Reforming Democratic Institutions and Practices


Thursday, November 19, 2020, 4:00pm to 5:00pm


Virtual event, registration required

Democracy urgently needs repair. Constructive participation in political systems has been eroding and intense political conflict growing. Civil dialogue across political divides and confidence in the legitimacy of political institutions has declined. Societal groups remain quite unequal in their ability to shape government policy, and the dominance of organized monied interests results in policies that fail to address the needs of average citizens.

The COVID pandemic and 2020 election odyssey further exposed these vulnerabilities as pre-existing conditions of the polity. The historical roots of the challenges facing our political practices and institutions extend far beyond the current administration, the rise of social media, or even the 24-hour news cycle. What are the causes and what are the correctives? How can we better inform citizenry to increase support for policies and practices that benefit expanded communities in a more equitable and inclusive way? Join James Fishkin, Martin Gilens, and Jane Mansbridge in conversation with Luis Fraga as they explore these questions and offer realistic, durable solutions and reforms for our governance systems – from the grass roots to the federal levels – including how we achieve constructive public participation in those systems.

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Luis Fraga, Rev. Donald P. McNeill, C.S.C., Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership, Notre Dame

James Fishkin, Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication, Stanford
Martin Gilens, Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, & Social Welfare, UCLA
Jane Mansbridge, Charles F. Adams Professor of Political Leadership & Democratic Values, Emerita, Harvard

Hosted by Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences with the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard, and Center for Deliberative Democracy, Stanford.