Watson Institute at Brown University
International and Public Affairs
Margaret Weir

Margaret Weir

+1 401 863 9652
111 Thayer Street, Room 337

Downloadable CV

Margaret Weir

Wilson Professor of International and Public Affairs and Political Science

Areas of Interest: Social policy in the US and Europe, urban politics and policy.


Margaret Weir is Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs at Brown University. In Spring 2020, she is the Winant Professor at the Rothermere Institute for American Studies at the University of Oxford. Before coming to Brown in 2016, she was the Avice M Saint Chair in Public Policy and Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research centers on social policy, poverty, and urban politics in the United States and Europe. She is the author and editor of several books, including the forthcoming Who Gets What? The New Politics of Insecurity (with edited with Frances Rosenbluth, forthcoming Cambridge University Press; Schooling for All: Race, Class and the Decline of the Democratic Ideal (coauthored with Ira Katznelson, Basic Books); and Politics and Jobs: The Boundaries of Employment Policy in the United States (Princeton University Press), The Politics of Social Policy in the United States (with Ann Shola Orloff and Theda Skocpol, Princeton University Press) and The Social Divide (Brookings and Russell Sage). She is currently working on a book about the politics of spatial inequality in American metropolitan areas.


I am currently working on a book entitled The New Metropolis: Spatial Inequality in Twenty-first Century America. The book examines how the concerns of low-income residents are being addressed as poverty has moved from being identified as an urban issue to one that reaches across metropolitan areas. Drawing on data from 25 large metropolitan areas and cases studies of Chicago, Atlanta, and Houston, the project examines political mobilization and policy conflicts in the domains of social services, health care, and transportation. Parts of this project have been published in the Urban Affairs Review, Perspectives on Politics, Regional Studies, and Studies in American Political Development.


Who Gets What? The New Politics of Insecurity (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press, 2020) (co-edited with Frances Rosenbluth)

“Redistribution and the Anxieties of Local Democracy in Metropolitan America” in Who Gets What? The New Politics of Insecurity (forthcoming Cambridge University Press) (with Desmond King).

 “Governing the New Geography of Poverty in Metropolitan America,” Urban Affairs Review (with Elizabeth Mattiuzzi) 2019 https://doi.org/10.1177/1078087419834075


POLS 2025 American Social Policy in Comparative Perspective

Talks & Media

“America's Two Worlds of Welfare: Subnational Institutions and Social Assistance in Metropolitan America, Political Equality in Unequal Societies: Participation, Representation, and Public Policy, Villa Vigoni, Italy, June 4-8, 2018.

“Race, Redistribution and the Problem of Local Democracy,” Meeting of the Social Science Research Council Working Group on Distribution, Yale University, February 9, 2018

Paper Presentation “Low Income America in the New Metropolis,” Anton-Lippitt Conference on Citizenship and the City, Brown University, January 2018 

“Two Worlds of Welfare,” Paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meetings, San Francisco, August 30-Sept. 3, 2017.

Participant, “Roundtable on Trump and the Cities,” American Political Science Association, Annual Meetings, San Francisco, August 30-Sept. 3, 2017.