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TakeoverRace, Education, and American Democracy$
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Domingo Morel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190678975

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190678975.001.0001

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State Takeovers and Black and Latino Political Empowerment

State Takeovers and Black and Latino Political Empowerment

(p.47) 3 State Takeovers and Black and Latino Political Empowerment

Domingo Morel

Oxford University Press

How is black and Latino representation affected by state takeovers of local government? Since racial minorities have had a complex history in the struggle between local autonomy and centralized authority, when does state centralization lead to increased political empowerment for racial minorities? Conversely, when does centralized authority negatively affect political empowerment among racial minorities? To answer these questions, the chapter examines how state takeovers of local school districts affect black and Latino descriptive representation on local school boards. Relying on a case study of Newark, New Jersey, and analysis of every state takeover of a local school district, the chapter shows that contrary to conventional wisdom, takeovers and centralization can increase descriptive representation among marginalized populations. On the other hand, the chapter also shows that under other conditions, takeovers are even more disempowering than the scholarship has previously imagined and understood.

Keywords:   black, Latino, representation, descriptive representation, centralization, state, local, state takeover, school board, education

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