Miller Center

Miller Center Fellows 2001 – 2002

Joseph Crespino
Joseph Crespino

Strategic Accommodation: Civil Rights Opponents in Mississippi and their Impact on American Racial Politics, 1953–1972

Joseph Crespino, Stanford University
Mentors: Charles Payne, Duke University; and David Colby, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Joseph Crespino is Professor of History and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Emory University.

He received his B.A. from Northwestern University in 1994, an M.A. in Secondary School Education from the University of Mississippi in 1996, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from Stanford University in 2002. In his research, Crespino tried to place white Southerners more directly in the context of the emerging conservative politics of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s to reflect the complicated role that race has played in the emergence of modern conservatism.

Crespino's dissertation, "Strategic Accommodation: Civil Rights Opponents in Mississippi and their Impact on American Racial Politics, 1953–1972," won the 2003 Dissertation Award from the Jepson School of Leadership at the University of Richmond. It examined the impact of racial desegregation on political culture in the American South by providing a case study of resistance and accommodation to civil rights reform in Mississippi's white community. His project revealed how key policy makers along with local economic elites led an accommodation to racial change that accepted token forms of desegregation in ways that preserved racial and economic privilege and forestalled further civil rights reform.

Recent Publications:

Strom Thurmond's America (Hill and Wang, 2012)

The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism, co-edited with Matthew D. Lassiter (Oxford University Press, 2009)

                                                                                                                                                                                                     


Maxine Eichner
Maxine Eichner

Reinstating Family: Rethinking the Relationship Between the Family and the State

Maxine Eichner, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Mentors: Molly Shanley, Vassar College; and Carmen Hooker Odem, Milbank Memorial Fund

Maxine Eichner is Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina.

Her teaching and research interests include sex equality, family law, legal theory and torts. She writes on issues of liberal theory, feminist theory, and family law. Eichner's recent scholarship focuses on the stance that the state should take with respect to family ties among citizens. Eichner received a B.A. and a J.D. from Yale University (where she was an articles editor of the Yale Law Journal), before pursuing her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina. She held a Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship through Georgetown Law School, and clerked for Judge Louis Oberdorfer in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, as well as for Judge Betty Fletcher in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She practiced civil rights, women's rights, and employment law for several years at the law firm of Patterson, Harkavy, and Lawrence in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Eichner's dissertation, "Reinstating Family: Rethinking the Relationship Between the Family and the State," explored the relationship between state and family by examining the understandings of the family-state relationship embodied in three different areas of contemporary United States law. Specifically, she studied the intersection between parenting and the workplace, the state and federal laws delineated "family" and the laws governing the relationship among parents, children, and public schools. She argued that a more nuanced, richer understanding of the relationship between family and state should be incorporated into American law.

Recent Publications:
The Supportive State: Families, Government, and America's Political Ideals (Oxford University Press 2010)
Family Law: Cases, Texts, and Problems, 5th ed. with I. Ellman, P. Kurtz, L. Weithorn, B. Bix, and K. Czapansky (Lexis Nexis, 2010)


Michael Fein
Michael Fein

Public Works: New York Road Building and the American State, 1880–1956

Michael Fein, Brandeis University
Mentor: Richard R. John, University of Illinois, Chicago

Michael Fein is Associate Professor of History at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

He was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Babson College. Fein's dissertation led to Paving the Way: New York Road Building and the American State, 1880–1956 (Kansas University, 2008), which won the Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Research from the New York State Archives. Fein has also published a collaborative work with Professor David Moss at the Harvard Business School. Fein received a B.A. from Colombia University and a Ph.D. in American History from Brandeis University. He taught courses in immigration and political history at Lesley College and Brandeis University.

Fein's dissertation, "Public Works: New York Road Building and the American State, 1880–1956," examined the link between infrastructure and political development. The project used New York State as a case study to explore the expansion of state capacity, providing a historical perspective on the development of New York's massive public works program, from the paving of the first state roads to the construction of the Thruway. In so doing, Fein shed light on the ways in which public construction helped to reconfigure landscapes and communities, as well as political and economic structures. From that study, he drew important insights on a vital question in policy history: How have the units of the state addressed modern problems that are national in scope but local in implementation?

Recent Publications:
Paving the Way: New York Road Building and the American State, 1880-1956 (University Press of Kansas, 2008)


George Xuezhi Guo
George Xuezhi Guo

The Guanxi (Interpersonal Relations) of Chinese Communist Elite: Theory and Practice

George Xuezhi Guo, University of Virginia
Mentor: Lowell Dittmer, University of California, Berkley

George Xuezhi Guo is Professor of Political Science and East Asian Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina.

