Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Marc J. Dunkelman

Marc J. Dunkelman

Marc J. Dunkelman

Fellow in Public Policy


Marc J. Dunkelman is a visiting fellow at Brown University’s Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy. His research focuses on how the evolving architecture of American community has affected the workings of government, the dynamism of the American economy, and the resilience of the American social safety net.

During more than a dozen years working in Washington, DC, Dunkelman served on the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as legislative director and chief of staff to a member of New York City’s delegation to the House of Representatives, and as the vice president for strategy and communications at the Democratic Leadership Council. He was also a senior fellow at the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, a visiting fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and a fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Advanced Governmental Studies.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in Buffalo, NY, Dunkelman is a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia, where he worked to found the Columbia Political Union. His work has appeared in the Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post,Providence Journal, Harvard Business ReviewChronicle of Higher Education, U.S. News and World ReportSalon, and National Affairs, among other publications.

In 2014, W.W. Norton published Dunkelman’s first book, The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community which was covered by the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Politico, Boston Globe, Providence Journal, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Macleans, among other places.



“How ‘Quality Time’ is Killing American Innovation.” Harvard Business Review, December 1, 2014. read

“America’s Tolerance Dilemma.” Los Angeles Times, September 7, 2014. read

“What Data Can’t Convey.” Chronicle of Higher Education, August 19, 2014. read

“The Crisis of American Exceptionalism” RealClearPolitics, August 13, 2014. read

“How Did Things Get This Bad? Polarization, dysfunction and the collapse of everything” Salon, August 3, 2014. read


“Grit and Community.” Essay Series on Character and Community, Brookings Institution, October 22, 2013. read

Talks & Media

Citations of The Vanishing Neighbor

Frank Bruni, "How Facebook Warps Our Worlds," New York Times, May 21, 2016. read

David Brooks, "How to Fix Politics," New York Times, April 12, 2016. read

Responses to The Vanishing Neighbor

Steven Assink, “There Goes the Neighborhood.” Hedgehog Review, December 4, 2014. read

J. Peder Zane, “Our cultural cocoons just one force driving vicious hyper-partisanship.” News & Observer, November 4, 2014. read

Tyler Cowen, “The One-Sentence Book Review.” New York Times Magazine, August 24, 2014 read

L. Gregory Jones, “Renewing Community in  a Networked Society,” Duke Divinity School, October 21, 2014 read

Naomi LaChance, “So Long, Neighbor.” U.S. News and World Report, August 21, 2014. read

Alex Kingsbury, “Why It’s Important to Hate the Yankees.” Boston Globe, August 17, 2014. read

Daniel Stid, “There Goes the Neighborhood.” Work in Progress: The Hewlett Foundation Blog, August 14, 2014. read

E.J. Dionne Jr., “Where Goes the Neighborhood?” Washington Post, August 10, 2014. read

Blake Seitz, “Blogging Alone.” Washington Free Beacon, August 9, 2014. read

Brian Bethune, “Stop Ignoring Your Neighbours.” Macleans, August 6, 2014. read

“The Real Reason for America’s Polarization? Look Next Door.” Washington Post’s ‘The Fix.’ August 4, 2014. read

News|Recent News

Why Won't You Be My Neighbor? (comments by Marc Dunkelman)

August 21, 2015 City Lab, The Atlantic

In an article on a new report that found that most Americans have never spent time with their neighbors, Marc Dunkelman, public policy fellow at Brown, discusses the reasons why people used to have more interactions with the people that lived around them.