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Faculty and leaders of the school have recently published books on vital public policy topics connected to Sanford's key themes. Read more below about recent books published by members of the Sanford community.

Policing Gun ViolenceStrategic Reforms for Controlling Our Most Pressing Crime Problem


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Phil Cook, ITT/Terry Sanford Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Public Policy Studies, recently released his latest book, a detailed look at statistics behind gun violence and the practical ways in which policymakers can implement changes to protect both police and the citizens they serve.  


In many U.S. cities, gun violence is the most urgent crime problem. High rates of deadly violence make a city less livable, dragging down quality of life, economic development, and property values. The police are the primary agency tasked with controlling gun violence, yet advocates for gun violence prevention either ignore the police or only reference them as a part of the problem. But in fact, more effective policing is key to the success of any comprehensive effort to reduce community gun violence.

Policing Gun Violence Phil Cook

The stakes are high--gun violence is concentrated in low-income Black communities, and consequently, these communities bear the brunt of the associated economic, social, and psychological burdens. Any successful strategy must overcome the current impasse where the residents of high-violence neighborhoods do not trust the police, having experienced both abuse and neglect in their dealings with officers. How can police departments find the right balance between over- and under-policing of high-violence areas? What are the best practices for police to preempt and deter gun violence, while engendering support and cooperation from the public?

Drawing on fifty years of research and practical experience, Policing Gun Violence argues that it is possible for the police to create greater public safety while respecting the rights of individuals and communities.

While gun violence can be attributed to various systemic causes that should remain on the public agenda--from widespread gun availability to poverty and racism--Anthony A. Braga and Philip J. Cook make the case that violence is itself a root cause of social disparity and future violence.

Effective law enforcement is a vital component of a just society. They review and synthesize the evidence in several key areas: enforcement of gun laws, policing hot spots, controlling high-risk groups through focused deterrence, enhancing investigations to increase the arrest and conviction rate, preventing officer-involved shootings, and disrupting underground gun markets. 

Policing Gun Violence serves as a guide to how the police can better utilize their considerable resources to make cities safer.

Read more about the book here

News Quality in the Digital Age

Phil Napoli

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Philip M. Napoli is the James R. Shepley Professor of Public Policy, Director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy, and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research for the Sanford School.  He also serves as a Docent at the University of Helsinki.

Professor Napoli's research focuses on media institutions and media regulation and policy.  He has provided formal and informal expert testimony on these topics to government bodies such as the U.S. Senate, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Congressional Research Service. 


Book cover with globe and tech on the cover

This book brings together a diverse, international array of contributors to explore the topics of news “quality” in the online age and the relationships between news organizations and enormously influential digital platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Covering topics ranging from internet incivility, crowdsourcing, and YouTube politics to regulations, algorithms, and AI, this book draws the key distinction between the news that facilitates democracy and news that undermines it. For students and scholars as well as journalists, policymakers, and media commentators, this important work engages a wide range of methodological and theoretical perspectives to define the key concept of “quality” in the news media.

Read more about the book here. 

The Black Reparations Project: A Handbook for Racial Justice


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William Darity, Jr., a professor of public policy, African and African American studies, and economics is one of three editors. The book crystallizes the rationale for reparations and offers guidance for building and implementing a reparations program.


This groundbreaking resource moves us from theory to action with a practical plan for reparations.
A surge in interest in black reparations is taking place in America on a scale not seen since the Reconstruction Era. The Black Reparations Project gathers an accomplished interdisciplinary team of scholars—members of the Reparations Planning Committee—who have considered the issues pertinent to making reparations happen. This book will be an essential resource in the national conversation going forward.


Book cover for The Black Reparations Project

The first section of The Black Reparations Project crystallizes the rationale for reparations, cataloguing centuries of racial repression, discrimination, violence, mass incarceration, and the immense black-white wealth gap.

Drawing on the contributors’ expertise in economics, history, law, public policy, public health, and education, the second section unfurls direct guidance for building and implementing a reparations program, including draft legislation that addresses how the program should be financed and how claimants can be identified and compensated. Rigorous and comprehensive, The Black Reparations Project will motivate, guide, and speed the final leg of the journey for justice.

