Melissa Schwartzberg

Associate Professor of Political Science and Classics

Columbia University

Melissa Schwartzberg (Ph.D., New York University, 2002) is a political theorist whose research centers on the historical origins and normative consequences of rules governing democratic decision-making.  Her first book, Democracy and Legal Change, retrieves and defends the historically salient view that democracies regularly change their laws, while examining the circumstances in which democracies have enacted immutable rules. She is currently completing a second book, Counting the Many: The Origins and Limits of Supermajority Rule, and is beginning to conduct research on the democratic pedigree of the jury.

She also has special interests in ancient Greek institutions and political thought, and in modern political thought concerning institutional design, especially that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Jeremy Bentham. Her articles have appeared in the American Political Science Review, Journal of the History of Ideas, Journal of Political Philosophy, and Political Theory, among other journals.  She is currently executive co-director of the Association for Political Theory (2010-2013). From 2002-2006, she was an assistant professor of political science at The George Washington University.