Lei using Cotter award to study authoritarian legislators

Reed Lei, assistant professor of public affairs and political science, received the Jerry and Mary Cotter Faculty Fellow award this spring.

Lei, who joined the La Follette School in August 2020, will use the funding to study the legislative functions of parliaments that are empowered by an authoritarian government to enact laws. He will focus on how authoritarian legislators do their job, given the fundamentally different legislative environment and constraints they face compared to lawmakers in a democracy.

The funding also allows Lei to hire an undergraduate research assistant who will help him collect data about China’s National People’s Congress and State Council, as well as detailed data on individual lawmakers and ministers. In addition, Lei will visit China to conduct interviews and present his preliminary findings at professional conferences.

The Jerry and Mary Cotter Faculty Fellow award supports faculty members who contribute to research or policy development that have the potential to improve the legislative branches of government.