The Anxieties of Democracy program is collaborating with Cambridge University Press to publish a series of edited volumes. The Anxieties of Democracy series features work from scholars involved in the program’s working groups and partnerships, and covers topics ranging from the performance of American governing institutions to the politics of economic insecurity.

At a fraught moment for democracies worldwide, the Anxieties of Democracy series brings together renowned scholars to probe the sources of current apprehensions about democracy and to explore how democratic regimes might thrive.

The first volume in the series, “Can America Govern Itself?” was published May 2019, and will be available for print in June 2019. Several other volumes are out for review.

The series is edited by John A. Ferejohn, Ira Katznelson, and Deborah J. Yashar.

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Published Volumes

“Can America Govern Itself?” (ed. Lee & McCarty, 2019)

“Can America Govern Itself?” brings together a diverse group of distinguished scholars to analyze how rising party polarization and economic inequality have affected the performance of American governing institutions. It is organized around two themes: the changing nature of representation in the United States; and how changes in the political environment have affected the internal processes of institutions, overall government performance, and policy outcomes. The chapters in this volume analyze concerns about power, influence and representation in American politics, the quality of deliberation and political communications, the management and implementation of public policy, and the performance of an eighteenth century constitution in today's polarized political environment. These renowned scholars provide a deeper and more systematic grasp of what is new, and what is perennial in challenges to democracy at a fraught moment.

“Can America Govern Itself?” was produced as a result of meetings, conversations, and efforts from the Anxieties of Democracy working group on Institutions.

The volume can be found online here, and will made available in print in June 2019.


Frances E. Lee
Professor of Government and Politics, University of Maryland

Nolan McCarty
Susan Dod Brown Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Other Contributors:

Kenneth Benoit (London School of Economics), Brandice Canes-Wrone (Princeton University), Anthony Chen(Northwestern University), James Curry (The University of Utah), Lee Drutman (New America Foundation), Nathan Gibson (Princeton University), Daniel Gillion (University of Pennsylvania), Matthew Grossman (Michigan State University), Peter Hanson (University of Denver), Timothy LaPira (James Madison University), Claire Leavitt (Cornell University), Suzanne Mettler (Cornell University), Kevin Munger (New York University), Gillian Metzger (Columbia University), Sam Rosenfeld (Colgate University), Daniel Schlozman (Johns Hopkins University), David Spence (University of Texas at Austin), and Arthur Spirling (New York University).