Sociology Colloquium ft. Brian Sargent

The Sociology Department presents…

Racial Optimism, Policy Foreclosure, and the Derailment of Progressive Policy

Dr. Brian Sargent

Wednesday, January 18th, 3:30-4:30 in Savery Hall 409

Please join us for the presentation, and a chance to meet with Brian after the talk!

Abstract: “Racial Optimism, Policy Foreclosure, and the Derailment of Progressive Policy”
Much of the scholarly literature on progressive policy failure has focused on the internal, formal limits of bureaucratic structure and the informal, political challenges outside of a regulatory bureaucracy.  In this talk, I will highlight the ways in which informal bureaucratic processes interact with the formal structures of an organization to inhibit successful policy implementation.  This process, which I call policy foreclosure, reveals new forms of policy limitation and potential new avenues for resistance.  Using the case of the Federal Reserve’s early attempts to implement the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, the talk will focus on the Federal Reserve’s efforts to encourage financial commitments from banks to increase community lending.  These commitments, while statutorily unenforceable, became the primary mechanism for regulatory action.  The talk will explore the bureaucratic causes of the Federal Reserve’s preference for commitments and their consequences for communities and banks.  The discussion of policy foreclosure will pay special attention to the politics of a future-leaning orientation in matters of racial domination.
Brian Sargent received his PhD from the Department of Sociology, Northwestern University (2016) and is currently working with Dr. Alexes Harris as a Post-Doc on her Multi-State Monetary Sanctions in Criminal Justice research project. 
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