PublicSquare Seminars

Elaine Kamarck gives a history of the presidential nomination system in the United States and how it differs from the nomination system in almost every other democracy in the world. In particular she discusses how and why the system changed dramatically from Eisenhower to Trump and what it means for the kinds of choices we get in November.

Elaine Kamarck is Senior Fellow in the Governance Studies program as well as the Director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution and Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is an expert on government innovation and reform in the United States and countries around the world. In addition, her research focuses on the presidential nomination system and American politics and she has participated actively in four presidential campaigns and ten nominating conventions. Kamarck is the author of Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know about How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates (updated edition, Brookings Institution Press, 2016) and Why Presidents Fail and How They Can Succeed Again. Her other publications include How Change Happens—or Doesn’t: The Politics of US Public Policy and The End of Government… As We Know It: Making Public Policy Work. She makes regular media appearances (ABC, CBS, NBC, the BBC, CNN, NPR, and Fox News Now) and writes articles on current political affairs, most recently “Reforming Government First Requires Understanding It,” The Atlantic (March 28, 2017). Kamarck received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Listen Now

Elaine Kamarck - January 2018

Seminar Readings

Elaine Kamarck, “Re-Inserting Peer Review in the American Presidential Nomination Process,” Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings (April, 2017)

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