Margaret Weir focuses on urban society and politics, political sociology, and the welfare state. She is currently working on a study of metropolitan inequalities in the United States, with a particular focus on the politics of coalition-building in metropolitan America during the past decade. She is at work on a book that examines the shifting alliances in Chicago and Los Angeles metropolitan areas among low-income communities, organized labor, environmentalists, political leaders in cities and suburbs, and regional business leaders as they seek to shape metropolitan America to their own vision.
Weir has written widely on social policy and politics in the United States. She is author of “Politics and Jobs: The Boundaries of Employment Policy in the United States” (Princeton University Press 1992), and coauthor with Ira Katznelson of “Schooling for All: Race, Class and the Decline of the Democratic Ideal” (Basic Books 1985). She has also edited several books on social policy in the U.S. including, “The Politics of Social Policy in the United States” with Ann Shola Orloff and Theda Skocpol (Princeton University Press, 1988), and “The Social Divide” (Brookings and Russell Sage, 1998), which examines social policymaking during the Clinton administration.
Weir is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Before joining the Berkeley faculty in 1997, she was a senior fellow in governmental studies at the Brookings Institution (1992–1997) and a member of the faculty of the government department at Harvard University (1985–1992).