He received his B.A. in 1982 from South China University of Technology, an M.P.A. in 1993 from the University of North Florida, and a Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of Virginia. He specializes in comparative politics, international politics, East Asian politics, and comparative political thought.

Guo constructed his dissertation around the model of guanxi, an ideal which has deep cultural roots embedded in Chinese philosophy and thought as well as the inspired ideal personality which is preoccupied with a man-centered social system and ethic-oriented social norms. His dissertation, "The Guanxi (Interpersonal Relations) of Chinese Communist Elite: Theory and Practice," established a theoretical model of guanxi in Chinese interactions as exemplified in a study of Chinese Communist Party elite politics. While guanxi is used as an instrument to acquire social resources or political advantages, Guo argued that it also functions as a social norm to comply with social rituals, as a vehicle for communicating emotional attachments, and as a moral obligation to uphold mutual dependence and to ensure mutual stability between people within their networks. In this respect, Guo fundamentally disagreed with the prevalent view of guanxi as consisting only of cunning tactics for pursuing individual personal interests.


Ronald Krebs
Ronald Krebs

A School for the Nation? Military Institutions and the Boundaries of Nationality

Ronald Krebs, Columbia University
Mentor: Elizabeth Kier, University of Washington

Ronald Krebs is Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Minnesota.

He was named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor for 2006–2008. He has been awarded research fellowships by the Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellows Program at the University of Texas at Austin, the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard, and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. Krebs conducts research at the juncture of international relations and comparative politics, with a particular interest in the consequences of war and military service. Krebs has recently begun a major research project exploring the effects of war on democratic institutions and processes. His book, Fighting for Rights: Military Service and the Politics of Citizenship, explores the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which military participation policies shape contestation over citizenship rights. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2003.

Krebs' dissertation, "A School for the Nation? Military Institutions and the Boundaries of Nationality," explored the political consequences of patterns of military inclusion and exclusion in several historical and national contexts, including the United States, Israel, and imperial Germany. In it, Krebs surveyed the political legacy of the desegregation of the U.S. armed forces, including a case study of African-Americans' military service in the 20th century which explained why black claims-making premised upon military service failed to move white audiences after World War I.

Recent Publications:
In War’s Wake: International Conflict and the Fate of Liberal Democracy, with Elizabeth Kier (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
Fighting for Rights: Military Service and the Politics of Citizenship (Cornell University Press, 2006)


Sean Malloy
Sean Malloy

Henry L. Stimson and the American Foreign Policy Tradition

Sean Malloy, University of California, Berkeley
Mentor: Timothy Naftali, Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Sean Malloy is Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts at the University of California in Merced.

His research interests include the study of war and morality, particularly with respect to the targeting of civilians in wartime. Most recently, Malloy's work has focused on the American decision to use atomic weapons against Japanese cities and civilians in August 1945. Malloy received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkley in 1994, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from Stanford. He has taught at Stanford, the University of Puget Sound, and the University of San Francisco.

Malloy's dissertation, "Henry L. Stimson and the American Foreign Policy Tradition," focused on the former Secretary of War's conceptions of international relations and political economy and their contribution to the development of American foreign policy in the 20th century. He also examined the variety of methods that Stimson sought to employ in order to ensure the level of international stability that he believed necessary for American security. Malloy focused particularly on Stimson's link between the growth of American trade and the propagation of democracy and peace, both in the developed and developing world.

Recent Publications:
“‘Very Pleasant Way to Die': Radiation Effects and the Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb Against Japan." Diplomatic History, (June 2012)
Atomic Tragedy: Henry L. Stimson and the Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb Against Japan (Cornell University Press, 2008)


Patrick McGuinn
Patrick McGuinn

The Institutionalization of Federal Education Policy, 1965–2000

Patrick McGuinn, University of Virginia
Mentor: Maris A. Vinovskis, University of Michigan

Patrick McGuinn is Associate Professor of Political Science at Drew University.

