‘The Dysfunctional Senate’

WUSTL Congressional expert Smith to present series of three lectures in November

Against a backdrop of harsh partisan political rancor, Steven S. Smith, PhD, the Kate M. Gregg Distinguished Professor of Social Sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, will present a series of three lectures in November on “The Dysfunctional Senate.”


The lectures, which are free and open to the public, are as follows:

  • “The History of the Senate: A Special Role in the American System?” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, in Anheuser-Busch Hall Room 204. This lecture will highlight five stories on the development of modern Senate procedural practices.
  • “The Contemporary Senate: Clubby, Individualistic, and Partisan” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in Anheuser-Busch Hall Room 204. Trends in the modern Senate from the mid-20th century until the present will be the focus of this lecture.
  • “The Future of the Senate: The Case for Reform” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, in the Moot Courtroom at Anheuser-Busch Hall. This lecture looks at the procedural “centerism” in which the modern Senate finds itself and proposals for reform.

Smith, director of WUSTL’s Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, is a noted national expert on congressional politics and the country’s foremost expert on filibuster. He has written seven books on the U.S. Congress and has worked on Capitol Hill in several capacities.

He has served as a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

For more information or to register, visit the Weidenbaum Center’s website at wc.wustl.edu or call Melinda Warren at (314) 935-5652.