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David Dagan
David Dagan is a freelance journalist and a PhD student in political science at Johns Hopkins University. He likes to help people tell their stories and figure out how they fit into the bigger political picture.

As a freelancer, David has reported from Germany, Israel and Rwanda. He previously wrote for the Central Penn Business Journal in Harrisburg, Pa., and for the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C.

David won a first-place investigative reporting prize with colleague Eric Veronikis from the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Journalists in 2010 for a series on a failed building project. He was also a finalist in 2009 for a World Hunger Year Harry Chapin Media Award for a series on inner-city unemployment.

His academic research focuses on the politics of criminal justice.

David graduated from Brandeis University in 2003 with B.A. and M.A. degrees in politics.

Entries by David Dagan

Paul Ryan Could Take the Easy Road on Criminal Justice Reform. He Shouldn't

(5) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 2:16 PM

As Paul Ryan tries to extend the bipartisan honeymoon that accompanied his inauguration as Speaker of the House into 2016, passing the much-lauded criminal justice compromise that a group of senators unveiled last fall looks awfully tempting as a next act.

But as a lawmaker who prides himself on his...

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Black Churches Led The Civil Rights Movement. Can They Do It Again In Baltimore?

(288) Comments | Posted June 14, 2015 | 12:15 PM

pastor baltimore gray
The Rev. Jamal Bryant and others raise their fists during a protest march around the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center, Friday, May 1, 2015, in Baltimore. State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after...
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Why Europe Is Spooking Stock Markets

(1) Comments | Posted October 19, 2014 | 7:53 PM

The stock markets have picked up a bad case of the jitters recently, providing more fodder for the theory that investors don't do well with the approach of Halloween.

One of the scariest apparitions haunting the trading floors now is the prospect that Europe is entering a prolonged...

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Right-Wing Prison Reform: Now It's a Crowd

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 1:00 PM

When you hear the occasional conservative talking sense about mass incarceration, it can seem like a fluke.

When you get them all together in one room, it feels like a movement.

More than 60 conservatives from around the country are meeting at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington today to...

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Callous Indifference to Young, Black Men

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 12:48 PM

Cross-posted at Ten Miles Square.

As debate rages over the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, it is important to remember that the initial outcry was not based on the sense that George Zimmerman was obviously guilty. Rather, it was based on the sense that authorities confronted with the body...

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Coney Island Grace

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 2:16 PM

We weren't handing out wads of cash in the high-rises. We weren't offering to turn on the elevators and the boilers. We couldn't even produce the PB&J that a little boy asked us for. All we had were apocalypse-proof dinners (kugel or chicken) and bottled water.

But on Coney Island,...

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The ABC's of Development

(1) Comments | Posted January 14, 2012 | 1:04 AM

On a recent visit to Baltimore, singer-songwriter Adam Klein found the ideal venue to perform songs from an album he is writing about Nicaragua.

It wasn't glamorous: Just a corner kitchen in an aging warehouse, where a handful of people gathered around a pizza box. But Klein...

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Divided America? Not at This Farmers Market

(5) Comments | Posted June 20, 2011 | 1:04 PM

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in the middle. That's James Carville's pithy verdict on the political map of Pennsylvania. From the big-picture perspective of presidential politics, he's right (with some qualification). But all that "Alabama" in the center of the Keystone State is no monolith.

Different ways of...

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How Not to Catch a Thief

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2010 | 10:23 AM

I was strolling on the edge of a park in St. Petersburg, debating where to stop for coffee, when I heard a commotion on the opposite sidewalk.

A stout woman was chasing a stocky man. Judging by the sweat stain on the fugitive's shirt, they had been running for a...

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Kibbutz Diary: A Shoah Memorial the World Should See

(5) Comments | Posted July 21, 2010 | 7:51 AM

The best memorial to the Holocaust that I have seen surprises you from a corner of Kibbutz Mishmar Ha'emek in northern Israel.

A gentle, green slope drops off into a basin of Jerusalem stone. The solitary figure of a woman rises over the basin's walls. Her face is turned into...

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Kibbutz Diary: Business savvy? These socialists have plenty

(5) Comments | Posted July 14, 2010 | 5:08 AM

A few dozen socialists in the north of Israel met recently to raise glasses of wine and toast their latest business success.

The residents of Kibbutz Mishmar Ha'emek were celebrating the returns of another strong year for Tama, their plastics company. As I explained in my

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Kibbutz Diary: Socialism for the 21st century

(11) Comments | Posted July 11, 2010 | 5:22 AM

Israel was built in places like Kibbutz Mishmar Ha'emek, a hilly village whose roughly 1,000 residents share a view of the northern Jezreel Valley - and just about everything else you might need in life.

Assets here are jointly owned, from cars to homes to businesses. All members...

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In Berlin, Cars Burn as Neighborhoods Change

(11) Comments | Posted April 23, 2010 | 8:58 AM

BERLIN -- Fikret Arik had owned his BMW for less than two years when he watched it go up in flames last October in the courtyard of his apartment building.

Vehicle damages are Arik's bread and butter - he runs a business that assesses losses for clients making insurance claims...

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German Baseball Hopes To Drive in a Star

(6) Comments | Posted April 17, 2010 | 1:45 PM

BERLIN -- At dusk, the Sluggers warm up for the second practice of the season.

Gray apartment buildings loom over the team from right field. Their windows reflect the orange sun descending behind the third-base line. The players get into two facing rows in center field. Gloves start to pop....

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Schlechtes Englisch Goes Viral in Germany

(14) Comments | Posted February 23, 2010 | 10:23 AM

BERLIN -- Who in Germany stands in the public and badly English speaks will for that be punished.

The architecture of a German sentence is complicated and beautiful, but it doesn't always translate well into English. And to a German-trained tongue, English pronunciation can be almost as challenging as the...

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