Prof Margaret Levi to give a public lecture in Tartu

The University of Tartu and Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies are honoured to host a guest lecture by Prof Margaret Levi, a world renowned political scientist whose work is concentrated on relations between the state and its citizens, on Tuesday, 24th of September.

Prof Levi will give a public lecture “The Link Between Trustworthy and Legitimate Governments“, in which she discusses her research across history and countries. The investigations reveal that the more trustworthy the government, the more likely it is to evoke observation of its laws and acquiescence to policies. Less clear is the link between perceptions that government is trustworthy and beliefs that it is legitimate, at least in countries claiming or trying to be democratic. Trustworthiness is, at best, a necessary but not sufficient condition for legitimating beliefs. The lecture will be held at 14:15 at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Lossi 36, room 214.

Margaret Levi is Professor of Political Science in Stanford University and Professor Emerita of International Studies in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. Levi is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and seven books, including Of Rule and Revenue (University of California Press, 1988); Consent, Dissent, and Patriotism (Cambridge University Press, 1997); Analytic Narratives (Princeton University Press, 1998); and Cooperation Without Trust? (Russell Sage, 2005). In the Interest of Others (Princeton, 2013), co-authored with John Ahlquist, explores how organizations provoke member willingness to act beyond material interest.

Following her visit to Estonia, Prof Levi will attend the Johan Skytte Prize award ceremony at Uppsala University, Sweden. The Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science is one of the highest recognitions in social sciences, awarded every year by the Skytte Foundation at Uppsala University “to the scholar who in the view of the Foundation has made the most valuable contribution to political science”. Vello Pettai, Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Tartu and a member of the Prize committee, explained that Levi’s ideas help us understand why citizens accept state coercion: “It was Levi who put forward an argument that although people may not necessarily like to pay taxes or obey the laws, it is this pseudo-voluntary agreement between the state and the governed which ensures the existence of governments.”

The Johan Skytte Prize award ceremony will take place in Uppsala on September 28, 2019. A political scientist from the University of Tartu, Prof Emeritus Rein Taagepera was awarded the Skytte Prize in 2008.

Lecture will be held: September 24 at 14:15, Lossi 36, room 214.

Additional information: Maili Vilson, Research Communication Specialist, +372 737 6584,


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