The Politics of Child Support in America

By Jocelyn Elise Crowley | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

They say people write most passionately and honestly about the issues that they have faced in their own lives. I know all about parents breaking up, and I know all about how divorce impacts children. I also know all about child support enforcement. I know about its strengths, its weaknesses, and its potential for making a difference. Indeed, I am not alone. Many people have personal tales to tell. This book fills these personal spaces and sometimes personal tragedies with historical meaning.

Throughout the years, I have had three academic homes in which the ideas behind this book have happily percolated. At Georgetown University, where I earned my master's degree in public policy in 1994, I began thinking about child support enforcement as an important public policy issue for the first time. At this critical juncture, I was lucky enough to have R. Kent Weaver as a professor. He nurtured my interest in social policy in more ways than I can name. He was most influential, however, when he uttered seven key words that would shape my professional development“Jocelyn, you should go get your Ph.D.”

I then moved on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to earn my Ph.D. in political science. While in Cambridge, my ideas on child support would receive further nourishment through my interaction with both stellar faculty members and insightful colleagues. I would especially like to thank my dissertation committee, who pushed me in novel directions on this research. Charles Stewart III and Stephen Ansolabehere of MIT, as well as Theda Skocpol of Harvard University, provided enormous intellectual guidance when this project was in its early stages. Amy Black, Maryann Barakso, Miriam Murase, Anne Cammisa, Kira Sanbonmatsu,

-xi-

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