Michael Javen Fortner

Senior Fellow

Dr. Michael Fortner is an associate professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. He received a BA in political science and African American studies from Emory University and a PhD in government and social policy from Harvard University. His work studies the intersection of American public policy and political philosophy—particularly in the areas of race, ethnicity, and class.

He is the author of Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment (Harvard University Press, 2015), a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and winner of the New York Academy of History’s Herbert H. Lehman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in New York History. Along with Amy Bridges, he edited a volume on city politics, Urban Citizenship and American Democracy (SUNY Press, 2016).

His scholarly articles have appeared in Studies in American Political Development, the Journal of Urban History, the Journal of Policy History, and Urban Affairs Review. He has also been published in The New York Times, Newsweek, and Dissent magazine, and his research has been covered in major media outlets, such as the Atlantic, The New York Times, the New YorkerNew York Magazine, the Daily Beast, Time, WNYC and NPR.

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