Harnessing Politics to Fix Politics


Wednesday, October 14, 2009 (All day)


124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Heather Gerken, Yale Law School

About the Seminar
At this seminar, Professor Heather Gerken will call for an institutional turn in elections scholarship. While scholars of elections have long been preoccupied with the problem of political self-interest, they have focused too narrowly in identifying the problem and failed to think broadly enough about potential solutions. Professor Gerken will describe what this shift in emphasis would involve, charting new paths for future research. Specifically, she will discuss a set of institutional interventions and new political structures that would align leadership incentives properly with the public interest while promoting democratic participation and engagement with the central questions of election reform. While the projects and methodologies she describes will be eclectic, her arguments will be united by a single theme: we need to harness politics to fix politics.

You can watch an introductory video here.

You can watch the seminar here.

About Heather Gerken
Professor Gerken is the J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

About the Democracy Seminar Series
The Democracy Seminar Series brings distinguished speakers to Harvard Kennedy School for the academic year to address critical challenges facing democratic governance.