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Weekly Roundup: March 15, 2024


At the Blog

On Monday, Julieta Lobato analyzed Javier Milei’s labor policies over his first three months in office. In the formal labor market, she argues, his approach has resembled an intensification of the initial neoliberal wave of the 1980-1990s, while in the informal labor market, his government has sought to atomize social conflict by weakening the power of intermediate worker organizations. More broadly, Lobato contends that Milei’s recent austerity measures and violent repression of social protests should be understood as a form of necropolitics: political power that shapes the social order by exposing large populations to in-between spaces of life and death.

On Tuesday, Evan Bernick continued our symposium on Jocelyn Simonson’s Radical Acts of Justice, by discussing the role of Constitution in freedom struggles and the legitimate role (if any) of violence in transformative left politics in the United States. On the first point, he argues that while Simonson invokes a broad commitment to constitutional self-government, there are more concrete ways to connect the Constitution with agonistic democracy, including inheritances from past emancipatory movements. On the second point, he wonders if, given that violent resistance has played a major part in the history of freedom struggles in the United States, Simonson’s account is perhaps too optimistic about the power of the people to dismantle oppressive systems through non-violent measures alone. This subject, he notes, isn’t easy to talk about, since to even raise the possibility of such a role is to invite repression, but nevertheless, the question remains.

And on Thursday, Jonathan Glater and Adriana Hardwicke looked at the consequences of the fracturing of higher education along state lines. As they observe, since most students go to college close to where they live, the curriculum wars in different states may result in students learning different versions of reality depending on where they reside. Moreover, the disparity in support for higher education in different states contributes to significant differences in student debt burdens, with important knock on effects for geographic inequality. These trends, they note, “bode ill for the possibility that higher education will contribute to the shaping of a common polity that can agree at least on terms of debate about the challenges the nation confronts, let alone on the best responses to them.”

Bonus Content: we rolled out a brand new symposia page, which allows readers to quickly browse the all 65(!) different series we’ve published over the past six years. Everything from “A Nation Within” to “Worker Surveillance, Collective Resistance.” Check it out!

In LPE Land

On Tuesday, March 19, our hit open course/reading group, “What To Do About the Courts” will hold its third session, in which the man, the myth, the muad’dib(?), Aziz Rana, will be discussing international and comparative perspectives on the courts.

Roll Call: did you or a scholar whose work you love have an article accepted this submission season? If so, let us know! Early next month, we’ll be highlighting some of the hottest LPE and LPE-adjacent forthcoming work from this cycle. Send nominations to with a short description of the piece, where it will be forthcoming, and if available, a link to SSRN. Self-nominations are highly encouraged.

The LPE Blog (hey, that’s us) is looking to hire student editors for the upcoming year. Will you drink the WordPress of life? Applications due by April 1.

The Vanderbilt Policy Accelerator for Political Economy and Regulation (run by Ganesh Sitaraman and Morgan Ricks) is seeking to fill four positions: Director of Competition and Regulatory Policy, Director of Industrial Policy and Economic Security, Director of Public Options and Governance, and Senior Policy Analyst.

The American Economic Liberties Project is looking to hire a legal fellow to work on competition policy and antitrust litigation.

In a rare quality NYT opinion piece (non-Bouie division), Bryce Covert argues that Americans are dissatisfied with the economy because our government built and abruptly dismantled an actual social safety net over the past four years.

Interesting guest post on J.W. Mason’s blog by Michael Kinnucan about the future of health care reform.

Over at the New Statesman, Quinn Slobodian reflects on the politics of inequality, a decade after Piketty.

In yesterday’s Guardian Long Read, Astra Taylor and Leah Hunt-Hendrix discuss the forgotten lessons of effective protest, adapted from their new book, Solidarity: The Past, Present, and Future of a World-Changing Idea.