Member of the International Academic Advisory Committee, United States Studies Centre
Bruce Western is a member of the US Studies Centre's International Academic Advisory Committee. Western is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Malcolm Wiener Centre for Social Policy and Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He received his BA from the University of Queensland, Australia, and his PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to moving to Harvard University in 2007, Western taught at Princeton University for fourteen years.
Western's research examines trends in American economic inequality and the growth of the US penal population. These topics are joined by an interest in the shifting landscape of American poverty over the last 40 years. As a quantitative social scientist, Western has also studied the application of Bayesian statistics and methods for the analysis of economic inequality. He is currently Vice-Chair of a committee studying the causes and consequences of high incarceration rates for the National Academies of Sciences and will lead an Executive Session at the Kennedy School on the future of correctional policy.
Western is the author of Between Class and Market, a study of labour unions in Western Europe and North America. His second book, Punishment and Inequality in America, which studies the growth of the US penal system over the last three decades, was the winner of the Michael Hindelang Award for outstanding scholarship from the American Society of Criminology and the Albert J. Reiss Award from the Crime, Law and Deviance section of the American Sociological Association.
Western is a former Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute, a Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Scholar, and a Guggenheim Fellow. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007.
Why are racial disparities in the justice system so pronounced in two countries with such distinctive racial histories? Following a year in which revelations of abuse in Australia’s juvenile detention system provoked a...