Margaret Weir is Professor of Sociology and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley and a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. She teaches courses on urban society and politics, political sociology, and the welfare state. Before coming to Berkeley in 1997, she was a Senior Fellow in Governmental Studies at the Brookings Institution (1992-1997) and was a member of the faculty of the Government Department at Harvard University (1985-1992).
Weir has written widely on social policy and politics in the United States. She is the author of several books including, Schooling for All: Race, Class and the Decline of the Democratic Ideal (coauthored with Ira Katznelson, Basic Books 1985); and Politics and Jobs: The Boundaries of Employment Policy in the United States (Princeton University Press, 1992). She has also edited several books that deal with development of social policy in the U.S. including, The Politics of Social Policy in the United States (with Ann Shola Orloff and Theda Skocpol, Princeton University Press 1988) and The Social Divide (Brookings and Russell Sage, 1998), which examines social policymaking during the Clinton administration.
She is currently working on a study of metropolitan inequalities in the United States, with a particular focus on the politics of coalition-building in metropolitan America during the past decade. From this work she has published "Coalitions for Regionalism," in Reflections on Regionalism ed. Bruce Katz (Brookings Institution Press, 2000) and "Power, Money, and Politics in Community Development," in Urban Problems in Community Development ed. Ronald R. Ferguson and William T. Dickens, (eds.) (Brookings Institution Press 1999); and "Planning, Environmentalism and Urban Poverty," in The American Planning Tradition ed. Robert Fishman (Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2000). Tentatively titled, Challenging Metropolitan Inequalities, the book will examine how changes in federalism affect coalition-building at the regional level, as old channels of channels of influence and resources decline. Through comparison of the Chicago and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, the book will examine the shifting alliances between low-income communities, environmentalists, political leaders in cities and suburbs, and regional business leaders as they seek to shape metropolitan America to their own vision.
Weir is chair of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Building Resilient Regions. Additional information on this project is available here:http://brr.berkeley.edu/
Margaret Weir's chapter "Creating Justice for the Poor in the New Metropolis," in Justice and the American Metropolis Clarissa Rile Hayward and Todd Swanstrom (eds.) (University of Minnesota Press 2011) was the topic of discussion on the KPFA (94.1 in San Francisco,KFCF 88.1 FM in Fresno and California's Central Valley and on the internet through www.kpfa.org) show Against the Grain on Tuesday January 10 at noon pacific time. It can also be downloaded at againstthegrain.org
Work in Progress
Published Articles and Chapters