Past Events

Each year The Pearson Institute hosts a variety of lectures, workshops and seminars. Unless noted otherwise, all events are held on the University of Chicago campus.


Fall Quarter International Policy and Development Workshop

The Harris School of Public Policy and The Pearson Institute present the fall quarter International Policy and Development Workshop. This workshop will be led by Andrew Lavali, Executive Director of the Institute for Governance Reform (Sierra Leone) and will examine governance, civic engagement, and corruption in the context of Sierra Leone and weak states more broadly.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

12:30-4:30 PM

Keller Center Sky Suite



Midwest to the Middle East and Beyond: Evidence-based Approaches to Working with Conflict-affected Populations

Join The Pearson Institute and Rotary International for an evening of case study presentations and a moderated panel discussion. Hear from scholars and practitioners whose work with conflict-affected populations provides us insight into evidence-based approaches that examine not only the causes of conflict but how to mitigate consequences. Their collective field experience spans the globe from Chicago to Afghanistan, and beyond. The panel discussion will be moderated by University of Chicago Assistant Professor of Political Science and Pearson Faculty Affiliate Ben Lessing and will feature the following speakers: Aimee Hilado, Founding Manager/Director, RefugeeOne Wellness Program, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Northeastern Illinois University, ZERO TO THREE Fellow; Pamina Firchow, Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution and Coexistence, Brandeis University, Rotary Peace Scholar Alum; Jeannie Annan, Chief Research and Innovation Officer, Airbel Impact Lab, The International Rescue Committee, Senior Research Associate, Harris Public Policy and The Pearson Institute. A cocktail reception will immediately follow the event.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

6:00 - 7:30 PM

Keller Center Forum



The Corridor of Liberty or the Road to Ruin?

Political and economic freedom has been a revolutionary development in society. There has been a misconception that liberty is natural and exists within a steady state. Historically, states have either been too weak to protect individuals or too strong for people to protect themselves from authoritarianism. Liberty emerges only when an intricate balance is struck between the power of the state and the power of the people, yet the corridor to liberty has become increasingly narrower in recent years. Join Institute Director and University Professor James Robinson for a discussion of how liberty flourishes in some states but falls to totalitarianism in others. Copies of his and Daron Acemoglu’s latest book, The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty will be available for purchase and signing from the Book Cellar.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

5:30 - 6:30 PM

Chicago Council on Global Affairs Conference Center; McCormick Foundation Hall; 130 East Randolph Street


James Robinson in Ukraine

Institute Director James Robinson presents themes from his internationally bestselling book, Why Nations Fail, at an event in Ukraine.