Tocqueville and America

– James Q. Wilson, "Tocqueville and America," Claremont Review of Books, Vol. 12, No. 2, Spring 2012, pp. 14-16.
Excerpt of an admiring but critical essay by James Q. Wilson on Tocqueville: Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville is no doubt the greatest book ever written by a foreigner about this country. It may be one of the greatest books written about any… More

Measuring the Slant

– James Q. Wilson, "Measuring the Slant," Claremont Review of Books, Vol. 12, No. 1, Winter 2011-2012, pp. 80-81.

Burying the Hatchet

– James Q. Wilson "Burying the Hatchet," Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2011.

Not-So-Dismal Science

– James Q. Wilson, "Not-So-Dismal Science," Claremont Review of Books, Vol. 11, No. 3, Summer 2011, pp. 65-66.

Uneven Progress

– James Q. Wilson, "Uneven Progress," Claremont Review of Books, Vol. 11, Nos. 1 and 2, Winter 2010-Spring 2011, pp. 88-89.

Beyond Ideology

– James Q. Wilson, "Beyond Ideology," Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2011.

The Future of Blame

– James Q. Wilson, "The Future of Blame," National Affairs, Number 2, Winter 2010.

Lessons of the Stimulus

– James Q. Wilson and Pietro S. Nivola, "Lessons of the Stimulus," Essays in Public Policy, Hoover Institution, October 14, 2010.

Free to Use

– James Q. Wilson, "Free to Use," Claremont Review of Books," Vol. 10, No. 1, Winter 2009-2010, pp.

The DNA of Politics

– James Q. Wilson, "The DNA of Politics," City Journal, Vol. 19, No. 1, Winter 2009.

Free to Use

– James Q. Wilson, "Free to Use," Claremont Review of Books, December 2009, pp. 33-34.

Religion and Polarization

– James Q. Wilson, "Religion and Polarization," in Robert Faulkner and Susan Shell, editors, America at Risk: Threats to Liberal Self-Government in an Age of Uncertainty (University of Michigan, 2009).

Pat Moynihan Thinks About Families

– James Q. Wilson, "Pat Moynihan Thinks About Families," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, No. 621, January 2009, pp. 28-33.

Looking Back

– Peter H. Schuck and James Q. Wilson, "Looking Back," in Peter H. Schuck, and James Q. Wilson, editors, Understanding America: The Anatomy of American Exceptionalism (Public Affairs, 2008).

Criminal Justice

– James Q. Wilson, "Criminal Justice," in Peter H. Schuck and James Q. Wilson, editors, Understanding America: The Anatomy of American Exceptionalism (Public Affairs, 2008).

Christians, Jews, and Israel

– James Q. Wilson, "Christians, Jews, and Israel." Wilson Lecture, Manhattan Institute, 2007.
Transcript of James Q. Wilson’s 2007 Wilson Lecture to the Manhattan Institute.

A Real Insurance Fraud

– James Q. Wilson, "A Real Insurance Fraud," Wall Street Journal, November 16, 2007.

Bowling with Others

– James Q. Wilson, "Bowling with Others," Commentary, October 2007.
Excerpt: In his celebrated book, Bowling Alone (2000), the political scientist Robert D. Putnam argued that America, and perhaps the Western world as a whole, has become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, and neighbors. We once bowled in leagues;… More

The Press at War

– James Q. Wilson, "The Press at War," City Journal, Vol. 16, No. 4, Autumn 2006.

The Need for Evaluation Research

– James Q. Wilson, "The Need for Evaluation Research," Journal of Experimental Criminology, Vol. 2, No. 3 (September 2006), pp. 321-328.

American Exceptionalism

– James Q. Wilson, "American Exceptionalism," American Spectator, September 2006. This essay also appeared in James Piereson, editor, The Pursuit of Liberty: Can the Ideals that Made America Great Provide a Model for the World? (Encounter, 2008).

