I’ve sometimes referred to Mark Kleiman as the inheritor of James Q. Wilson’s torch, and on hearing of the latter’s death I waited to hear what he had to say. This is it. I’ve discussed Wilson’s books “Bureaucracy” and “Crime and Human Nature” here before, but of course his influence went beyond merely having written some books that some people liked. I’ve also promoted Kleiman’s book “When Brute Force Fails”, which argues in part that the revolution Wilson wrought on criminal policy has reached the area of negative returns. I wish that AEI’s event page for the book still had the video* with Kleiman, Wilson and others.

These days I tend to find the neoconservatives to be the most problematic group in American politics, but I sometimes issue caveats because the term was once associated with folks like Wilson, Banfield, Herrnstein, Huntington, Murray & Sowell and even a more realist foreign policy.

*I’ve sent an email, but didn’t get a response.