Noted Political Scientist James Q. Wilson's Papers to Be Archived at the RAND Corporation

For Release

January 14, 2013

The papers of James Q. Wilson, the late political scientist known as the co-creator of the "broken windows" criminology theory, have been donated to the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Susan L. Marquis, dean of the school, announced today.

"We are proud and pleased that Jim and his wife, Roberta, chose our school for these important papers," Marquis said. "We hope this collection of letters, lectures, photos, manuscripts and other items will guide and inspire current and future generations of researchers and policy analysts."

The Wilson papers, a mixture of professional and scholarly items that include correspondence with other scholars and public officials, will become part of the James Q. Wilson Archive and will be housed at the headquarters campus of the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif. The archive, which also includes many of his books and some of his awards, will be available for the use of scholars and researchers.

The archive will be part of the James Q. Wilson Collection, which includes all of Wilson's books, articles and commentaries in addition to those of his doctoral students. The James Q. Wilson Collection and the James Q. Wilson dissertation fellowship, which will both be supported by a $1.1 million endowment, were created at the Pardee RAND Graduate School by donors and supporters to recognize the life and legacy of Wilson.

Wilson, who died in March of 2012, published a large number of books, essays and scholarly articles on a wide range of topics, ranging from crime and criminal justice to the nature of bureaucracy and the role of government institutions. He spent nearly five decades teaching at Harvard University, UCLA, Pepperdine University and Boston College.

Wilson served as a member of the Pardee school's board of directors for more than 25 years and was awarded an honorary degree from the school in 2004. He also served on the RAND Corporation Board of Trustees.

"The area of Jim's work and scholarship that resonates most with the Pardee RAND Graduate School is his insistence on understanding what government agencies actually do and why they do it," Marquis said. "What Jim recognized—and what we teach our students—is that while a policy intends to regulate one thing, what matters most is what the government's front-line workers actually do. This is where the policy analyst has to look to discover the true effect of public policy, whatever its original intent."

The James Q. Wilson Collection will be dedicated with a private ceremony for family, friends and students on Jan. 17, followed by a public policy forum at 6 p.m. in Santa Monica that will feature a panel discussion by Marquis and some of Wilson's former students. The former students are Pietro S. Nivola, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; R. Shep Melnick, the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Professor of American Politics at Boston College; and John Dilulio, the Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society and professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Pardee RAND Graduate School was founded in 1970 as one of the original eight programs nationwide to train future leaders in public policy and the only public policy Ph.D. program located within a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization.

More information about the Pardee RAND Graduate School is available at

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