A Quarter Century of Broken Windows

– James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, "A Quarter Century of Broken Windows," American Interest, September-October 2006, 99. 168-172.

Divided We Stand

– James Q. Wilson, "Divided We Stand," Wall Street Journal, February 15, 2006.

America’s Mayor

– James Q. Wilson, "America's Mayor," Claremont Review of Books, December 2005, pp. 13-15.

Tanner Lectures

– James Q. Wilson, "I. Politics and Polarization" and "II. Religion and Polarization," Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Harvard University, November 2-3, 2005.


– James Q. Wilson, "Freakonomics," Commentary, July 2005.

Character and Culture

– James Q. Wilson, "Character and Culture," The Public Interest, Number 159, Spring 2005.

Marriage and Commitment

– James Q. Wilson, "Marriage and Commitment," Marriage and Families, Vol. 16, No. 1 (2005), pp. 2-11.

What Makes a Terrorist?

– James Q. Wilson, "What Makes a Terrorist?" City Journal, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter 2004.

Islam and Freedom

– James Q. Wilson, "Islam and Freedom," Commentary, December 2004.

Why America Works

– James Q. Wilson, "Why America Works," Claremont Review of Books, Vol. 4, No. 4, Fall 2004.


– James Q. Wilson, "Broken," Commentary, October 2004.

Sex Matters

– James Q. Wilson, "Sex Matters," Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2004.

The Right Man

– James Q. Wilson, "The Right Man," Commentary, March 2003.

The Family Way

– James Q. Wilson, "The Family Way," Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2003.

Reflections on the Political Context

– James Q. Wilson, "Reflections on the Political Context," in Henry J. Aaron, James M. Lindsay, and Pietro S. Nivola, editors, Agenda for the Nation (Brookings Institution, 2003), pp. 527-550.

Why We Don’t Marry

– James Q. Wilson, "Why We Don't Marry," City Journal, Vol. 12, No. 1, Winter 2002.

The Reform Islam Needs

– James Q. Wilson, "The Reform Islam Needs," City Journal, Vol. 12, No. 4, Autumn 2002.

Liberalism and Diversity

– James Q. Wilson, "Liberalism and Diversity," The Public Interest, Number 148, Summer 2002.

Profiles in Courage

– James Q. Wilson and Heather Higgins, "Profiles in Courage," Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2002, p. A12.


– James Q. Wilson, "Crime," in Abigail Thernstrom and Stephan Thernstrom, editors, Beyond the Color Line: New Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in America (Hoover Institution Press, 2002), pp. 115-126.

Guns and Bush

– James Q. Wilson, "Guns and Bush," Slate, October 13, 2000.

Religion and Public Life

– James Q. Wilson, "Religion and Public Life,"E.J. Dionne, Jr., and John J. DiIulio, Jr., editors, What's God Got to do With the American Experiment? (Brookings Institution, 2000). This essay also appeared in James R. Wilburn, editor, Faith and Public Policy (Lexington Books, 2002).

Cultural Meltdown

– James Q. Wilson, "Cultural Meltdown," The Public Interest, Number 137, Fall 1999.

Hate and Punishment

– James Q. Wilson, "Hate and Punishment," National Review, September 13, 1999.

City Life and Citizenship

– James Q. Wilson, "City Life and Citizenship," in Martha Derthick, editor, Dilemmas of Scale in America's Federal Democracy, (Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 17-36.

Idealizing Politics

– James Q. Wilson, "Idealizing Politics," Critical Review, Vol. 12, No. 4 (1998), pp. 563-568.

The Closing of the American City

– James Q. Wilson, "The Closing of the American City," The New Republic, May 11, 1998.
A review essay of Lou Cannon’s Official Negligence and Tamar Jacoby’s Someone Else’s House.

Making Justice Swifter

– James Q. Wilson, "Making Justice Swifter," City Journal, Vol. 7, No. 4, Autumn 1997.

