Northwestern Events Calendar


Global Theory Workshop: The Scope of Legislative Bargaining

When: Monday, May 16, 2022
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM Central

Where: Scott Hall, Room 201, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student

Contact: Stephen Monteiro   (847) 491-7451

Group: Department of Political Science

Category: Academic


Please join the Global Theory Workshop as they host Dr. Melissa Schwartzberg from New York University. 

Abstract: This is chapter 4 of a book manuscript, Democratic Bargaining. Broadly, the motivation of the book is as Political scientists typically assume that bargains – grand and prosaic – shape political outcomes. The distribution of bargaining power explains the design of constitutions, party coalitions, legislation, judicial opinions, and presidential politics. Political theorists tend to worry that bargained-for outcomes are unjustified, because they emerge from and reify inequalities, and because they derive from the exercise of sublimated force, rather than from reasoned deliberation. When political theorists concede that bargains explain outcomes, even if they cannot justify them, they also often object that appeal to such explanations tend to mask complacency with the status quo. First emerging in response to the pluralists of the 1950s and 1960s, this claim drove a wedge between political scientists and political theorists, one that persists to this day.

Melissa Schwartzberg is the Silver Professor of Politics at New York University, specializing in political theory; she is also affiliated faculty in the Department of Classics and in the NYU School of Law. Professor Schwartzberg's primary research interests are in the historical origins and normative logic of democratic institutions, with special focus on ancient Greek institutions and on the history of ideas about democracy, both ancient and modern.

Professor Schwartzberg is the author of Counting the Many: The Origins and Limits of Supermajority Rule (Cambridge University Press, 2014), winner of the 2016 Spitz Prize (International Conference for the Study of Political Thought) for the best book in liberal or democratic theory.

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