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Public lectures and other activities during Jane Mansbridge’s visit to Uppsala

2018-09-11 by Michal Smrek

Jane Mansbridge, Charles F. Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, will be awarded the 2018 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science on September 29, 2018. During her stay, Professor Mansbridge will deliver two lectures to which the members of the public are cordially invited. The abstracts for both lectures can be found at the end of this article.


The first lecture entitled: “Recursive Representation” will take place on September 28 starting at 13:15 and will be held in Brusewitz Hall, Department of Government, Uppsala University. Prof. Mansbridge will hold a talk for 45 minutes which will be followed by a discussion lasting up to 30 minutes. Everyone is welcome to take part in the discussion. This lecture is open to the public but the number of seats is limited. All those who are interested in attending should fill out a compulsory attendance form: here. You will be informed via e-mail whether you have been granted a seat or whether you have been placed on the waiting list a week before the lecture at the latest.
The second lecture: “Legitimating Coercion”, will take place on September 29 starting at 18:00 and will be held in Hall X at the Main University Building. This is the traditional prize winner’s lecture that takes 30 minutes and no questions are entertained. As per custom, the prize winner’s lecture is open to the wide public. The admission is free of charge but the number of seats is limited. This is why, all the guests without a formal invitation are required to complete a compulsory sign up here. You will informed in good time whether you have been granted a seat or whether you have been placed on the waiting list.
Journalists will have a chance to meet Prof. Mansbridge in the early afternoon of September 29. Those who are interested should contact Michal Smrek at michal@skytteprize.com.

Lectures Summary:
September 28, 13:15-15:00: Recursive Representation (Brusewitz Hall, Department of Government): Modern communication makes the 18thcentury models of “trustee” and “delegate” representation obsolete. Today’s political circumstances require recursive representation, with much greater interaction between elected representatives and constituents. The representative becomes an interlocutor. Recursive representation also demands more iterative and reciprocal communication between citizens and administrators at both the policy-making and street levels. The seminar will describe the features of this new model and suggest practical ways of implementing it.

September 29, 18:00-18:40: Prize Winner’s Lecture: Legitimating Coercion (Hall X, Main University Building): Increasing interdependence both between nations and between the citizens of the same nation is creating a growing number of “collective action” or “free-rider” problems, pushing many democracies around the world into crisis. Free-rider problems must often be handled by increasing state coercion. So we face the dilemma of needing more coercion but not wanting it. To solve this problem, we must find ways of making the coercion we need more legitimate. Among many other strategies, we should adopt the key insight from forty years of negotiation research: “listening for the interests behind the positions.” This requires developing institutions that make such listening more likely. Legitimating our needed coercion is the most important political problem of the twenty-first century.