ESEA and the civil rights act: An interbranch approach to furthering desegregation

Erica Frankenberg, Kendra Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


To understand the impact of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Civil Rights Act in contributing to school desegregation, it is necessary to take an interbranch perspective that accounts for the ways in which interplay among the branches of the federal government occurred to further a policy agenda that would have been improbable had one branch acted alone. This paper examines the passage and implementation of the ESEA and the Civil Rights Act during the Johnson and Nixon years, considering how the legislative, judicial, and executive branches collaborated with each other to strengthen the impact of this legislation beyond what was initially conceived. Despite complex desegregation issues left unresolved, this period marks the only time when all branches of government employed their unique powers to implement and enforce desegregation, offering important insights into the ways in which the federal government can effectively accomplish progress in changing local practice on contentious civil rights issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-49
Number of pages18
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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