Jenna Bednar

External Professor

Jenna Bednar is professor of political science at the University of Michigan, a member of the external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute, and the Edie N. Goldenberg Endowed Director of Michigan in Washington.  Her research focuses on how collective action builds social goods and the role that government plays in that collaboration. Current work includes: robust system design, especially of federalism; states as innovators in federal systems; out of district campaign contributions; how culture affects the way people respond to laws and norms; transboundary water system governance; and governance to support human flourishing.  Her book The Robust Federation: Principles of Design was awarded the APSA Martha Derthick Best Book Award in recognition of its enduring contribution to the study of federalism.  In 2020, she was named Daniel Elazar Distinguished Federalism Scholar Award by the APSA Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations section.  She earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and M.A. and PhD from Stanford University.