Alexander Sahn studies inequalities in representation and public policy in the United States. His book project, which he will continue to develop at CSDP, examines political constraints on housing affordability in municipal governments. Looking at participatory institutions such as elections, public meetings, and planning outreach efforts, his work draws a line between unequal rates of participation, attitudes on race and integration, and policies that prevent the development of new housing. Historically, this work shows how pressure to respond to the end of de jure segregation and rising racial diversity led municipal governments across the United States to implement exclusionary zoning. Municipal governments also layered many opportunities for public input and review to ensure projects legal under zoning also faced neighborhood scrutiny, which act as a further constraint. In addition to continuing his work on housing, Alexander will spend his CSDP fellowship exploring related topics on how climate change will reshape local inequality, the demand for policing in gentrifying neighborhoods, and descriptive representation in municipal bureaucracies. His work is published in the American Political Science Review, Political Behavior, and Political Analysis. Alexander received his PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2020.
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