Austin McCoy

  • Fellowship year:2016-2017
  • University: University of Michigan
  • Dissertation Topic/Category: United States
  • Dissertation Title: No Radical Hangover: Progressive Responses to Economic Crises in the Midwest, 1967-1988
  • My dissertation, "No Radical Hangover: Progressive Responses to Economic Crisis in the Midwest, 1967-1988," investigates the growth of the progressive movement and the reemergence of economic democracy in the Midwest during the 1970s and 1980s. The study focuses on two organizations. Alliance for a Rational Economy (DARE) and the Ohio Public Interest Campaign (OPIC). Progressives in these institutions sought to construct policies to address the impact of the globalization of production and plant closure on Midwestern cities and towns. OPIC promoted statewide anti-plant closure legislation while DARE advocated for establishing a worker-controlled industrial economy in Detroit.

    "No Radical Hangover: connects progressive economic politics of the 1970s to articulations of economic democracy during the Progressive Era, the Great Depression, and during the 1960s. It also illustrates how 1970s progressive economic politics influenced national conversations around deindustrialization during the 1980s, especially during the 1988 presidential campaign and efforts to pass a federal plant closing law. The study reconsiders questions of success and failure of social movements by examining structural obstacles, progressives' own shortcomings, and their impact on U.S. political culture.