#301 Rocky Talk - Uncivil Democracy: Race, Poverty, and Civil Legal Inequality
This episode's guest is Jamila Michener, Associate Professor at Cornell University. She studies poverty, racism, and public policy, with a particular focus on health and housing. She is author of the award-winning book, Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism, and Unequal Politics. She is Associate Dean for Public Engagement at the Brooks School of Public Policy, co-director of the Cornell Center for Health Equity, co-director of the Politics of Race, Immigration, Class and Ethnicity (PRICE) research initiative, and board chair of the Cornell Prison Education Program.
Civil law is the channel through which many people adjudicate the (non-criminal) legal challenges that emerge in everyday life. Core functions of civil law involve arbitrating outcomes that are especially vital to people living in or near poverty (e.g., evictions, loss of public assistance, disputes between lenders and borrowers, and much more). Moreover, civil legal protections are especially critical to low-income women of color. This talk will highlight the repercussions of civil legal inequality. Professor Michener will show how civil legal institutions affect economic and political dynamics in race-class subjugated communities. and consider the implications of civil legal institutions for U.S. democracy.
Interview by Dartmouth student Shawdi Mehrvarzan '22. Edited by Laura Hemlock. Music: Debussy Arabesque no 1. Composer: Claude Debussy