. The first is a top-down institutional path where the state government accommodates a minority with modification of the existing institutional framework. Second is a bottom-up socially-driven path by way of contentious politics. Third, both mechanisms and the outcomes they engender are also set against their context specific inter-sectional vectors of discrimination. In turn, the methodological merit of our approach centers on a novel application of semi-automated machine coding of data on cross-national racism. This data collection is embedded in four multi-faceted sub-national level data collections from across the globe that include machine coding of data in local languages, survey experiments, interviews and qualitative narratives for in-depth contextualization of the cases.
The broader societal impact of our research focuses on who the dissemination of our results empowers and how. As the case of the United States illustrates, within a country, groups and their social conditions can vary substantially. Therefore, any evidence based solutions proposed to alleviate racial injustice must be considered in interaction with the existing plight of each sub-national group, especially over time and may differ between groups even within a country. The evidence based solutions to racism uncovered by this project have the potential to empower advocates for and the leadership of mobilized marginalized groups within and outside the United States. Furthermore, solutions that highlight a variety of group specific paths to dismantling racism potentially illuminate a diverse set of options that may be pursued to address the particular needs of and improve the quality of life of members of that specific marginalized group.
Policing has come under increased scrutiny as citizens have mobilized in response to ongoing violence in and exploitation of communities of color in the United States. A suite of projects examines the tradeoffs between policing practices that purport to promote public safety, and harm those same practices produce for marginalized people. Large, administrative records of police behavior across several cities affords the opportunity to examine in granular detail enforcement behaviors like shirking, practices associated with order maintenance, and the implications for racial inequality in criminal justice outcomes. These projects are a collaborative effort that unite a practical emphasis on policy (evaluation and reform) and a critical emphasis on the importance of equality under the law to American Democracy.
Chinese American Scientist Survey
Spearheaded by Committee 100 and University of Arizona
This joint research project is designed to understand how research and academics have been affected by the limitations that the U.S. government has placed on international exchange with China, with special focus over the impact on professors and researchers who are of Chinese descent.