Professor Max Stearns – Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy

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Summer Author Series

Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy

Join us on Monday June 10th at 4:00PM as we welcome returning guest speaker Professor Maxwell Stearns, Venable, Baetjer & Howard Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

Dr. Michael Kryzanek, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Bridgewater State University, will serve as interlocutor with Max Stearns.

Max Stearns’s book Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy will be discussed.

This event is free to attend.  Reserve your seat below today.

book; Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy

Americans face increasingly stark choices each presidential election and a growing sense that our government can’t solve the nation’s most urgent challenges. Our eighteenth-century system is ill suited to our twenty-first-century world. Information-age technology has undermined our capacity to face common problems together and turned our democracy upside down, with gerrymanders letting representatives choose voters rather than voters choosing them. In Parliamentary America, Maxwell L. Stearns argues that the solution to these complex problems is a parliamentary democracy.

Stearns considers such leading alternatives as ranked choice voting, the national popular vote, and congressional term limits, showing why these can’t solve our constitutional crisis. Instead, three amendments―expanding the House of Representatives, having House party coalitions choose the president, and letting the House end a failing presidency based on no confidence―will produce a robust multiparty democracy. These amendments hold an essential advantage over other proposals: by leaving every member of the House and Senate as incumbents in their districts or states, the amendments provide a pressure-release valve against reforms threatening that status.

Stearns takes readers on a world tour―England, France, Germany, Israel, Taiwan, Brazil, and Venezuela―showing what works in government, what doesn’t, and how to make the best features our own. Genuine party competition and governing coalitions, commonplace across the globe, may seem like a fantasy in the United States. But we can make them a reality. This rare book offers an optimistic vision, explaining in accessible terms how to transform our troubled democracy into a thriving parliamentary America.

Author Max Stearns


Maxwell L. Stearns (BALTIMORE, MD) is the Venable, Baetjer & Howard Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. He applies the methodologies of economics, broadly defined, to study private and public law, along with institutional decision-making processes. His work combines such tools as neoclassical economics, interest group theory, social choice, and game theory, among others, to study legal doctrines and lawmaking systems. Much of his work centers on structural aspects of constitutional decision making in the Supreme Court, along with such specific doctrines as standing, the commerce clause, and equal protection.

Professor Stearns is also author of Constitutional Process: A Social Choice Analysis of Supreme Court Decision Making (University of Michigan Press, paperback edition 2002), which provides a systematic analysis of how collective decision-making processes shape doctrines and case outcomes in the Supreme Court.

Professor Stearns’s scholarly articles appear in leading academic journals: Yale Law JournalUniversity of Pennsylvania Law ReviewCalifornia Law ReviewStanford Law ReviewGeorgetown Law JournalNotre Dame Law ReviewVanderbilt Law Review, and The University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. During the COVID pandemic, Professor Stearns created, and he continues to run, the Virtual Constitutional Law & Economics Workshop, bringing together leading interdisciplinary scholars throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He also blogs at on law, politics, and culture.

Author Max Stearns


Dr. Kryzanek is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and currently Special Assistant to the President of Bridgewater State University for Global Engagement and University Priorities. He received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. From 2016-2019 Dr. Kryzanek was the Academic Director in the Public Management Institute for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that brought 25 Fellows to the campus as Mandela Fellows. Currently, Dr. Kryzanek is working on a civic education project associated with the Plymouth 400 celebration to begin in 2020. Dr. Kryzanek is formerly the Executive Director of the Minnock Center for International Engagement at Bridgewater State.

He is the author of eight books on U.S. foreign policy, American government and comparative politics. His latest book, written with his daughter Dr. Ann Karreth, is 25 Issues That Shape American Politics: Debates, Differences and Divisions. Dr. Kryzanek is the board chair of Fr. Bill’s and Mainspring, the largest homeless organization on the South Shore and Vice President of the Rotary Club of the Bridgewater. He lives in Whitman with his wife Carol. They have three daughters and four grandchildren.


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