Political Equality: Concept and Measurement

Tuesday, February 7, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to E008 in Encina Hall may attend in person.

Margaret Levi seminar

Our empirical and theoretical focus is on what constitutes political equality as "equal consideration" in advanced capitalist democracies. We claim that political inequality is a distinctive type of inequality. First, although affected by the factors that routinely go into thinking about social, economic and power inequality, it cannot be reduced to those factors. Second, its currency is performative, not only distributive. To make our case, we focus on three broad dimensions of political equality: participation, representation, and responsiveness. Although there is some research on each of these dimensions, influential commentators on political equality have tended to focus almost exclusively on political participation. We develop concepts and measurement for all three and then weigh the trade-offs among these dimensions.


Margaret Levi
Margaret Levi is a Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law (CDDRL) at the Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) at Stanford University. She is the former Sara Miller McCune Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) Levi is currently a faculty fellow at CASBS and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, co-director of the Stanford Ethics, Society and Technology Hub, and the Jere L. Bacharach Professor Emerita of International Studies at the University of Washington. She is the winner of the 2019 Johan Skytte Prize and the 2020 Falling Walls Breakthrough. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Association of Political and Social Sciences. She served as president of the American Political Science Association from 2004 to 2005. In 2014 she received the William H. Riker Prize in Political Science, in 2017 gave the Elinor Ostrom Memorial Lecture, and in 2018 received an honorary doctorate from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

She earned her BA from Bryn Mawr College in 1968 and her PhD from Harvard University in 1974, the year she joined the faculty of the University of Washington. Levi is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and seven books, including Of Rule and Revenue; Consent, Dissent, and Patriotism; Analytic Narratives; Cooperation Without Trust?; In the Interest of Others; and A Moral Political Economy.

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to E008 in Encina Hall may attend in person.