Jenna L. Bednar
Research Professor, CPS
Professor, LSA Political Science
Dr. Bednar's research combines positive political theory and systems theory to study how formal institutions remain effective in complex environments, such as laws, electoral rules or constitutions. Her work examines how institutional interactions can improve functionality and enable systemic response to perturbations. She also explores how the interplay between culture and institutions contributes to social achievements. Dr. Bednar's research includes a book, The Robust Federation, and several papers that address the robustness of federal systems, as well as theoretical and experimental work on cultural evolution and institutional performance. She has also driven her ideas into more applied realms, such as campaign contributions, transboundary water systems and environmental sustainability, through essays, an empirical paper and public policy-related projects. Dr. Bednar currently holds the position of Edie N. Goldenberg Endowed Director of the Michigan in Washington Program, for 2017-2022.
- Bednar, Jenna L., and Scott E. Page. 2018. "When Order Affects Performance: Culture, Behavioral Spillovers, and Institutional Path Dependence." American Political Science Review 112(1): 82-98.
- Smaldino, Paul E., Marco A. Janssen, Vicken Hillis, and Jenna L. Bednar. 2017. "Adoption as a social marker: Innovation diffusion with outgroup aversion." Journal of Mathematical Sociology 41(1): 26-45.
- Bednar, Jenna L., and Scott E. Page. 2016. "Complex Adaptive Systems and Comparative Politics: Modeling the Interaction between Institutions and Culture." Chinese Political Science Review 1(3): 448-471.
- Bednar, Jenna L., Andrea Jones-Rooy, and Scott E. Page. 2015. "Choosing a future based on the past: Institutions, behavior, and path dependence." European Journal of Political Economy 40: 312-332.
- Bednar, Jenna L., Scott E. Page, and Jameson L. Toole. 2012. "Revised-Path Dependence." Political Analysis 20(2): 146-156.
- Bednar, Jenna L., Yan Chen, Tracy Xiao Liu, and Scott E. Page. 2012. "Behavioral spillovers and cognitive load in multiple games: An experimental study." Games and Economic Behavior 74(1): 12-31.
- Bednar, Jenna L., J. Hagan, K. L. Scheppele, and T. R. Tyler. 2011. "The Political Science of Federalism." Annual Review of Law and Social Science 7: 269-288.