Kay Lawson
Professor Emerita of Political Science, San Francisco State University

Work in Progress

Lawson is now writing a book tentatively titled Pitfalls of Democracy. In addition to a general introduction and a conclusion,  this book will be divided in two parts:  Pitfalls En Route to Democracy and Pitfalls Within Democracy: De-democratization. She has identified 21 dangerous pitfalls for those seeking to establish and/or maintain democratic government. These dangers are common, serious, and often fatal. She will explain each, cite relevant scholarship, and illustrate with examples drawn from at least half the nations of the world. She expects publication no sooner than 2017.


She is also developing a political blog. The Human Polity is the title of Lawson’s best-selling introduction to political science, first published in 1985.  Its fifth long edition and second short edition are still in print, available on Amazon.   She is now developing a political blog using the same title, with a new perspective: examining the efforts made to establish a Human Polity of excellence, and why none has yet succeeded.  Presently under construction.

Lawson is the founder and one of the leaders of Oakland Serves, a volunteer organization serving the Oakland Unified School District and the City of Oakland by developing  a special program for high school students identified as at risk of dropping out.  It is expected to begin with a pilot program in the fall of 2015.  For more information regarding this program, and how to participate as a mentor,  go to www.oaklandserves.org or write to her at lawson.kay@gmail.com.  See also "Oakland Serves" under Articles and Chapters.

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