Past Events

October 4, 2013



Vivek Chibber is Professor of Sociology at New York University.  He was born in India and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1999.  He is author of Locked in Place: State-Building and Late Industrialization in India, (Princeton: 2003),  and most recently,  Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital, (Verso: 2013).



September 30, 2013

This study uses experimental methods to evaluate two of the most widely-used strategies for managing ethnic diversity: (1) assimilationist strategies, which encourage the creation of superordinate social identities to reduce the salience of ethnic differences, and (2) multiculturalist strategies, which entail the construction of shared intergroup beliefs that ackn

September 27, 2013








June 3, 2013

Dustin Tingley is an Assistant Professor of Government at Harvard University. He received my PhD in Politics from Princeton in 2010 and BA from the University of Rochester in 2001. His research interests include international relations, international political economy, and experimental approaches to political science. He is currently working on new experimental projects on bargaining, new methods for the statistical analysis of causal mechanisms, and a book about the domestic politics of US foreign policy.

May 31, 2013

Arthur Ripstein is Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Toronto, and Chair of the Department of Philosophy. He was appointed to the Department of Philosophy in 1987, promoted to full professor in 1996, and appointed to the Faculty of Law in 1999. He received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, a degree in law from Yale, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba.

May 31, 2013

What explains why democracy emerges in some places but not others? Scholarship on ‘endogenous’ democratization has in recent years shifted attention away from the hypothesized impact of economic growth on regime change, and turned to consider the political consequences of different patterns of equal and unequal growth. These ‘redistributivist’ arguments highlight a supposed tension between democracy and property, suggesting that economic inequality forestalls regime change because it implies that under universal suffrage, the poor would vote to redistribute wealth. We suggest such arguments are theoretically misleading and miss the mark empirically, and offer a novel theoretical alternative that links patterns of inequality to patterns of regime change over time and across space. Our argument emphasizes the compatibility between democracy and property: In our view income inequality does not signify that the rich have more to fear from the poor, but that the rich have more to fear from those who control the state. Democracy is about taxation with representation - whether rising but politically disenfranchised economic groups have sufficient resources to compete for control over the levers of government.

May 24, 2013

This paper offers some critical considerations from the perspective of an epistemic deliberative democrat on the recent Icelandic experiment in constitution writing. While the novelty of the experiment and its on-going nature presents a challenge to the observer, it is nonetheless possible to say a few things about the likely epistemic properties of the chosen institutional design. I argue that the constitutional writing process is likely to have produced a good constitution—that is a constitution meeting objective standards of quality—to the extent that it strived for inclusiveness through various methods, such as direct popular participation at various stages of the process, descriptive representation or something close to it where direct participation wasn’t feasible, and relative transparency. The paper also discusses some epistemic weaknesses in the process that could have damaged it and speculates about the alternative ways in which the experiment could have been conducted or at least tweaked so as to be more properly inclusive.

May 24, 2013

This study uses a randomized field experiment to evaluate two widely-used classes of strategies for minimizing the social costs and realizing the economic benefits from ethnic diversity: (1) assimilationist strategies, which encourage the construction of superordinate social identities (e.g., based on a team, religion, or nation) and (2) multiculturalist strategies, which entail the construction of shared intergroup beliefs that acknowledge the value of each group's culture. The experimental results from Kenya indicate that, in ethnically diverse groups, multiculturalist approaches enhance creativity and improve performance in intellective tasks like problem-solving, but assimilationist approaches are more effective at improving prospects for interethnic cooperation. Moreover, in those cases where diversity produces productivity gains, the effects are non-monotonic, such that there exists an optimal amount of diversity. These results provide an empirical foundation for adjudicating between competing strategies for managing diversity in multicultural societies.