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NEXT is made up of in-depth, commissioned academic research papers that look at trends that will shape policy over the coming decades. In particular, we are aiming to unpack some of the prevailing assumptions that routinely define, and often constrain, Democratic and progressive economic and social policy debates.

In this series, we seek to answer the central domestic policy challenge of the 21st century: how to ensure American middle-class prosperity and individual success in an era of ever-intensifying globalization and technological upheaval. It’s the defining question of our time, and one that, as a country, we’re far from answering.

Each paper dives into one aspect of middle-class prosperity—such as the workplace, education, retirement, or the safety net. And by doing that, we’ll be able to help push the conversation toward a new, more modern understanding of America’s middle-class challenges—and spur fresh ideas for a new era.

  • Economy
  • Poverty/Mobility
  • 21st Century Jobs
  • Workforce & Training