Hostility in America

– James Q. Wilson, "Hostility in America," The New Republic, August 25, 1997. This essay also appeared in the University of Colorado Law Review, Vol. 69, No. 4 (Fall 1998).

Paternalism, Democracy, and Bureaucracy

– James Q. Wilson, "Paternalism, Democracy, and Bureaucracy," in Lawrence M. Mead, editor, The New Paternalism: Supervisory Approaches to Poverty (Brookings Institution, 1997), pp. 330-343.

How Do We Know We are Doing Good?

– James Q. Wilson, "How Do We Know We are Doing Good?," in John W. Barry and Bruno V. Manno, editors, Giving Better, Giving Smarter: Working Papers of the National Commission on Philanthropy and Civic Renewal (National Commission on Philanthropy and Civic Renewal, 1997), pp. 207-213.

No More Home Alone

– James Q. Wilson and Kathleen Sylvester, "No More Home Alone," Policy Review, March 1996, pp. 34-39.

The Corporation as a Political Actor

– James Q. Wilson, "The Corporation as a Political Actor," in Carl Kaysen, editor, The American Corporation Today (Oxford University Press, 1996).

Culture, Crime, and Human Nature

– James Q. Wilson, "Culture, Crime, and Human Nature," in T. William Boxx and Gary M. Quinlivan, editors, Culture in Crisis and the Renewal of Civil Life (Rowman and Littlefield, 1996).

Cultural Aspects of Poverty

– James Q. Wilson, "Cultural Aspects of Poverty," in Michael R. Darby, editor, Reducing Poverty in America: Views and Approaches (Sage, 1996), pp. 367-372.

Capitalism and Morality

– James Q. Wilson, "Capitalism and Morality," The Public Interest, Number 121, Fall 1995.

Liberal Ghosts

– James Q. Wilson, Liberal Ghosts, New Republic, May 22, 1995, pp. 31-34.

New Politics, New Elites, Old Publics

– James Q. Wilson, "New Politics, New Elites, Old Publics," in Marc K. Landy and Martin A. Levin, editors, The New Politics of Public Policy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), pp. 249-267.

Justice versus Humanity in the Family

– James Q. Wilson, "Justice versus Humanity in the Family," in The Neoconservative Imagination: Essays in Honor of Irving Kristol (AEI Press, 1995), pp. 147-164.

Thinking About Reorganization

– James Q. Wilson, "Thinking About Reorganization," in Roy Godson, Ernest R, May, and Gary Schmitt, editors, US Intelligence at the Crossroads: Agendas for Reform (Brasseys, 1995).

Liberalism, Modernism, and the Good Life

– James Q. Wilson, "Liberalism, Modernism, and the Good Life," in Mary Ann Glendon and David Blankenhorn, editors, Seedbeds of Virtue: Sources of Character and Citizenship in American Society (Madison Books, 1995).

Reinventing Public Administration

– James Q. Wilson, "Reinventing Public Administration," PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 27, No. 4 (December 1994), pp. 667-673.

Tales of Virtue

– James Q. Wilson, "Tales of Virtue," Commentary, April 1994.

On Abortion

– James Q. Wilson, "On Abortion," Commentary, January 1994.

Can the Bureaucracy be Deregulated?

– James Q. Wilson, "Can the Bureaucracy be Deregulated? Lessons from Government Agencies," in John J. DiIulio, Jr., editor, Deregulating the Public Service: Can Government Be Improved? (Brookings Institution, 1994), pp. 37-61.

Culture, Incentives, and the Underclass

– James Q. Wilson, "Culture, Incentives, and the Underclass," in Henry J. Aaron, Thomas E. Mann, and Timothy Taylor, editors, Values and Public Policy (Brookings Institution, 1994), pp. 54-80. This essay also appears in Don E. Eberly, editor, The Essential Civil Society Reader: The Classic Essays (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000), pp. 195-216.

On Gender

– James Q. Wilson, "On Gender," The Public Interest, Number 112, Summer 1993.


