405 Maxcy Hall
201 Urban Studies
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2010
Brown University Research Profile Page
Areas of Interest:
Political Sociology, Economic Sociology, Urban Sociology, Sociology of Finance, Qualitative Methods, Theory
Josh is a graduate of the Sociology Department at the University of Chicago, where he also worked as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Sociology and spent two years at Stanford University as an ASA Postdoctoral Fellow on the Current Economic Crisis before joining the Sociology Department at Brown. His dissertation research consisted of a community study of urban and partisan politics in two Rust-Belt cities. The study focused especially upon development personnel who market the city to various outside audiences, and shows how such efforts promote the emergence of coalitions predicated upon avoidance of divisive issues in favor of broad-based partnerships. The central argument of the dissertation is that these dynamics have disorganized the partisan political system by creating a mismatch between local and partisan politics. Many urban leaders now view political commitments as divisive and disruptive of development coalitions and this has paradoxically left the reins of the two political parties in the hands of ideologically motivated, and vocal, activists. Josh is currently completing a book manuscript based on this research entitled Partisans and Partners: The Politics of the Post-Industrial Economy, which is under contract with the University of Chicago Press.
Josh has also written academic papers on the contradictory political infrastructure of “self-regulating” markets and on the recursive relationship between municipal bureaucracies, municipal bond markets, and credit rating agencies. He has also written about municipal fiscal crises and the Obama campaign in more popular outlets. In future, he hopes to further his interest in the increasingly complicated world of municipal finance by starting a new study that explores how the evaluations of credit rating agencies and other financial institutions transform urban development patterns and practices.