Melissa Schwartzberg Public Lecture: “What Do Jurors Know?”


Why retain a jury system? Professional judges could render reliable and impartial judgments, and most citizens dread the prospect of jury service. In this lecture, Melissa Schwartzberg argues that the value of the jury is usually misunderstood: lay jurors provide crucial local knowledge.

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New Video Recording: Stateless Commerce: A Lecture by Barak Richman

In this talk, Barak Richman will describe what is known about stateless commercial networks, how to understand them within the context of modernity, and what limits they reveal about the modern state.  He will then explore new questions about how stateless networks and their host polities adapt, co-evolve, and suffer decline.


New Video Recording: A Golden Age of Barbarians? A Lecture by James C. Scott

In this lecture, James C. Scott challenges dominant historical narratives about non-state populations. He argues that by dominating trade routes, extracting tribute, and providing the connective tissue between large population centers, “barbarian” life was in general freer, more leisurely, healthier, and, contra Hobbes, less violent than life in the centers of civilization.


New Video Recording: On Political Parties By Ian Shapiro

In this talk, Professor Ian Shapiro discusses the purposes of political parties, distinguishing clientelist conceptions of parties as seeking benefits for members that Madison feared from the view Burke championed: that parties seek to govern in the public interest—if from inescapably partisan points of view.