“Racial Orders, Market Logics, and American Political Development,” Chloe Thurston, Northwestern University
AMERICAN POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY WORKSHOP
Abstract: The persistence of the black and white wealth gap is one of the most prominent indicators of the limitations of minority rights revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, and yet racial orders frameworks used by scholars of APD offer only a partial explanation for this development. This essay argues for the incorporation of market logics – that is, cause-and-effect ideas held by economic actors and shaped by institutions, practices, and shared understandings – into our understanding of racial orders. I identify three ways that considering the interplay of racial orders with market logics can enhance our understanding of the political economy of race in the US: by limiting or enabling the realization of the minority rights revolution on-the-ground, by shifting economic activities to areas untouched by civil rights laws, and by creating profit opportunities in the economic inclusion of previously marginalized citizens in ways that may expose those groups to new risks. This framework is then applied to efforts to the challenges of bringing about equitable fair housing for racial minorities and insurance equality for women.
Chloe Thurston is an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University, and 2019-2020 member of the School of Social Science Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. She is author of At the Boundaries of Homeownership: Credit, Discrimination and the American State (2019, Cambridge University Press).