Panel Explores Challenges to Political Accountability

A panel of national- and state-level scholars will discuss political accountability in the 21st century at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy on Wednesday, March 20.

The panel discussion, “Who Does Government Work For?”, begins at 5:15 p.m. in the Fleishman Commons and is free and open to the public. Five panelists will discuss what factors affect how accountable our political institutions are and who they are accountable to, including mass media and big money.

The event, sponsored by the Scholars Strategy Network of the Research Triangle, will conclude with an audience question-and-answer period, followed by a reception.

Panelists include Brendan Nyhan, assistant professor of government at Dartmouth College; Meredith Sadin, Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University and statistician for OFA Analytics; Mac McCorkle, associate professor at Sanford; Alexandra Sirota, director of the NC Budget and Tax Center; and Martin Gilens, professor of politics at Princeton. Gilens’ new book, “Affluence & Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America,” will be on sale at the event.

“Holding politicians accountable is one of the central challenges in a democratic society,” said Sanford assistant professor Nick Carnes, event organizer and moderator. “If we’re going to tackle some of the big problems facing our political process, we’ve got to continue encouraging scholars, stakeholders and engaged citizens to put their heads together.”

Scholars Strategy Network of the Research Triangle is a new chapter of a national organization dedicated to promoting good government by building connections between scholars, journalists, stakeholders and engaged citizens. 

Event parking is available at the Science Drive or Bryan Center visitor lots for a fee. The event is not ticketed and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The event can also be viewed online at  For more information, contact Mary Lindsley at (919) 613-7312 or