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Sunday, August 23, 2015

New Book: The Politics of Autism

A number of posts have discussed the politics of autism.  I have a new book on the topic:


Contact Jacqline Barnes 301-459-3366 x5515

“Autism matters to everyone. Pitney leaves his reader understanding why this is true and why solutions have proven elusive. The Politics of Autism expertly maps the complex terrain of policy designed to address society’s challenges attributed to autism and provides a solid foundation from which to move forward.”
—Dana Lee Baker, School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Washington State University

In the first book devoted exclusively to the contentious politics of autism, noted political scientist and public policy expert John J. Pitney, Jr., explains how autism has evolved into a heated political issue disputed by scientists, educators, social workers, and families. Nearly everything about autism is subject to debate and struggle, including its measurement and definition. Organizational attempts to deal with autism have resulted in not a single “autism policy,” but a vast array of policies at the federal, state, and local levels, which often leave people with autism and their families frustrated and confused.

Americans with autism are citizens, friends, coworkers, sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers. No longer simply the objects of public policy, they are active participants in current policy debates. Pitney’s fascinating look at how public policy is made and implemented offers networks of concerned parents, educators, and researchers a compass to navigate the current systems and hope for a path towards more regularized and effective policies for America’s autism community.


  • The first book to focus exclusively and comprehensively on the politics of autism in the USA
  • Offers a vivid case study of how our political system deals with policy uncertainty
  • Useful to scholars, especially in college classes, but also accessible to general readers

John J. Pitney, Jr., is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of American Politics at Claremont McKenna College. He received his B.A. from Union College and his Ph.D. in political science at Yale. He is the author of The Art of Political Warfareand the coauthor of several books, including Epic Journey: The 2008 Elections and American Politics and After Hope and Change: The 2012 Elections and American Politics.

August 2015  180 pages  978-1-4422-4960-8  $38.00 Cloth
August 2015  180 pages  978-1-4422-4961-5  $37.99 eBook