Desmond King publishes new book 'America's New Racial Battle Lines'

Des King, Andrew Mellon Professor of American Government at DPIR, has published America’s New Racial Battle Lines: Protect versus Repair with The University of Chicago Press. Des co-authored the book with Rogers M. Smith, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts & Sciences.

America’s New Racial Battle Lines describes how shifting racial policies have shaped American politics throughout the nation’s history. It is concerned primarily with how disputes over 'colourblind versus race-conscious policies' have yielded to new conflicts. Broadly speaking, there are those on one side who wish to 'protect' traditional American values, while on the other side there are those who seek to repair what they see as 'pervasive systemic racism'.  Seeking to understand today’s conflicts through historical and theoretical perspectives, the authors forecast where these intensifying clashes may take America in the future.

The co-authors discuss these ongoing racial issues in their interview on America’s New Battle Lines which is available to download as a podcast on the New Books Network website. During the podcast, Des and Rogers talk about their shared concern for civil rights issues and how this led to their long-term collaboration. They also talk about how 'overarching single [racial policy] issues' have shaped the 'different eras of American political development'. Having once been optimistic about the progress of racial policy in America, the co-authors discuss how they now fear a future characterised by profound divisions across the nation.