Civility and Citizenship in Liberal Democratic Societies

– New York: Paragon House, 1992.
How do civility and citizenship, aspects of the individual’s attachment to a liberal democratic society, affect the nature and future of that society? This book reminds us of the fragility of a good political order and the complexities of maintaining… More

Here the People Rule: Selected Essays

– New York: Plenum Press, 1985. Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1991.
This book of essays includes Edward C. Banfield’s most important insights into the American political system. “What Banfield has done…has been to challenge the central tenet of Progressive thought in America, namely, that society could and… More

The Democratic Muse: Visual Arts and the Public Interest

– New York: Basic Books, 1984.
“Banfield’s book is about the following subjects: various definitions of artistic purpose and activity; the legislative and political histories of the National Endowment for the Arts; the administration of that agency; the operation and raison… More

The Unheavenly City Revisited: A Revision of the Unheavenly City

– Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1974.
The Unheavenly City is one of the most widely read and widely debated books on contemporary American urban problems. In the more than twenty years since this book was written, the situation of the American city has not changed fundamentally. This is… More

The Unheavenly City

– Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1970.
“‘This book will probably strike many readers as the work of an ill-tempered and mean-spirited fellow.’ These words begin Edward Banfield’s 1970 classic, The Unheavenly City, one of the most contentious, interesting, and insightful… More

Boston: The Job Ahead

– With Martin Meyerson, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966.
“Two university scholars of outstanding ability, Martin Meyerson and Edward C. Banfield…. were invited by Boston business leaders to publish a series of 12 essays on key public policy topics. These reached a mass audience by being printed as… More

City Politics

– With James Q. Wilson, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963.
City Politics examines the structure of urban politics: the electoral system, the distribution of authority, the centralization of influence; and analyzes the forces and groups involved: reform, non-partisanship, businessmen, the Negroes. The authors see a… More

American Foreign Aid Doctrines

– Washington: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, January 1963.
In his study, American Foreign Aid Doctrines, Professor Banfield critically examines the premises of aid doctrines as to both fact and value. As a critique of present aid doctrine, his study suggests that the time is long overdue for a reappraisal of our… More

Political Influence: A New Theory of Urban Politics

– New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1961/1982. A reprint with a new introduction by James Q. Wilson was published in 2003.
In government, influence denotes one’s ability to get others to act, think, or feel as one intends. A mayor who persuades voters to approve a bond issue exercises influence. A businessman whose promises of support induce a mayor to take action exercises… More


The Dangerous Goodness of Democracy

– Reprinted in Edward C. Banfield, Here the People Rule: Selected Essays (Washington, DC: AEI, 1991).
Abstract: The reason for our inveterate devotion to these millennial ideas is to be found in the nature of our kind of democracy. Ours is the only country in which the public at large participates actively in the daily conduct of government; it is the only… More

Leo Strauss

– In Remembering the University of Chicago: Teachers, Scientists and Scholars, Edward Shils, ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991, pp. 490-501.

The Illiberal Tocqueville

– In Interpreting Tocqueville's Democracy in America, Ken Masugi, ed., Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1991, pp. 239-54.

Was the Founding an Accident?

– in Saving the Revolution: The Federalist and the American Founding, Charles R. Kesler, ed., New York: The Free Press, 1987, pp 265-275.

Federalism and the Dilemma of Popular Government

– In How Federal is the Constitution?, Robert A. Goldwin and William Schambra, eds. (Washington: AEI, 1985), pp. 1-15. Reprinted in Edward C. Banfield, Here the People Rule: Selected Essays (Washington, DC: AEI, 1991).
Abstract: Beginning with the Truman administration, there have been persistent and sometimes strenuous efforts to devolve many federal activities to state and local governments. These efforts have almost entirely failed. Meanwhile, the number and variety of… More


Christopher DeMuth on Edward Banfield

– Interview with Christopher DeMuth, Conversations with Bill Kristol, October 27, 2014.
DeMuth and Kristol discuss the profound writings and teaching of the late Harvard Government professor.

Development Economics: Edward Banfield

– Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, "Economic Development," video lecture, Marginal Revolution University, October 2012.
Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrock explain that Edward Banfield’s sociological insights are a significant forerunner of current results from behavioral economics.

Edward C. Banfield Interviews

– Interviews with Stephen Smith, audio, 1977.
In late 1977, Stephen Smith, a journalist, interviewed Edward C. Banfield and many persons who knew him, for an article intended for Esquire magazine.  In these selections, Banfield speaks of his the University of Chicago, his Harvard colleagues, problems… More


Former Students of Edward C. Banfield

Richard Blumenethal (politician) Peter B. Clark (media executive) Christopher DeMuth (think-tank leader) Chester E. Finn, Jr. (education scholar and think-tank founder) Robert Goldwin (public servant and think-tank scholar) Mary Graham (university… More