Lawrence M. Mead

  • Former Visiting Fellow

Lawrence M. Mead is a former visiting fellow with the Mercatus Center's Program on Pluralism and Civil Exchange. Mead is a Professor of Politics at New York University, where he teaches public policy and American government. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Wisconsin, and a visiting fellow at Princeton, and at the Hoover Institution at Stanford.

Professor Mead is an expert on the problems of poverty and welfare in the United States and other Western countries. Among academics, he was the principal exponent of work requirements in welfare, the chief basis of the welfare reform of the 1990s. He is also a leading scholar of the politics and implementation of welfare reform and work programs for men.

Burdens of Freedom, his recent book on American power and culture, traces our major social problems to cultural differences between the individualist West and minority groups, all of which stem from the more cautious non-West. His work at Mercatus will address how to improve deservingness among the general population.

He is a native of Huntington, New York, and a graduate of Amherst College. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University.