David W. Brady
Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus
Brady began his teaching career at Kansas State University in 1970, from there moved to Houston, Texas, where he taught at both the University of Houston and Rice University. In 1981, he was named Autry Distinguished Professor of Social Science at Rice University. In 1986, he moved to Stanford University with a joint appointment in Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Political Science Department at Stanford University. While at Stanford, he has served as associate dean for academic affairs in Stanford GSB and as vice provost for distance learning at Stanford University. He has twice been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987. He presently is the Davies Family Senior Fellow, Emeritus of the Hoover Institution.
Brady’s teaching focuses on nonmarket strategy for corporations and ethical applications in building quality companies. In addition to his business school teaching, he also teaches an undergraduate course in public policy. He won the Dinkelspiel Award for service to undergraduates, the Richard Lyman Prize for service to alumni, the Bob Davies Award and Silver Apple Award (now called the Robert K. Jaedicke Faculty Award) from Stanford GSB and the first Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award given at Stanford. Brady has been on continuing appointment at Stanford University since 1987. He was associate dean from 1997 to 2001 at Stanford University; a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences from 1985 to 1986 and again from 2001 to 2002; and the Autrey Professor at Rice University, 1980 to 1987.
His research focuses on the ties between elections, institutions (especially legislatures) and public policies. This work includes studies of American political history and comparative studies of Britain, Ireland, Korea, and Japan. His most recent project is a project on political responses to the second great transformation of the global economy.
- PhD, University of Iowa, 1970
- MA, University of Iowa, 1967
- BS, Western Illinois University, 1963
- At Stanford since 1987
- Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 2001–02
- Business School Trust Faculty Fellow, Stanford University, 1991–92
- Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 1985–86
- Autrey Professor, Rice University, 1980–87
- Associate Professor–Professor, University of Houston, 1972–79
- Assisstant Professor, Kansas State University, 1969–72
- C.I.C. Scholar, University of Michigan, 1964–65
Awards and Honors
- Elected Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2000
- Silver Apple Award, Stanford Graduate School Business, 1997
- Phi Beta Kappa Distinguished Teaching Award, Stanford, 1991
Programs and Non-Degree Courses
Stanford Case Studies
Service to the Profession
- Faculty Advisor, Public Management Program, 1998–present
- Vice President, American Political Science Association, 1995–present
- Acting Vice Provost, Learning Technologies and Extended Education, 1990–91
In the Media
A record number of Americans now perceive their government as ineffective. A Gallup poll taken in January found that “for the second consecutive year, dissatisfaction with government edged out the economy…as the nation’s top problem.” In May, a poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that “just 4 percent (of Americans) say they have a great deal of confidence in Congress,” and only “15 percent say they have a lot of confidence in the executive branch.” In a democratic republic, where governing institutions are designed to reflect and respond to the will of the people, such low grades speak to a corrosive sense of crisis. The public call for the government to “do something” has become commonplace.
Political instability, defined as volatility in electoral politics, is on the rise in Western democracies and shows no signs of abating. Granting the premise just for the moment, why is this happening? Political cultures are complex, with lots of moving parts and difficult-to-establish relationships between institutions, attitudes, material realities, and external influences. But in this case, the data suggest that the answer is relatively straightforward: The perturbations of globalization best explain the variance. As we shall see, those perturbations are large or small, and more or less politically disruptive, as a function mainly of institutional arrangements. But those differing institutional arrangements among democracies are not themselves the cause of the instability.