AMERICAN POLITICS | URBAN POLITICS | AMERICAN RACIAL POLITICS | AMERICAN POLITICAL ECONOMY
SALLY FORD LAWTON, PhD
I defended my dissertation, Space and Race in American Municipal Development: Baltimore, 1913-1940 in January 2022 under the supervision of Professors Lester Spence and Adam Sheingate. My work focuses on American political development with a specific emphasis on race and urban institutions. My dissertation intervenes in the literature on American political development, which generally overlooks or underplays the explanatory purchase of the spatial context in favor of ideas, interests, and institutions. A modified version of my third chapter appears as “The Idea of Blight in Baltimore,” in the book How Ideas Shape Urban Political Development from the University of Pennsylvania Press. Space not only transforms city and race regime politics, but also national jurisprudence. By emphasizing the structural influences of space, I show that contemporary challenges in areas like race, housing, poverty, and policing are best understood as a basic failure to account for and adjust to technologies of space.