State of Democracy Previous Lectures

Making and Opposing War in Peacetime: American Democracy After 9/11

Sidney Tarrow

November 6, 2015

Sidney Tarrow is the Emeritus Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Government at Cornell University. Tarrow has his BA from Syracuse, his MA from Columbia, and his PhD from Berkeley. His work has covered a variety of interests, beginning with Italian communism (his first book was Peasant Communism in Southern Italy (Yale, 1967), then shifting to comparative communism in Communism in Italy and France (Princeton 1972, ed., with Donald L.M. Blackmer.

In the 1970s he made a long foray into comparative local politics (Between Center and Periphery, Yale 1978), before, in the 1980s, turning to a quantitative and qualitative reconstruction of Italian protest cycle of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, in Democracy and Disorder (Oxford, 1989), which received the prize for the best book in Collective Behavior and Social Movements from the American Sociological Association.

His most recent books are Transnational Protest and Global Activism (with Donatella della Porta, Rowman and Littlefield 2004), The New Transnational Activism (Cambridge 2005) and Contentious Politics(with Charles Tilly, Paradigm, 2006), Power in Movement (third edition, Cambridge, 2011), and Strangers at the Gates: States and Movements in Contentious Politics (Cambridge, 2012).

The Politics of Inequality in the United States: How does growing inequality in income affect political equality in the United States?

Martin Gilen, Princeton University
Christopher Faricy, Syracuse University, Maxwell
Spencer Piston, Syracuse University, Maxwell 
Amy Ellen Schwartz, Syracuse University, Maxwell

March 20, 2015

Does Citizenship Require Sacrifice?

Kristi Andersen, Chapple Family Professor of Citizenship and Democracy, Professor of Political Science
Walter Broadnax, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs
Tina Nabatchi, Associate Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs
Robert Rubinstein, Professor of Anthropology and International Relations
Moderated by Grant Reeher, Director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute

February 13, 2015

Almost everyone agrees that citizenship carries with it both rights and responsibilities.  But how far do the responsibilities extend?  Must individuals be willing to sacrifice something important in order to be good citizens?  Does good citizenship, rightly considered, necessarily involve some kind of meaningful sacrifice? Those questions are called here, among a panel of distinguished Maxwell School faculty with a wealth of varied personal, professional, and academic experiences related to the topic.

Can American Democracy Survive Corruption?

Zephyr Teachout, Professor of Law, Fordham University

November 14, 2014

An immensely talented and creative scholar, Professor Teachout brings a rich background in laws governing political behavior, both domestically and abroad, as well as the insights of her original work on corruption and its constitutional history. /p>

Teachout is the former National Director for the Sunlight Foundation, and was the Director of Internet Organizing for Howard Dean's Presidential campaign. Most recently she ran against Andrew Cuomo for the 2014 Democratic Party nomination for Governor of New York. Teachout is a political consultant for nonprofits, political campaigns, and citizen journalism.  She is the author of Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United.

This lecture is made possible through a generous gift from the Norman M. and Marsha Lee Berkman fund.

The Dispossessed: The Ethics of Refugee Policy

Joseph Carens, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto

September 19, 2014

Professor Carens is the author of Culture, Citizenship, and Community, which won the 2002 C. B. Macpherson Award, and quality, Moral Incentives and the Market.  In his latest book,The Ethics of Immigration, Carens illuminates one of the most pressing issues of our time. Immigration poses practical problems or western democracies and also challenges the ways in which people in democracies think about citizenship and belonging, about rights and responsibilities, and about freedom and equality. 

This lecture is made possible through a generous gift from the Norman M. and Marsha Lee Berkman fund.


The American Opportunity Agenda: Proposals to help more middle-class women gain financial security, by modernizing America's outdated workplace policies

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family

Madeleine M. Kunin, Former Vermont Governor

Can Democracy Cure Capitalism?

Richard Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts


Acting on Faith: Networking, Religion, and Progressive Politics

Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK, Washington, DC

This lecture is sponsored by the Norman M. and Marsha Lee Berkman Endowed Fund.

Can Politics Be Fixed?

Thomas Mann, Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution
Ira Shapiro, Former Senior Senate Staffer and Member of the Clinton Administration

The Real Romney

Michael Kranish, author, historian, and Washington correspondent for The Boston Globe


The Future of Conservatism

Arthur Brooks, President, AEI

This Lecture Sponsored by Marilyn Morris Malmuth '51.

The Future of Medicare

Jon Oberlander, Professor of Social Medicine and Health Policy & Management at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Democracy on Trial Revisited

Jean Bethke Elshtain, Professor of Social and Political Ethics in the University of Chicago


Anne Kornblut, White House correspondent for The Washington Post and author of Notes from the Cracked Ceiling

Roger Hardy, former Middle East and Islamic Affairs Analyst with the BBC World Service and author of The Muslim Revolt: A Journey Through Political Islam

Jon Trickett, Labour Member of Parliament, former Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former Mayor of Leeds


If You Want to Spread Democracy, You Have to Be One

Laura Nader, Professor of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley

Is the United States Headed for a Catastrophic Budget Failure?

Len Burman, Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs; Paul Volcker Chair in Behavioral Economics; Institute Fellow, Urban Institute

The Race Between Education and Technology

Claudia Goldin, Harvard University


The 2008-2009 series was sponsored by Betsy Levitt Cohn and Alan Cohn

What's New About Contemporary Immigration?

Nancy Foner

The Hard Truth: Too Many People Are Going to College

Charles Murray

The Race Between Education and Technology

Claudia Goldin, Harvard University


Michael E. Toner

James Hunter

Irshad Manji


Jacob Hacker

Shibley Telhami

Thomas Mann

Deborah Stone


Toby Moffett

Harvey C. Mansfield

2006 Constitution Day Lecture: Peter Schuck

Thomas Carothers


Michele Moody-Adams

E.J. Dionne

Michael Walzer


Jeffrey Rosen

Jonathan Schell

Kay Hymowitz