The State of U.S. Democracy (Speaker: Jennifer Victor)

Jennifer N. Victor

This presentation describes the state of democracy in contemporary American politics, through the lens of political science. Drawing on history, political philosophy, social psychology, and economic decision calculus, the presentation aims to achieve three goals. First, I identify the root causes of partisan polarization in the United States today, and dispel a number of myths about where it comes from. Second, I apply what science has learned from other successful and failed democracies around the globe and through history to assess the health of U.S. democratic institutions. Third, I use the scientific literature to talk about political reforms–those that might be helpful and those that might not–and what citizens can do to best protect American freedoms and rights. The presentation is non-partisan.

A/V requirements: Internet Access, LCD Projector, Screen, White Board and Markers