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Alan Ehrenhalt

Alan Ehrenhalt

Contributing Editor

Alan Ehrenhalt served for 19 years as executive editor of Governing Magazine, and is currently one of its contributing editors. He has been a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review and op-ed page, the Washington Post Book World, New Republic and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of four books: The United States of Ambition, The Lost City, Democracy in the Mirror, and The Great Inversion. He was also the creator and editor of the first four editions of Politics in America, a biennial reference book profiling all 535 members of Congress. Alan Ehrenhalt is a 1968 graduate of Brandeis University and holds an MS in journalism from Columbia. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard from 1977-1978; a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1987-1988; a Regents’ Lecturer at UCLA in 2006; an adjunct faculty member at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, at the University of Richmond, from 2004 through 2008; and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland Graduate School of Public Policy in 2009. In 2000 he received the American Political Science Association’s McWilliams award for distinguished contributions to the field of political science by a journalist. He is married, has two daughters, and lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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One scholar thinks we have carried our penchant for urban tree-worship a bit too far, giving nature too much credit for city-dwellers’ mental health.
Dissident counties are joining quixotic efforts to secede from their states in much of the country. They’re a manifestation of real political resentments and a way to attract some attention.
Pollution-control laws were never intended to block residential and transportation development. But that’s how they’re being misused all over the country.
North Carolina, where cities large and small are creating open-container “social districts,” is about to find out.
A lot, says one prominent political scientist. But most of all, they aren’t accountable to anyone.
An issue that seemed settled has returned, with states considering whether to loosen child labor laws. There might be some argument for revisiting them, but there’s evidence of growing abuse of existing laws.
They’re an important part of community social life, but too many cities and suburbs neglect them.
The governor’s ambitious plan bets heavily on competition, through vouchers and school choice, but there’s no reliable evidence that competition can make a real difference.
The state’s governor is trying to make policy for many generations from now. It’s hard enough to get it right for even a decade or two. How’s your flying car working out?
Sometimes they work, producing public revenue and neighborhood development. But some of them turn out to be civic disasters. Is there a formula for mixed-use magic?