About Ursula Hackett

I am Reader (Associate Professor) in Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London. I work on American Political Development (APD), public policy and law, federalism, education, and religion and politics. My award-winning book 'America's Voucher Politics' is out with Cambridge University Press. My writing guide 'Brilliant Essays' is published by Macmillan Study Skills, and my YouTube channel is How to Write Brilliant Essays.

Ursula Hackett is Reader in Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is the author of America’s Voucher Politics: How Elites Learned to Hide the State (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Ursula's website

NBN Episodes hosted by Ursula:

Rogers M. Smith and Desmond King, "America’s New Racial Battle Lines: Protect Versus Repair" (U Chicago Press, 2024)

April 21, 2024

America’s New Racial Battle Lines

Rogers M. Smith and Desmond King
Hosted by Ursula Hackett

What is happening to the politics of race in America? In America’s New Racial Battle Lines: Protect Versus Repair (U Chicago Press, 2024), Rogers Sm…

Dara Z. Strolovitch, "When Bad Things Happen to Privileged People: Race, Gender, and What Makes a Crisis in America" (U Chicago Press, 2023)

October 31, 2023

When Bad Things Happen to Privileged People

Dara Z. Strolovitch
Hosted by Ursula Hackett

A deep and thought-provoking examination of crisis politics and their implications for power and marginalization in the United States. From the clim…

LaGina Gause, "The Advantage of Disadvantage: Costly Protest and Political Representation for Marginalized Groups" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

May 6, 2022

The Advantage of Disadvantage

LaGina Gause
Hosted by Ursula Hackett

Does protest influence political representation? If so, which groups are most likely to benefit from collective action? The Advantage of Disadvant…

Sidney G. Tarrow, "Movements and Parties: Critical Connections in American Political Development" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

April 25, 2022

Movements and Parties

Sidney G. Tarrow
Hosted by Ursula Hackett

How do social movements intersect with the agendas of mainstream political parties? When they are integrated with parties, are they coopted? Or are th…

Charles R. Shipan and Craig Volden, "Why Bad Policies Spread (and Good Ones Don't)" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

February 21, 2022

Why Bad Policies Spread (and Good Ones Don't)

Charles R. Shipan and Craig Volden
Hosted by Ursula Hackett

Building on a deep theoretical foundation and drawing on numerous examples, Volden and Shipan examine how policies spread across the American states i…

Adam Bonica and Maya Sen, "The Judicial Tug of War: How Lawyers, Politicians, and Ideological Incentives Shape the American Judiciary" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

November 17, 2021

The Judicial Tug of War

Adam Bonica and Maya Sen
Hosted by Ursula Hackett

Why have conservatives decried 'activist judges'? And why have liberals - and America's powerful legal establishment - emphasized qualifications and e…

James M. Curry and Frances E. Lee, "The Limits of Party: Congress and Lawmaking in a Polarized Era" (U Chicago Press, 2020)

October 6, 2021

The Limits of Party

James M. Curry and Frances E. Lee
Hosted by Ursula Hackett

To many observers, Congress has become a deeply partisan institution where ideologically-distinct political parties do little more than engage in legi…

LaFleur Stephens-Dougan, "Race to the Bottom: How Racial Appeals Work in American Politics" (U Chicago Press, 2020)

August 23, 2021

Race to the Bottom

LaFleur Stephens-Dougan
Hosted by Ursula Hackett

In Race to the Bottom: How Racial Appeals Work in American Politics (U Chicago Press, 2020), LaFleur Stephens-Dougan argues that we focus on the use o…

David E Campbell et al., "Secular Surge: A New Fault Line in American Politics" (Cambridge UP. 2020)

August 18, 2021

Secular Surge

David E Campbell, Geoffrey C Layman and John C. Green
Hosted by Ursula Hackett

American society is rapidly secularizing – a radical departure from its historically high level of religiosity–and politics is a big part of the reaso…