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"The Difficulty of Democracy": Ethics and Public Life lecture series, Paul Pierson

Friday, February 9, 2018 at 3:00pm to 4:30pm

Goldwin Smith Hall, Room 132, Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium
232 East Ave, Central Campus

The risk of “democratic backsliding” in the US will be discussed by Paul Pierson (Political Science, Berkeley), beginning “The Difficulty of Democracy,” a series of six lectures this semester addressing problems and prospects of democracy. He will describe how political processes and events, economic and cultural  changes and institutional frameworks currently combine to threaten democracy in the US and suggest ways of responding to this challenge. There will be an extensive question-and-answer period.

Paul Pierson is the John Gross Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. His influential writings on American politics and public policy include American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper (2017) and Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (2010), both  co-authored with Jacob Hacker, and  Politics in Time: History, Institutions and Social Analysis (2004). His book, Dismantling the Welfare State?: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Politics of Retrenchment, won the American Political Science Association's 1995 prize for the best book on American national politics.

Future events in the series will Nicholas Carnes (Duke) on class and governance in the US (February 26), Cheng Li (Brookings) on the prospects for democracy in China (March 12), Michael Dawson (Chicago) on African-American political identities and their role in political change (March 26), Atul Kohli (Princeton) on prospects and problems of democracy in India (April 16), and Arlie Hochschild (Berkeley) on the alienation from government of many white rural Americans (April 30).

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Ethics and Public Life


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Contact Name

Margaret Nichols

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Paul Pierson

Speaker Affiliation

Political Science, Berkeley

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Free and open

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