A member of the University of Notre Dame political science faculty since 2012, Patrick Deneen is the David A. Potenziani Memorial Associate Professor of Constitutional Studies. He teaches and writes about the history of political thought, American political thought, religion and politics, and literature and politics. Books he has published on these subjects include The Odyssey of Political Theory, Democratic Faith, Democracy’s Literature, The Democratic Soul, and Redeeming Democracy in America.
Christina Wolbrecht, associate professor of political science, C. Robert and Margaret Hanley Family Director of the Notre Dame Washington Program, and director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame, teaches and writes about American politics, political parties, women and politics, and American political development. Now at work on a study of the first 100 years of women as voters in American politics, she is co-author, with J. Kevin Corder, of the recently published book Counting Women’s Ballots: Female Voters from Suffrage through the New Deal.
Ballot initiatives, those petition-driven public votes on contested issues, are often disparaged by liberals and conservatives alike for their avoidance of conventional representative democratic processes and their vulnerability to manipulation by well-financed and organized special interest groups. Nevertheless, according to Benjamin Radcliff, professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, people in states that rely more heavily on such initiatives are, on average, happier than people in other states.