The Bradlow Report — 27 January 2021
27 January 2021
Volume 2, Issue 1
For most of 2020, I took a break from public writing in order to focus on completing my dissertation, which I managed to defend at the end of August. This was largely thanks to the return of daycare for my daughter after the shock of the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdown. As is apparently often the case, there was a mad dash to finish writing. And then it was done. I’ve now turned my attention to completing this work as a book manuscript, and am approaching another mad dash of a deadline for that.
In the last few months, I managed to get out a range of public-facing writing. I thought this warranted a revival of this newsletter that had otherwise gone dormant while I focused on my larger project. I’ve also moved the newsletter to the Substack platform from TinyLetter. It has some nice administrative features on the backend, and it seems to be the platform “du jour” for where people are finding newsletters.
My writing since September has addressed recent developments in South African transportation policy, Brazilian municipal politics, fiscal federalism in the United States, and the role of housing in responding to the global coronavirus pandemic.
First, I wrote a couple pieces for The Conversation addressing a new proposal by South Africa’s national government to subsidize the minibus taxi sector. This speaks to global debates about the future of public transportation after the pandemic, and the role of government support for what I believe needs to be governed as a public good. This writing led to an interview on Johannesburg’s PowerFM.
“Why operational subsidies are key to reforming South Africa’s minibus taxi sector.” The Conversation.
“Subsidies for South Africa’s minibus taxis must prioritise needs of passengers – and cities.” The Conversation. With Herrie Schalekamp.
Radio interview on PowerFM
Second, I wrote a piece for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage about Brazil’s recent municipal elections. The message from these polls is that Bolsonaro still has a path to reelection in 2022, but the path to the next presidential election offers new opportunities for the center-right and center-left.
“Brazilians firmly rejected many local candidates their president had backed.” The Monkey Cage (Washington Post)
Third, I wrote a piece the Atlantic Council about the new Biden administration’s fiscal stimulus proposal, and why funding for state and municipal governments are so important to the role that the US can play in a post-pandemic global economy.
“Why funding America’s local governments could have a global impact.” Atlantic Council
And finally, I wrote a bit of a longer essay for Eurozine (which was translated and republished in Estonian!) about the role of working class housing in producing pandemics and to recover from them, drawing on some lessons from Brazil.
“Responding to global crises with low-carbon social housing.” Eurozine