He received his Ph.D. in Government and M.Ed. in Education Policy at the University of Virginia. McGuinn held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University (2003–2004), and was Visiting Professor of Government at Colby College (2004–2005). Prior to graduate school, Patrick worked for the Institute for Strategy Development, a political consulting firm in Washington, D.C., and spent three years as a high school teacher in Maryland. His work has been published in Journal of Policy History, Publius, The Public Interest, Teachers College Record, Educational Policy, and in Educational Entrepreneurship and The Great Society and the High Tide of Liberalism. His book No Child Left Behind and the Transformation of Federal Education Policy, 1965–05 was named an "Outstanding Academic Title" by Choice Magazine.

In his dissertation, "The Institutionalization of Federal Education Policy, 1965–2000," McGuinn argued that the expansion and institutionalization of federal education policy must be understood in the context of the institutional incentives that shape the behavior of political actors in the national government. The development and eventual public acceptance of a powerful equity rationale for federal intervention in education during the 1960s led to the creation of new educational institutions for research, policymaking, and administration at the national level.

Recent Publications:
“The New Politics of Education: Analyzing the Federal Education Policy Landscape in the Post-NCLB Era.” with Elizabeth DeBray-Pelot, Educational Policy (2009)
No Child Left Behind and the Transformation of Federal Education Policy, 1965-2005 (University Press of Kansas, 2006)


Ajay Mehrotra
Ajay Mehrotra

Creating the Modern American Fiscal State: The Political Economy of U.S. Tax Policy, 1880–1930

Ajay Mehrotra, University of Chicago
Mentor: W. Elliott Brownlee, University of California, Santa Barbara

Ajay Mehrota is Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Law, and adjunct Associate Professor of History at Indiana University School of Law.

Mehrotra's research and teaching interests focus on taxation and American legal, political, and economic history. He was a Doctoral Fellow at the American Bar Foundation, and an Associate in the Structured Finance department at J.P. Morgan in New York. Mehrotra is a recipient of the Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award, and his research and scholarship have been supported by grants and fellowships from the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, the American Historical Association, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Mehrotra held a National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship, and was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts (2006–07). He received his B.A. in 1991 from the University of Michigan, his J.D. in 1994 from Georgetown, and his Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Chicago.

Mehrotra's dissertation, "Creating the Modern American Fiscal State: The Political Economy of U.S. Tax Policy, 1880–1930," investigated the multitude of forces that affected, and were affected by, the dramatic shift in U.S. fiscal policymaking during this time period. It explored the questions of how and why the modern federal income tax emerged when it did, and the role tax policy played in the changing status of American state-society relations. By examining the forces outside of the formal political process, Mehrotra demonstrated how the formation of public policy, especially tax policy in the early twentieth century, was and still is a dialectical process of ideas in action – a process that is mediated by the role of law in a democratic society.

Recent Publications:

"From Programmatic Reform to Social Science Research: The National Tax Association and the Promise and Perils of Disciplinary Encounters." with J. Thorndike, Law & Society Review (2011)

"The Public Control of Corporate Power: Revisiting the 1909 U.S. Corporate Tax from a Comparative Perspective." Theoretical Inquiries in Law, (July 2010)


Nicole Mellow
Nicole Mellow

Rising Partisanship: A Study of the Regional Dimensions of Conflict in the Post-War House of Representatives

Nicole Mellow, University of Texas, Austin
Mentor: Margaret M. Weir, University of California, Berkeley

Nicole Mellow is Associate Professor of Political Science and the Chair of the Leadership Studies Program at Williams College.

Mellow specializes in American political development and political institutions, and her current research focuses on the regional sources of modern partisanship. Mellow's book, The State of Division: Regional Sources of Modern American Partisanship, chronicles 20th century American political regionalism and partisanship. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mellow's dissertation, "Rising Partisanship: A Study of the Regional Dimensions of Conflict in the Post-War House of Representatives," studied American political parties in the post-World War II era. She argued that the resurgence of congressional party conflict in recent decades after years of decreasing conflict, and the rise in partisanship since the 1970s, was in part the result of a regional restructuring of the party system, one in which the geographical bases of the two major parties shifted. Tensions within the New Deal party system contributed to the development of new regional orientations within the parties and this led to greater conflict between them. Mellow's research combined aggregate data analysis with historical case studies of conflict in the policy areas of trade, welfare, and abortion.

Recent Publications:
“Foreign Policy, Bipartisanship, and the Paradox of Post-September 11 America.” with Peter Trubowitz, International Politics, (2011)
The State of Division: Regional Sources of Modern American Partisanship (John Hopkins University Press, 2008)


Andrew Morris
Andrew Morris

Charity, Therapy, and Poverty: Private Social Service in the Era of Public Welfare

Andrew Morris, University of Virginia
Mentors: Alice O'Connor, University of California-Santa Barbara; and Charles Palmer, President of the Institute for Social and Economic Development

Andrew Morris is Assistant Professor of History at the Union College in Schenectady, New York.

