The Research Cluster on Comparative Inequality and Inclusion draws on expertise from across disciplines to gain international and comparative perspectives on how to extend cultural membership to the greatest number in society, to better understand the social and cultural processes behind recognition gaps, and to determine how social scientists and policy makers can respond to help make societies more inclusive.
Benjamin Bradlow makes connections between urban inequalities and the political challenges for democracy that confront societies across the globe. His research asks: Why are some cities more unequal than others? Why do government institutions reproduce or reduce urban inequalities? When and how does democracy transform the organizational resources available to racialized and economic groups who aim to exploit or overcome urban inequalities?
Ben's current book project compares the divergent politics of distributing urban public goods — housing, sanitation, and transportation — in two mega-cities after transitions to democracy: Johannesburg, South Africa, and São Paulo, Brazil. Between 2016 and 2020, research for this book was supported by successive, peer-reviewed grants and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Program, and the Brazilian Studies Association.
In other peer reviewed work, he has pursued themes in the comparative social basis of democracy and the distribution of urban public goods. Academic writing has been published or is forthcoming in Social Forces, City & Community, International Journal of Urban & Regional Research, International Development Planning Review, and Environment & Urbanization.
Ben is also an engaged public scholar, and writes for outlets like the Washington Post, Boston Review, The Conversation, and CityLab. He regularly advises political office-holders in the Boston area on housing policy, and currently serves as a member of the Town of Arlington’s Housing Plan Implementation Committee.