Barton Lee

Barton E. Lee is an Assistant Professor and Chair of Political Economy and eDemocracy at ETH Zürich and an Affiliate Fellow at the Stigler Center at Chicago Booth. Previously, he was a Junior Research Fellow at Magdalen College, University of Oxford.

Is a Gridlocked Congress Causing More Polarization?

In new research, Marc Jacob, Barton E. Lee and Gabriele Gratton argue that legislative gridlock is not only a consequence of Congress’ polarization but also a cause of it. In sum, both polarization and gridlock fuel one another generating a vicious spiral toward political mire.

Responses to Populism Require Understanding Why Voters Lose Faith in Experts

Expert civil servants devise ever more sophisticated policies to tackle emergencies such as climate change. But when voters lose faith in experts, they vote for anti-elite populist leaders who promise to drain the swamp in the civil service. Gabriele Gratton and Barton E. Lee write that understanding populist voters’ calculations and mistrust is key to designing democratic institutions that can address the most pressing challenges of our times.

Governments Were Forced to Restrict Civil Liberties to Deal With Covid-19. More Flexible Constitutions Could Prevent That From Becoming the New Normal

A new paper argues that exploitation of gaps within democratic constitutions during emergencies, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, has the potential to erode democracies...

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