The most academically accomplished political science graduate of the University of Washington has passed away.
One of the remarkable things about Dahl is that not only did he remain productive far past the age at which most people have retired, in many respects his work kept getting better. The problems with his important pluralist work are well known. His later work on democratic theory, however, was often extremely valuable, rare works that were theoretically sophisticated but could be (and, in my case, were) taught to undergraduates. And while the judiciary wasn’t his specialty, his pathbreaking work on the Supreme Court essentially gave rise to the body of scholarship that I most often find myself situated in, as generations of scholars have reckoned with and complicated his insights about the relationship between the Supreme Court and governing coalitions. He had an influence over multiple bodies of important scholarship that only a handful of scholars will ever have over one.