– James Q. Wilson, "Stagestruck," The New Republic, June 21, 1993.
A review essay of Kiku Adatto’s Picture Perfect.

The Moral Sense

– James Q. Wilson, "The Moral Sense," American Political Science Review, Volume 87, Number 1, March 1993, pp. 1-11.
Presidential Address, American Political Science Association, 1992.

Crime, Race, and Values

– James Q. Wilson, "Crime, Race, and Values," Society, Vol. 30, No. 1 (November-December 1992), pp. 90-93.

Incivility and Crime

– James Q. Wilson, "Incivility and Crime," in Edward C. Banfield, editor, Civility and Citizenship (Paragon House, 1992).

The Government Gap

– James Q. Wilson, "The Government Gap," The New Republic, June 3, 1991.
A review essay of E.J. Dionne’s Why Americans Hate Politics and Alan Ehrenhalt’s The United States of Ambition.

Interest and Deliberation in the American Republic

– James Q. Wilson, "Interest and Deliberation in the American Republic, or, Why James Madison Would Never Have Received the James Madison Award," PS: Political Science and Politics, Volume 23, Number 4 (December 1990), pp. 558-562.

Multiple Choice Test

– James Q. Wilson, "Multiple Choice Test," The New Republic, October 8, 1990.
A review essay of John Chubb and Terry Moe’s Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools.

Drugs and Crime

– James Q. Wilson, "Drugs and Crime," Crime and Justice, Vol. 13 (1990), pp. 521-545.

Making Neighborhoods Safe

– James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, "Making Neighborhoods Safe," Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 263, Issue 2 (February 1989), pp. 46-52.

Entering Criminology Through the Back Door

– James Q. Wilson, "Entering Criminology Through the Back Door," The Criminologist: Official Newsletter of the American Society of Criminology, Volume 13, Number 6, November-December 1988.

Into the Abyss

– James Q. Wilson, "Into the Abyss," Commentary, July 1988.

Strategic Opportunities for Delinquency Prevention

– James Q. Wilson, "Strategic Opportunities for Delinquency Prevention," in James Q. Wilson and Glenn C. Loury, editors, From Children to Citizens: Vol. 3: Families, Schools, and Delinquency Prevention (Springer-Verlag, 1987), pp. 291-311.

Political Parties and the Separation of Powers

– James Q. Wilson, "Political Parties and the Separation of Powers," in Robert A. Goldwin and Art Kaufman, editors, Separation of Powers: Does It Still Work? (AEI Press, 1986), pp. 18-37.

Public Ownership vs. Energy Conservation

– James Q. Wilson and Louise Richardson, "Public Ownership vs. Energy Conservation: A Paradox of Utility Regulation," Regulation, Vol. 9, No. 13 (September-October 1985), pp. 13-17, 36-38.

Are Criminals Made or Born?

– Richard J. Herrnstein and James Q. Wilson, "Are Criminals Made or Born?" New York Times Magazine, August 4, 1985, pp 30-32, 43, 46.

Neglected Areas of Research on Regulation

– James Q. Wilson, "Neglected Areas of Research on Regulation," in Roger G. Noll, editor, Regulatory Policy and the Social Sciences (University of California Press, 1985 ), pp. 357-363.

Thinking About Crime

– James Q. Wilson, "Thinking About Crime," Atlantic Monthly, September 1983.

Raising Kids

– James Q. Wilson, "Raising Kids," Atlantic Monthly (1983), pp. 45-56.

The Dilemmas of Conservatism II

– James Q. Wilson, "The Dilemmas of Conservatism II: Reagan the Politician," American Spectator, March 1982, pp. 13-16.

Broken Windows

– George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson, "Broken Windows: The Police and Neighborhood Safety," Atlantic Monthly, March 1982.

The Effects of the Police on Crime

– James Q. Wilson and Barbara Boland, "The Effects of the Police on Crime: A Response to Jacob and Rich," Law and Society Review, Vol. 16, No. 1 (1981-1982), pp. 136-170.

