Past Events

March 7, 2014




Stephen Krasner is the Graham H. Stuart Professor of International Studies, the Senior Associate Dean for the Social Sciences, School of Humanities & Sciences, and the deputy director of FSI.  A former director of CDDRL, Krasner is also an FSI senior fellow, and a fellow of the Hoover Institution.

From February 2005 to April 2007 he served as the Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department. While at the State Department, Krasner was a driving force behind foreign assistance reform designed to more effectively target American foreign aid. He was also involved in activities related to the promotion of good governance and democratic institutions around the world.

March 5, 2014

We introduce a newly collected data set that captures the ideological preferences of nearly 400,000 American lawyers and judges who have made campaign contributions in recent decades. We use this data set to address two interrelated questions. First, we examine the overall ideological distribution of American attorneys, finding that the legal profession tilts to the ideological left – even when compared to other similarly educated professions. Second, we examine those individuals who are, or later went on to become, state or federal judges. We find that the ideological distribution of U.S. judges does not reflect the left-leaning distribution of lawyers, instead closely resembling the bimodal ideological distributions found among other (elected) branches of government.

March 3, 2014

Why are there strong geographic patterns in the distribution of per capita GDP, democracy and autocracy, and human capital around the world? Why do these geographic patterns overlap?

The answer is that basic geographic features of regions exerted a powerful impact on societies’ fundamental institutions, and those institutions then sent those societies down quite different paths of economic and political development.

February 28, 2014



Christopher Kutz joined the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at Boalt Hall in 1998. He clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and was a visiting professor at Columbia and Stanford law schools.

February 28, 2014

Emilie Hafner-Burton is a professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and director of the School’s new Laboratory on International Law and Regulation.  Looking across a wide array of issues from environment and energy to human rights, trade and security, the Laboratory explores when (and why) international laws actually work.

February 26, 2014

Since the work of Campbell (1960), much political science research has assumed that (1) that voters have consistent rank-order interest in elections and (2) an individual's likelihood of voting is a persistent latent trait. Using turnout panel data on 2 million American voters from 1996 and 2012, this paper provides the most systematic examination to date of “concentric circle” models of turnout. We derive an Item Response Theory estimator for the concentric circle model of voting and then apply it to the strict Campbell model, as well as extensions that test whether claims (1) and (2) hold.

February 24, 2014

The Treaty of Lisbon reformed the budgetary procedure of the European Union (EU). This paper describes the key changes and presents a game-theoretical analysis of the annual budgetary procedure. Our focus is on the implications of these changes for the budgetary powers of the European Parliament (EP). Against the common belief that the budgetary powers of the EP were strengthened as a result of the Lisbon Treaty, our analysis paints a somewhat more sober assessment of its budgetary empowerment as a result of the reform. We find that the budgetary procedure operates much like the ordinary legislative procedure. However, unlike in the ordinary legislative procedure, there is a real risk of failure to agree.

February 21, 2014





Melissa Lee is a PhD candidate studying international relations and comparative politics. Her dissertation seeks to explain why some developing states have been successful at closing domestic sovereignty gaps while other states remain unable to exercise authority over some or all parts of their territory. She is a former researcher with the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy, and Security. She holds a Graduate Research Fellowship with the National Science Foundation and a Global Underdevelopment Action Grant from the Freeman Spogli Institute.

February 19, 2014

Political elites have increasingly moved to the ideological extremes. But the public at large is still mostly moderate. Thus, rank and file partisans today are ideologically distant not only from the leaders of the opposing party, but also from the leaders of their own party. Still, partisans continue to feel warmly toward the party they identify with, and (as we show) its leaders. What explains this continued warmth? We find that distorted perceptions of party and party leaders' positions and a partisan accounting of known differences on policy are partly responsible. Partisans perceive their own parties to be ideologically proximate to them.