The Political Power of Bad Ideas: Insights into Russia's Alcohol-Control Legislation
January's Russia Health Working Group meeting features Dr. Mark Shrad, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science av Villanova University. In his most recent book, The Political Power of Bad Ideas: Networks, Institutions, and the Global Prohibition Wave, Dr. Mark Schrad uses the diffusion of alcohol-control legislation in the early twentieth century to make an argument about how bad policy ideas achieve international success. Schrad describes this situation through an institutionalist approach focusing on case studies from the United States, Sweden, and Russia/the USSR. These case studies expose the dynamic interaction of ideas and political institutions and explains how institutions permit ideas to gain influence.
Schrad uses the context of his book to also offer insights into president Medvedev's current anti-alcohol initiative in Russia, and the challenges and opportunities this creates for policy makers.
The meeting is moderated by Judyth Twigg, Director of the Eurasia Health Project at CSIS. An audio podcast of the event will be available on our website.