David W. Brady

Professor Emeritus, Political Economy
+1 (650) 723-9702

David W. Brady

Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus

Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and at SIEPR, and of Political Science, Emeritus
Academic Area:

Research Statement

David Brady’s research focuses on the American Congress, the party system, and public policy. He is at present working on a book on the electoral base of party parity in the United States and its effects on polarization and gridlock in the policy arena. He has published eight books and more than 100 papers in journals and books. Among his most recent publications are Leadership and Growth (World Bank Publications, 2010) coedited with Michael Spence, Revolving Gridlock: Politics and Policy from Carter to Bush II (Westview Press, 2006), and Red and Blue Nation? Characteristics and Causes of America’s Polarized Politics with Pietro Nivola (Brookings Institution Press, 2007).


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.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, University of Iowa, 1970
  • MA, University of Iowa, 1967
  • BS, Western Illinois University, 1963

Academic Appointments

  • 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
  • Assistant 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


Journal Articles


Book Chapters

Working Papers

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

Insights by Stanford Business

School News