What Can the Police Do About Violence?

– James Q. Wilson, "What Can the Police Do About Violence?" Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 452 (November 1980), pp. 13-21.

The Politics of Regulation

– James Q. Wilson, "The Politics of Regulation," in James Q. Wilson, editor, The Politics of Regulation (Basic Books, 1980), pp. 357-394.

Police Research and Experimentation

– James Q. Wilson, "Police Research and Experimentation," in Richard A. Staufenberger, editor, Progress in Policing: Essays on Change (Ballinger, 1980).

In California

– James Q. Wilson, "In California," Commentary, September 1979.

Double Standard

– James Q. Wilson, "Double Standard," Commentary, January 1979.

Buying the Vote

– James Q. Wilson, "Buying the Vote," Commentary, December 1978.

Age, Crime, and Punishment

– Barbara Boland and James Q. Wilson, "Age, Crime, and Punishment," The Public Interest, Number 51, Spring 1978.

Social Science and Public Policy

– James Q. Wilson, "Social Science and Public Policy: A Personal Note," in Lawrence E. Lynn, Jr., editor, Knowledge and Policy: The Uncertain Connection (National Academy of Sciences, 1978).

The Greasy Pole

– James Q. Wilson, "The Greasy Pole," Commentary, February 1977.

Police Discretion

– James Q. Wilson, "Police Discretion," in Leon Radzinowicz and Marvin E. Wolfgang, editors, Crime and Justice: Volume II: The Criminal in the Arms of the Law (Basic Books, 1977).

Who is in Prison?

– James Q. Wilson, "Who is in Prison?" Commentary, November 1976.

Crime in Society and Schools

– James Q. Wilson, "Crime in Society and Schools," Educational Researcher, Vol. 5, No. 5 (May 1976), pp. 3-6

Abolish “Reform”

– James Q. Wilson, "Abolish 'Reform'," American Spectator, May 1975, p. 9-10.

The Politics of Regulation

– James Q. Wilson, "The Politics of Regulation," in James W. McKie, editor, Social Responsibility and the Business Predicament (Brookings Institution, 1974).

The Sick Sixties

– James Q. Wilson and Robert L. DuPont, "The Sick Sixties," Atlantic Monthly, October 1973, pp. 91-98.

A Radical Life

– James Q. Wilson, "A Radical Life," Commentary, July 1973.

Social Theorist

– James Q. Wilson, "Social Theorist," Commentary, January 1973.

The Problem of Heroin

– James Q. Wilson, Mark H. Moore, and I. David Wheat, Jr., "The Problem of Heroin," The Public Interest, Number 29, Fall 1972.

Power Structure and Civic Leadership

– Edward C. Banfield and James Q. Wilson, "Power Structure and Civic Leadership," in Fred M. Cox, John L. Erlich, Jack Rothman, and John Tropman, editors, Strategies of Community Organization (Peacock, 1972), pp. 112-122.

The Police and the Ghetto

– James Q. Wilson, "The Police and the Ghetto," in Robert F. Steadman, editor, The Police and the Community (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972), pp. 51-90.

Ultimate Politics

– James Q. Wilson, "Ultimate Politics," Commentary, January 1972.

Political Ethos Revisited

– James Q. Wilson and Edward C. Banfield, "Political Ethos Revisisted," American Political Science Review, Vol. 65, No. 4 (December 1971), pp. 1048-1062.

The Moralist

– James Q. Wilson, "The Moralist," Commentary, March 1971.


– James Q. Wilson, "Crime," in Daniel P. Moynihan, Toward a National Urban Policy (Basic Books, 1970), pp. 140-151.

The Urban Mood

– James Q. Wilson, "The Urban Mood," Commentary, October 1969.

