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Jenna Bednar: Federalism as a Collective Problem-Solving Mechanism

4:30pm, October 8th, 2019

Democracies set policy through broad input channeled through institutions. Those institutions shape the scope of the information that is generated by the population. When federalism is robust, states have sufficient independence to express their diverse perspectives, knowledge, and expertise on policymaking, contributing to the richness of the information space.

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October 2019

Seminar

Jenna Bednar: Federalism as a Collective Problem-Solving Mechanism

4:30pm, October 8th, 2019
Strand Building S.31

Democracies set policy through broad input channeled through institutions. Those institutions shape the scope of the information that is generated by the population. When federalism is robust, states have sufficient independence to express their diverse perspectives, knowledge, and expertise on policymaking, contributing to the richness of the information space.

Public Lecture

Elizabeth Anderson Lecture on The Work Ethic: Its Origins, Legacy, and Future

6:30pm, October 17th, 2019
Bush House Lecture Theatre 2 (4.03)

The work ethic was invented by Puritan ministers in the 17th century.  At the turn of the 20th century, sociologist Max Weber argued that it trapped workers in an “iron cage” of meaningless drudgery for the sake of interminable wealth accumulation.  In the 21st century, anarchist anthropologist David Graeber has condemned it for consigning workers to “bullshit jobs.”  They are only half right. REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

Seminar

Elizabeth Anderson Seminar on Private Government

2:00pm, October 18th, 2019
Bush House North East Wing 9.03

We normally think of government as something only the state does, yet many of us are governed far more—and far more obtrusively—by the private government of the workplace. In this provocative and compelling book, Elizabeth Anderson argues that the failure to see this stems from long-standing confusions. These confusions explain why, despite all evidence to the contrary, we still talk as if free markets make workers free—and why so many employers advocate less government even while they act as dictators in their businesses.

November 2019

Seminar

Shelby Grossman: The Politics of Order in Informal Markets

4:30pm, November 7th, 2019
Location TBA

Property rights are important for economic exchange, but in much of the world they are not publicly guaranteed. Private market associations can fill this gap by providing an institutional structure to enforce agreements, but with this power comes the ability to extort from group members. Under what circumstances do private associations provide a stable environment for economic activity?

Seminar

Mark Bevir: Governance, A Genealogy

6:30pm, November 14th, 2019
Bush House Lecture Theatre 2 (4.03)

This paper focuses on the intellectual sources of the transformation of the state. It suggests that modernist social science informed the main narratives of the crisis of the administrative and welfare state in the 1970s, and modernist social science also inspired the waves of public sector reform that responded to this crisis.

Seminar

Volha Charnysh on Migration, Diversity, and Economic Development: Legacies of Post-WWII Displacement

4:30pm, November 21st, 2019
Location TBA

Dr. Charnysh’s research focuses on historical political economy, legacies of violence, nation- and state-building, and ethnic politics. Her book project examines the long-run effects of forced migration in the aftermath of World War II in Eastern Europe, synthesizing several decades of micro-level data collected during a year of fieldwork in Poland, funded by the Social Science Research Council and Center for European Studies. 

December 2019

Public Lecture

Cristina Bicchieri Public Lecture

6:30pm, December 5th, 2019
Location TBA

Cristina Bicchieri is the S.J.P. Harvie Professor of Social Thought and Comparative Ethics in the Philosophy and Psychology Departments at the University of Pennsylvania, professor of Legal Studies in the Wharton School, and director of the Philosophy, Politics and Economics program. She is a leader in the field of behavioral ethics and is the director of the Behavioral Ethics Lab (BeLab) at the University of Pennsylvania.

January 2020

Seminar

David Thunder: Sovereign Rule and the Still-Birth of Freedom

4:30pm, January 23rd, 2020
Location TBA

Many modern political theorists, from Hobbes to Rawls, fail to grasp the intimate dependence of human freedom on the complex organization and culture of a wide range of social groups. Once we reject individualistic social ontologies along with the modern doctrines of political sovereignty that they support, we are able to make a fresh start and more adequately investigate what sort of institutional and cultural conditions are likely to support what I call the “freedom to flourish.”

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