Marie Gottschalk

Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professor of Political Science


Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, Room 432

Professor Gottschalk specializes in American politics, with a focus on criminal justice, health policy, race, the development of the welfare state, and business-labor relations.

Her latest book is Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics (Princeton University Press, 2014). She is also the author of The Prison and the Gallows: The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America (Cambridge University Press, 2006), which won the 2007 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians, and The Shadow Welfare State: Labor, Business, and the Politics of Health Care in the United States (Cornell University Press, 2000).

Professor Gottschalk is a former editor and journalist and was a university lecturer for two years in the People’s Republic of China. She was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York and was named a Distinguished Lecturer in Japan by the Fulbright Program. She served on the American Academy of Arts and Sciences National Task Force on Mass Incarceration and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration. She is a contributor to the Academy's final report, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences (National Academies Press, 2014).

She has a B.A. in history from Cornell University, an M.P.A. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Yale University.   

Courses Taught: 

  • The American Presidency 
  • Race and Criminal Justice 
  • The Politics of Crime and Punishment 
  • American Political Development 
  • Business, Government, and Public Policy
  • Power and Resistance in the United States 
Office Hours
Office Hours: Thursdays 2-4PM
Selected Publications

“Democracy and the Carceral State in America,” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 651 (January 2014): 288-95, .

“Sentenced to Life: Penal Reform and the Most Severe Sanctions,” Annual Review of Law and Social Science, vol. 9 (Palo Alto: Annual Reviews, 2013): 353-82, .

The Politics of the Carceral State: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” in David Scott, ed., Why Prison? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013): 233-58.  

The Carceral State and the Politics of Punishment,” in Jonathan Simon and Richard Sparks, eds., Handbook of Punishment and Society (Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 2012): 205-41. 

No Way Out? Life Sentences and the Politics of Penal Reform,” in Charles Ogletree and Austin Sarat, eds., Life Without Parole: America’s New Death Penalty? (New York: NYU Press, 2012): 227-81. 

“Kicking the Habit,” The New Republic, February 13, 2012, .

“Days Without End: Life Sentences and Penal Reform,” Prison Legal News 23.1 (2012): 1-15,

“Is Death Different?” The New Republic, March 16, 2011,

The Past, Present, and Future of Mass Incarceration in the United States,Criminology & Public Policy 10.3 (2011): 483-504. 

They’re Back: The Public Plan, the Reincarnation of Harry and Louise, and the Limits of Obamacare,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 36:3 (2011): 393-401. 

“Prison Overcrowding and Brown v. Plata,” The New Republic, June 8, 2011,

Extraordinary Sentences and the Proposed Police Surge,” Criminology & Public Policy 10:1 (2011): 123-36. 

“The Great Recession and the Great Confinement: The Economic Crisis and the Future of Penal Reform,” in Richard Rosenfeld, Kenna Quinet, and Crystal Garcia, eds., Contemporary Issues in Criminological Theory and Research: The Role of Social Institutions (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage, 2011): 343-370. 

“The Long Shadow of the Death Penalty: Mass Incarceration, Capital Punishment, and Penal Policy in the United States,” in Austin Sarat and Jurgen Martschukat, eds., Is the Death Penalty Dying? European and American Perspectives (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011): 292-321. 

Cell Blocks and Red Ink: Mass Incarceration, the Great Recession, and Penal Reform,” Daedalus 139:3 (2010): 62-73. 

“American Hell,” The New Republic, June 28, 2010, .

U.S. Health Reform and the Stockholm Syndrome,” in Leo Panitch and Colin Leys, eds., Morbid Symptoms: Health Under Capitalism, special issue of the Socialist Register (Pontypool, Wales: Merlin Press, 2009): 103-24. 

The Long Reach of the Carceral State: The Politics of Crime, Mass Imprisonment, and Penal Reform in the United States and Abroad,” Law & Social Inquiry 34:2 (2009): 439-72.

Money and Mass Incarceration: The Bad, the Mad, and Penal Reform,” Criminology & Public Policy 8:1 (2009): 97-109. 

“Sick on Arrival: Health Care Reform in the Age of Obama,” New Labor Forum 18:3 (2009): 28-36, .

“Hiding in Plain Sight: American Politics and the Carceral State,” Annual Review of Political Science, vol. 11 (Palo Alto, Ca.: Annual Reviews, 2008): 235-60,

The World’s Warden: Crime, Punishment, and Politics in the United States,” Dissent, Fall 2008: 57-65.

“Not the Usual Suspects: The Politics of the Prison Boom,” Prison Legal News 19.7 (2008): 1-12, .

“Two Separate Societies, One in Prison, One Not,” Washington Post, April 15, 2008, .

Show Me the Money: Labor and the Bottom Line of National Health Insurance,” Dissent, Spring 2008: 75-80. 

“Reforming a Prison Nation,” with Sasha Abramsky, The American Prospect online edition, August 9, 2007,

Back to the Future? Health Benefits, Organized Labor, and Universal Health Care,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 32.6 (2007): 923-70. 

“Prisoners of the Census: How and Where the U.S. Counts Inmates Has Huge, and Unsettling, Consequences,” L.A. Times, February 19, 2007, .

“The Health of the Nation: Labor, Business and Health Care Reform,” New Labor Forum, 16.1 (2007): 9-20, .

‘It’s the Health-Care Costs, Stupid!’: Ideas, Institutions, and the Politics of Organized Labor and Health Policy in the United States,” Studies in American Political Development 14.2 (2000): 234-52. 

“The Elusive Goal of Universal Health Care: Organized Labor and the Institutional Straightjacket of the Private Welfare State,” Journal of Policy History 11.4 (1999): 367-98, .

The Missing Millions: Organized Labor, Business, and the Defeat of Clinton’s Health Security Act,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 24.3 (1999): 489-529.