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Book Launch

CANCELLED | Book Launch | Forged Through Fire: War, Peace, and the Democratic Bargain

02/09 Thursday | 6pm

This event is cancelled due to inclement weather, and will be rescheduled for a later date.

The Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU invites you to join us for the book launch of John Ferejohn and Frances Rosenbluth’s Forged Through Fire: War, Peace, and the Democratic Bargain. The authors will be in discussion with Helen Milner and David Stasavage.

Peace, many would agree, is a goal that democratic nations should strive to achieve. But is democracy, in fact, dependent on war to survive? Having spent their celebrated careers exploring this question, John Ferejohn and Frances McCall Rosenbluth’s Forged Through Fire trace the surprising ways in which governments have mobilized armies since antiquity, discovering that our modern form of democracy not only evolved in a brutally competitive environment but also quickly disintegrated when the powerful elite no longer needed their citizenry to defend against existential threats.

Like Francis Fukuyama and Jared Diamond’s most acclaimed works, Forged Through Fire reflects on the modern world, where the “tug of war” between the powerful and the powerless continues to play out in profound ways. With American democracy’s flanks now exposed, this urgent examination explores the conditions under which war has promoted one of the most cherished human inventions: a government of the people, by the people, for the people.


John Ferejohn is the Samuel Tilden Professor of Law at New York University. His primary areas of scholarly interest are political theory and the study of political institutions and behavior. His current research focuses on Congress, constitutional adjudication in the United States and Europe as well as separation of powers.

Frances McCall Rosenbluth is the Damon Wells Professor of Political Science at Yale University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a comparative political economist with interests in war and constitutions, Japanese politics and political economy, and the political economy of gender.

Helen Milner is the B. C. Forbes Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and Director of the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at the Woodrow Wilson School. She has written extensively in the areas of comparative political economy, connections between domestic and foreign policy, globalization and regionalism, and the relationship between democracy and trade. She is author or editor of twelve books, including most recently Sailing the Waters Edge: Domestic Politics and American Foreign Policy, with Dustin Tingley.

David Stasavage is the Julius Silver Professor of Politics and History and New York University. He is the author of dozens of articles on European state formation, political history, and the role of public debt, as well as the three books, the most recent of which is last year’s Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe.

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