He teaches 20th century American political history. His article "The Voluntary Sector's War on Poverty" (Journal of Policy History, 2004), won the Ellis Hawley Award from the Journal of Policy History in 2006.

Morris's dissertation examined how voluntary social welfare agencies came to terms with the expansion of the public welfare state from the 1930s through the 1960s. By examining a group of private family welfare agencies, Morris traced how these charities reinvented themselves from dispensers of material aid in the 1910s and 1920s to providers of therapeutic counseling services in the 1940s and 1950s. The Depression and World War II proved key turning points, demonstrating to private agencies the need for a relatively strong public welfare state to meet the basic needs of the poor, as well as the need for such agencies to clearly distinguish themselves both from their charitable past and from public welfare entities. By embracing a variety of counseling techniques rooted in the psychological training of their professional social workers, private family agencies helped build a therapeutic culture in the postwar United States, and decisively influenced the adoption of rehabilitative social work as an element of welfare reform in the early 1960s.

Recent Publications:
Limits of Voluntarism: Charity and Welfare from the New Deal through the Great Society (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
“The Voluntary Sector’s War on Poverty.” Journal of Policy History (Fall 2004)


Margaret Pugh 0'Mara
Margaret Pugh O'Mara

Cities of Knowledge: Cold War Politics and the Roots of the Information Age Metropolis, 1945–75

Margaret Pugh O'Mara , University of Pennsylvania
Mentor: Bruce J. Schulman, Boston University

Margaret Pugh O'Mara is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Washington in Seattle, and a special advisor for policy and economic issues to the University's Office of External Affairs.

Her research interests include the role of research universities in regional economic development, the history of Silicon Valley and other high-tech regions, and the effect of Cold War science policy on the arrangement of urban space. Her book, Cities of Knowledge: Cold War Politics and the Suburbanization of Science, explores why high-tech industry moved to the suburbs and what the federal government had to do with it. O'Mara is a research scholar at Stanford University in the Bill Lane Center for the North American West; and a leader of Stanford's Urban Group. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from Northwestern University. From 1993 to 1997, O'Mara worked on economic and welfare policy in the Clinton Administration. O'Mara is currently working with Karen C. Seto on Building a High-Tech Nation: Public Policy and Economic Transition in Twentieth Century America and Landscapes of Wealth: Instant Cities, Global Suburbs, and the Environmental Future (in progress).

O'Mara's dissertation, "Cold War Politics and the Roots of the Information Age Metropolis, 1945–1975," examined the effect of Cold War politics upon urban space in the United States during the 30 years following World War II. She specifically explored the way in which the increased national focus on higher education and scientific research during the 1950s and 1960s strongly encouraged the suburbanization of people and industry – particularly the rapidly growing advanced scientific sectors – in metropolitan areas in many different parts of the country, including the major metropolitan areas of Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Northern California's Silicon Valley.

Recent Publications:
Cities of Knowledge: Cold War Science and the Search for the Next Silicon Valley (Princeton University Press, 2005)


Damion Thomas
Damion Thomas

"The Good Negroes": African-American Athletes and the Cultural Cold War, 1945–68

Damion Thomas, University of California, Los Angeles
Mentors: Jeffrey Sammons, New York University; and Richard Lapchick, University of Central Florida

Damion Thomas is Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland at College Park.

He is currently revising his dissertation into a book tentatively titled, American Politricks: Sports, Civil Rights and the Cold War. He received his B.A. in History from UCLA in 1996, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in U.S. History from UCLA in 1999 and 2002. Thomas has received numerous awards: the Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Afro-American Studies and Research Program at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, the Belkin Fellowship at the Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA, and a pre-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Thomas's dissertation, "'The Good Negroes': African-American Athletes and the Cultural Cold War, 1945–1968," examined State Department attempts to manipulate international perceptions of United States race relations by sending African-American athletes abroad as cultural ambassadors. This project argued that the politics of symbolism associated with the African-American athletes and integrated teams were designed to give legitimacy to existing racial inequalities in American society during the Cold War/Civil Rights Era. The symbol of the integrated athlete allowed the government to argue that the racial order was not an impediment to the advancement of individual African Americans.