Professor Campi’s research and teaching focus on right and left social movements in the United States, gender, and authority. Her current book project theorizes American neoliberalism as a political project based in anti-democratic relations of rule, and offers an historical account of the role of conservative media and movement organizations in forming these relations. She traces how these actors cultivate submission internally to conservative political culture, and how they advance rule through policing externally, for instance through extending crime control logics into schools.
University of Chicago: Ph.D., Political Science 2016
Northwestern University: B.A., Political Science and Spanish 2007
2017 Nominee for Best Dissertation in Women and Politics (professional)
American Political Science Association
The Unstable Alliance for ‘School Choice’: Social Movements and American Neoliberalism,” Polity 50 (2018): 398-427.
Market-based “school choice” reforms in the United States were originally devised as a novel conservative tactic to break the liberal hold on public education. This paper focuses on the unstable political alliance—including black and Latino parents in urban settings, conservative Christians, and “new civil rights” advocacy organizations—that coalesced in the 1980s to bring these reforms to power. I argue that the while notions of “choice” and “empowerment” effectively brought unlikely actors together around a response to concrete problems, these alliances are thin and this response hotly contested. Through an account of the political history of school choice, I shed light on the dynamics of social movement mobilization and demobilization in shaping actors’ political visions and the possibilities they pursue, and I place current reforms in a history of racial struggle. This account challenge theories that attribute the driving force of market-based reform to a subsuming economization of politics wrought by neoliberal rationalities.