What Makes a Better Policeman

– James Q. Wilson, "What Makes a Better Policeman," Atlantic Monthly, (March 1969), pp. 129-134. This essay also appeared in Stephen M. David and Paul E. Peterson, editors, Urban Politics and Public Policy: The City in Crisis (Praeger, 1976).

Crime and Law Enforcement

– James Q. Wilson, "Crime and Law Enforcement," in Kermit Gordon, editor, Agenda for the Nation (Brookings Institution, 1969).

Dilemmas of Police Administration

– James Q. Wilson, "Dilemmas of Police Administration," Public Administration Review, Vol. 28, No. 5 (September-October 1968), pp. 407-417.

Why We Are Having a Wave of Violence

– James Q. Wilson, "Why We Are Having a Wave of Violence," New York Times Magazine, May 19, 1968, pp. 23-24. This essay also appeared in Nathan Glazer, editor, Cities in Trouble (Quadrangle, 1970), pp. 55-66.

The Bureaucracy Problem

– James Q. Wilson, "The Bureaucracy Problem," The Public Interest, Number 6, Winter 1967.

A Guide to Reagan Country

– James Q. Wilson, "A Guide to Reagan Country: The Political Culture of Southern California," Commentary, May 1967.

Urban Problems in Perspective

– James Q. Wilson, "Urban Problems in Perspective," in James Q. Wilson, editor, The Metropolitan Enigma (Harvard University Press, 1967, 1968, 1970).


– James Q. Wilson, "Violence," in Daniel Bell and Stephen R. Graubard, editors, Toward the Year 2000: Work in Progress (American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1967, 1968, 1997), pp. 277-296.

Crime in the Streets

– James Q. Wilson, "Crime in the Streets," The Public Interest, Number 5, Fall 1966.

The War on Cities

– James Q. Wilson, "The War on Cities," The Public Interest, Number 3, Spring 1966.

Problems in the Study of Urban Politics

– James Q. Wilson, "Problems in the Study of Urban Politics," in Edward H. Buehrig, editor, Essays in Political Science (Indiana University Press, 1966), pp. 131-150.

The Negro in City Politics

– Edward C. Banfield and James Q. Wilson, "The Negro in City Politics," in Raymond J. Murphy and Howard Elinson, editors, Problems and Prospects of the Negro Movement (Wadsworth, 1966), pp. 376-394.

The Negro in Politics

– James Q. Wilson, "The Negro in Politics," Daedalus, Vol. 94, No. 4 (Fall 1965), pp. 949-973. Reprinted in Talcott Parsons and Kenneth B. Clark, editors, The Negro American (Houghton Mifflin, 1965).

Voting Behavior on Municipal Public Expenditures

– James Q. Wilson and Edward C. Banfield, "Voting Behavior on Municipal Public Expenditures: A Study of Rationality and Self-Interest," in Julius Margolis, editor, The Public Economy of Urban Communities (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1965).

Patronage in New York State, 1955-1959

– Daniel Patrick Moynihan and James Q. Wilson, "Patronage in New York State, 1955-1959," American Political Science Review, Vol. 58, No. 2 (June 1964), pp. 286-301.

An Overview of Theories of Planned Change

– James Q. Wilson, "An Overview of Theories of Planned Change," in  Robert Morris, editor, Centrally Planned Change (National Association of Social Workers, 1964).

The Changing Political Position of the Negro

– James Q. Wilson, "The Changing Political Position of the Negro," in Arnold M. Rose, editor, Assuring Freedom to the Free (Wayne State University Press, 1964), pp. 163-184.

Police and Their Problems

– James Q. Wilson, "The Police and Their Problems: A Theory," Public Policy, Number 12 (1963), pp. 189-216.

Politics and Reform in American Cities

– James Q. Wilson, "Politics and Reform in American Cities," in Ivan Hinderaker, editor, American Government Annual, 1962-1963 (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1962), pp. 37-52.

The Economy of Patronage

– James Q. Wilson, "The Economy of Patronage," Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 69, No. 4 (August 1961), pp. 369-380.