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Drew Halfmann

Drew Halfmann

Associate Professor

2270 SS&H

Office Hours for Winter 2017 :

  • Spring 2017: T 10-11am, and by appointment


  1. Ph.D., New York University



Doctors and Demonstrators: How Political Institutions Shape Abortion Law in the United States, Britain and Canada. University of Chicago Press, 2011. 20% Discount Code: AD9883

2012 Charles Tilly Best Book Award, American Sociological Association Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements

2013 Distinguished Scholarship Award, Pacific Sociological Association

Since Roe v. Wade, abortion has continued to be a divisive political issue in the United States. In contrast, it has remained primarily a medical issue in Britain and Canada despite the countries’ shared heritage. Doctors and Demonstrators looks beyond cultural or religious explanations to find out why abortion politics and policies differ so dramatically in these otherwise similar countries.

Political institutions are the key. In the United States, federalism, judicial review, and a private health care system contributed to the public definition of abortion as an individual right rather than a medical necessity. Meanwhile, the porous structure of American political parties gave pro-choice and pro-life groups the opportunity to move the issue onto the political agenda.

No Crystal Stair: the African-American Struggle for Health Equality

The project examines the social forces and government policies that shaped the health of African-Americans over the last 150 years: from Reconstruction to Obamacare. It explores several questions: What are the main social determinants of health and health inequality, and how do these change over time? How do government policies affect health and health inequality, and what accounts for those policies? What explains the mobilization and impact of health equality movements? To what extent have movements for racial equality prioritized health and health care?

Selected Publications

Course Outlines and Syllabi






1283 Social Sciences & 
University of California, 
One Shields Avenue 
Davis, CA 95616

(530) 752-0782 phone
(530) 752-0783 fax

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