In 2017, Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress came within a single Senate vote of repealing the Affordable Care Act. In the lead-up to that vote came some of the most memorable protests in history: hundreds of disability advocates, many in wheelchairs, staging protests that led to their arrest at the U.S. Capitol. In David Pettinicchio’s excellent Politics of Empowerment, he argues that Trump’s presidency led to unprecedented attempts to roll back disability rights, inspiring a third wave of disability activism. Pettinicchio, a political sociologist by training, articulates two levels of analysis that political science can benefit from studying: the interaction between social movements and policymaking, and a serious focus on historical reconstruction of the legislative context of policymaking.
In this book, Pettinicchio impressively analyzes the interaction between legislative and activist approaches to disability rights over the past century. He depicts the United States as both a policy hare and a policy tortoise in regard to the expansion of disability rights, experiencing great leaps forward, which then create “an environment of backlash and retrenchment” (p. 15). His analysis interrogates a larger puzzle: how policies that “‘everyone agrees with’ fa
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Ukraine, Russia, and the West
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