Read more about the book here

Foreign Aid: Policy and Practice


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Phyllis Pomerantz, Professor of the Practice Emerita in the Sanford School of Public Policy will release her upcoming book on July 4. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the basics of foreign aid, addressing its recipients, funding sources, purpose, allocation, amount, effectiveness, and future challenges, making it an ideal resource for academia, development practitioners, policymakers, and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of aid and development finance.


Book cover Foreign Aid: Policy and Practice

Foreign Aid: Policy and Practice offers a complete overview of the basics of foreign aid. Who is it for? Who pays for it? Why does it exist? What is it spent on? How much is it? And most important, does it work?

The aid debate has been flooded by academic studies and popular books that either challenge or champion the effectiveness of aid. Most presume that the reader already knows the basic facts and characteristics of the aid industry. This book provides readers with a comprehensive summary of the background, actors, core principles and policies, and intended (and unintended) outcomes of foreign aid, followed by a more informed and balanced treatment of the key controversies and trends in aid today.

Drawing on the author’s 25 years of experience in development practice and 15 years in teaching, the book reflects on recent efforts to accelerate aid’s impact and concludes by taking a look at the future of aid and the headwinds it will face in the first half of the 21st century.

Perfect for university teaching at advanced undergraduate and graduate levels, this book will also encourage development practitioners, policymakers, and members of the public to engage in more informed debates about aid and development finance. 

Read more about the book here

Thanks for Your Service: The Causes and Consequences of Public Confidence in the US Military


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In "Thanks for Your Service," Peter D. Feaver, Director of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy and Sanford professor, explores the basis for high public confidence in the US military, attributing it to perceptions of competence, ethical standards, and detachment from political divides, yet also highlighting its dependence on partisan views and social desirability bias, ultimately revealing potential implications for policymaking and the democratic civil-military relationship.


A definitive study on the decades-long run of high public confidence in the military and why it may rest on some shaky foundations.

Thanks for your service book cover. Military ceremony.

What explains the high levels of public confidence in the US military and does high confidence matter? In Thanks for Your Service, the eminent civil-military relations scholar Peter D. Feaver addresses this question and focuses on what it means for the military.

Proprietary survey data show that confidence is partly based on public beliefs about the military's high competence, adherence to high professional ethics, and a determination to stand apart from the bitter divisions of partisan politics.

However, as Feaver argues, confidence is also shaped by a partisan gap and by social desirability bias, the idea that some individuals express confidence in the military because they believe that is the socially approved attitude to hold. Not only does Feaver help us understand how and why the public has confidence in the military, but he also exposes problems that policymakers need to be aware of.

Specifically, this book traces how confidence in the institution shapes public attitudes on the use of force and may not always reinforce best practices in democratic civil-military relations.

See more information about this book here.

The New Global Universities: Reinventing Education in the 21st Century


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Reimagining higher education around the world: lessons from the creation of eight new colleges and universities in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. 


Higher education is perpetually in crisis, buffeted by increasing costs and a perceived lack of return on investment, campus culture that is criticized for stifling debate on controversial topics, and a growing sense that the liberal arts are outmoded and irrelevant.

Some observers even put higher education on the brink of death. The New Global Universities offers a counterargument, telling the story of educational leaders who have chosen not to give up on higher education but to reimagine it.

Book cover

The book chronicles the development and launch of eight innovative colleges and universities in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America, describing the combination of intellectual courage, entrepreneurial audacity, and adaptive leadership needed to invent educational institutions today.

The authors, both academic leaders who have been involved in launching ventures similar to the ones described, offer a unique inside perspective on these efforts. Bryan Penprase and Noah Pickus show how the founders of new colleges and universities establish distinctive brands in a sector dominated by centuries-old institutions, secure creative sources of funding, attract stellar faculty and students, and design appealing curriculums and campuses—all while managing tradeoffs and setbacks, balancing local needs and global aspirations, and wrestling with challenges to academic freedom.

These new educational institutions include two universities in Asia and the Middle East built by well-established American parent institutions, others in Africa and North America that offer holistic reform from the ground up and leverage new technologies to lower costs, and still others that adapted the American liberal arts model to Asian and African contexts. Their experiences offer lessons for future founders of new universities—and for those who want to renew and rejuvenate existing ones.

Read more about the book here.