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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)



Leah Downey is a Junior Research Fellow at St. John’s College. Before coming to Cambridge Leah was a visiting researcher at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI). She received her PhD in Political Theory from Harvard University in 2022, her MSc from LSE, and Bachelor’s degrees in both Mathematics and Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Downey’s work focuses on the intersection of democratic theory and macroeconomic policy. Currently she is finishing a book on monetary policy and its role in contemporary democracy. She is also interested in the political theory of the administrative state, the role of macrofinancial policy in securing a green transition, and the role time and conceptions of the future play in limiting the capacity of democratic societies.


Key publications: 

Our Money: Monetary Policy as if Democracy Mattered. Under contract with Princeton University Press.

A Political Economy of Justice. Edited volume with Danielle Allen, Yochai Benkler, Rebecca Henderson, and Joshua Simons (Spring 2022, University of Chicago Press).

“Democratic Central Banking: Power not Deliberation: In Response to Monnet,” Accounting, Economics, and Law: A Convivium. Forthcoming (published online 6 December 2022).

“Governing Public Credit Creation,” New Political Economy. Forthcoming (published online 7 April 2022). “Delegation in Democracy: A Temporal Analysis,” The Journal of Political Philosophy, Volume 29, Issue 3 (September 2021), pp. 305-329

Junior Research Fellow at St John's College

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