David Brady

Senior Fellow emeritus
Research Team: 
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

David Brady holds the Bowen H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Professor of Political Science in the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is a senior fellow emeritus at the Hoover Institution.  He has published seven books and more than a hundred papers in journals and books.  Among his most recent books are Leadership and Growth (World Bank Publications, 2010) 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).  His recent articles include “Why Is Health Care Reform So Difficult?” with Daniel Kessler, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, April 2010; “Putting the Public’s Money Where Its Mouth Is”  with Daniel Kessler, Health Affairs: The Policy Journal of the Health Sphere, August 2009, pages 917–25; “Leadership and Politics: A Perspective from the Growth Commission,” with Michael Spence, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 25, no. 2 (2009): 205–18; “The 2010 Elections: Why Did Political Science Forecasts Go Awry?” with Morris P. Fiorina and Arjun Wilkins, 2011.

Brady has been on continual appointment at Stanford University since 1986, where he has served as associate dean for Academic Affairs in the Graduate School of Business (GSB) and as vice provost for Distance Learning.  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 holds the Bowen H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Professorship in Ethics at the Business School and was deputy director of the Hoover Institution from 2004-2014.

During his teaching career, he won the Dinkelspiel Award for service to undergraduates, the Richard Lyman Prize for service to alumni, the Bob Davies Award and the Jaedicke Silver Cup from the GSB, and the first Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award given at Stanford.  He also won the George Brown Teaching Award at Rice University.

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Recent Commentary

Capitol Building

Polarization, Broken Government, and the 2014 National Election

by David Bradyvia Fellow Talks
Monday, May 5, 2014

David Brady, the deputy director and Davies Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, discusses the state of US governance in his talk entitled “Polarization, Broken Government, and the 2014 National Election.”

US Economy
Analysis and Commentary

Politics-Proof Economies?

by Michael Spence, David Bradyvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Governments’ inability to act decisively to address their economies’ growth, employment, and distributional challenges has emerged as a major source of concern almost everywhere. In the United States, in particular, political polarization, congressional gridlock, and irresponsible grandstanding have garnered much attention, with many worried about the economic consequences.

US Political Parties
Analysis and Commentary

Sure, Congress is Polarized. But Other Legislatures Are More So.

by David Bradyvia The Monkey Cage (Washington Post)
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

If polarization is an American problem, why is it higher in other countries?

Breaking Chain
Analysis and Commentary

Is the U.S. Government Really Broken?

by David Bradyvia Real Clear Politics
Monday, February 3, 2014

The shutdown of the federal government last fall exacerbated the cries of those who maintain that the U.S.

US Political Parties
Analysis and Commentary

Our Politics May Be Polarized. But That’s Nothing New.

by David Brady, Hahrie Hanvia The Monkey Cage (Washington Post)
Thursday, January 16, 2014

HIstorical data show that polarization is the norm in American politics.

Capitol Building
Analysis and Commentary

Why Are Governments Paralyzed?

by David Brady, Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It is no secret that the global economy is struggling. Europe is in the midst of a crisis whose root cause is a structurally flawed monetary and economic union. The United States, emerging slowly from a financial crisis and widespread deleveraging, is experiencing a growth slowdown, a persistent employment problem, an adverse shift in income distribution, and structural challenges, with little effective or decisive policy action.

2012 In Perspective: David Brady joins Russ Roberts on EconTalk

by David Bradyvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, July 23, 2012

Earlier this week, David Brady, Professor of Political Science and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, sat down with EconTalk host and Ho

Independents’ Day

by David Bradyvia Advancing a Free Society
Saturday, April 7, 2012

By David W. Brady and Douglas Rivers

New Hampshire voter John Hogan

Independents' Day

by David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 6, 2012

Win over those “none of the above” voters, and you win the White House. By David W. Brady and Douglas Rivers.

GOP Image
Analysis and Commentary

Will Independents Vote GOP In 2012?

by David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Survey data show it would be a mistake to assume that dissatisfaction with President Obama will translate into votes for GOP nominee...