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Daniel DiSalvo, “Government against Itself: Public Union Power and Its Consequences” (Oxford UP, 2015)

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Daniel DiSalvo is the author ofGovernment against Itself: Public Union Power and Its Consequences (Oxford University Press, 2015). DiSalvo is associate professor of political science at the City College of New York, CUNY, and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
It is rare that an academic book attracts attention and stokes real controversy, but look to DiSalvo as the first of 2015 to set the social media afire. DiSalvo challenges many conventional notions about unions, primarily the work of public sector unions, during a period of strained state and local finance. He claims that many of the arguments for the importance of private sector unions – those representing manufacturing and other private employees – are largely inapplicable to private sector unions – those representing teachers, police and fire personnel, and other government workers. The special position of public sector unions, at once distinct from government, but also deeply entrenched in government, sets up peculiar negotiating dynamics. DiSalvo claims that public sector unions are given “two bites at the apple” on their interests, permitted to collectively bargain contracts, but also lobby those at the bargaining table in the larger political process. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit