THIS MONTH'S PAPERS EXPLORE contests over state authority and the effects of government policy on the private sector in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Emma's paper highlights the history of western mining policy during the American Civil War, an issue that erupted in a surprising scandal for the Lincoln administration. Using that history as a lens, Emma considers broader questions about political sovereignty in the recently appended far West, struggles over property, and the increasing power of corporate capital in the national political economy.
Sid's paper defines employer discretion over dismissals by tracing the formation of institutions for dismissal protection in Germany and the U.S. He argues that despite significant institutional differences -- Germany has national dismissal protection legislation and the U.S. does not -- workers in both countries can limit employer discretion over dismissals when they challenge employers' economic justifications for workforce downsizing.