Author Archive

Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey

Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey is Professor in Political Science in the Government Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she teaches courses in the politics of economic policy and legislative politics.

Her research interests are in political economy and quantitative textual analysis. By measuring the words, arguments and deliberation of politicians and policy makers, she aims to gauge the extent to which ideas, interests and institutions shape political behavior.

She is author and editor of several books on trade policy and monetary policy. Her most recent book, Deliberating Monetary Policy, seeks to examine the role and influence of deliberation in US monetary policy in two institutional settings—the decision making body itself (the Federal Open Market Committee) and the congressional oversight committees (House and Senate). In her earlier book ( From the Corn Laws to Free Trade: Interests, Ideas, and Institutions in Historical Perspective) she uses a variety of methodological tools to gauge both qualitative and quantitative data from the nineteenth century to resolve the long-standing puzzle of Britain's policy shift to free trade. She has published many articles on nineteenth century trade policy, as well as on more contemporary topics, like political rhetoric on US national security by George Bush and John Kerry, civil religion in presidential rhetoric, and US Senate debates on partial-birth abortion. These appear in the American Political Science Review, World Politics, the British Journal of Political Science, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Political Analysis, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Parliamentary History. She is also interested in the role that gender plays in professional careers—and on that topic, she has been collaborating with physicians from Harvard Medical School (with an initial article on this in the journal, Medical Education).

Iain and I both spent a great deal of time researching on and writing about Britain’s Repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 (McLean 2001; Schonhardt-Bailey 2006). The first question that comes to mind when one reflects on this fact is, why? More specifically, why would any modern political scientist find this specific episode in British history to be worthy of extensive academic study? As I write this, let me note that one of the lead articles in this week’s Economist draws upon the lessons of Repeal to explore the current challenges to free trade in America’s 2016 presidential campaign, namely that freer trade creates both winners and losers.[1] Of course, The Economist prides itself as originating in 1843, as …