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2018 - 2019 Polarization and Civil Disagreement Series

The polarized and compartmentalized intellectual climate on American campuses both mirrors and contributes to similar maladies in American civic life. To examine the problem and begin to discuss possible solutions both at the level of the campus and society, the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, together with its partners in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, will host a lecture series and conference  entitled Polarization and Civil Disagreement: Confronting America's Civic Crisis. 

Jonah Goldberg Suicide of the West School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership Arizona State University
In an age of tribalism, nationalism, populism, and identity politics, are we ungratefully throwing away what made the West the free and prosperous place it is today? National Review senior editor and AEI Fellow Jonah Goldberg diagnoses our civilization's ills, and tries to offer some solutions. This lecture is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.
Mark Lilla Identity and Citizenship School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership
Mark Lilla's new book, "The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics," has sparked a vigorous national conversation about how liberals need to articulate a new vision centered around ideas of common citizenship in order to counteract the destructive individualisms of both. This lecture is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.
Ross Douthat One Country Three Faiths America's Real Religious Divide
Ross Douthat, opinion columnist for The New York Times, will discuss the ways in which religion and the relative strength of religious institutions can impact civic life and magnify polarization. This lecture is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.
Tocqueville School of Civic andE economic Thought and leadership Polarization and Civil Disagreement Paul Race Cheryl Welch Patrick Deneen Joshua Mitchell
Liberal democracy finds itself in poor health in the first decades of the 21st century. The rise of populism, decaying social cohesion, threats to free speech and anti-immigrant sentiment have raised questions about the future — and even inherent viability — of democratic liberalism. This panel discussion, featuring Patrick Deneen, Joshua Mitchell, Cheryl Welch and Paul Rahe will explore this apparent decline in democratic liberalism, including its effects on civility, through the lens of Alexis de Tocqueville.
The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership welcomes pollsters Kristen Soltis Anderson, R, and Margie Omero, D, as they bring their podcasting partnership to ASU to analyze the results of the 2018 Midterm elections as they do regularly on their podcast, "The Pollsters." Both Anderson and Omero, from different sides of the political spectrum, analyze the polls driving news in politics, tech, entertainment and pop culture. For this post-election conversation at ASU, they will consider the polls and the issues from the midterm election. This lecture is open to the public and will be followed by a reception. ​
No matter what our political views, few people believe our country is as united as it should be. Whether in the media, politics, or even in our personal relationships, we all recognize that the country is increasingly defined by a culture of contempt—in which people treat others with whom they disagree as defective, or worthless. Within this distressing reality, however, there lies an opportunity for our nation. Drawing on history, social psychology, behavioral economics, and the counsel of ancient wisdom, Arthur Brooks addresses the divisions that plague America and finds a set of strategies to help us disagree better, forge a new model of aspirational leadership, and unite the country. This lecture is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.
Nadien Strossen and Judge Michael Mukasey
Strossen and Mukasey will visit the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at ASU to have a conversation that models a civil, mutually respectful, and vigorous exchange of ideas on issues that challenge American society. These speakers, intellectually and politically opposed on many of the issues, will demonstrate that lively civil discourse is possible, even when we deeply disagree about the issues. This sort of dialogue is the path to civil disagreement and perhaps past the polarization that constitutes America’s civic crisis.
Polarization and Civil Disagreement: Confronting America's Civic Crisis Spring Conference

SAVE THE DATE Spring Conference - Polarization and Civil Disagreement: Confronting America's Civic Crisis

Feb 22-23, 2019
With Danielle Allen’s visit to the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at ASU, we begin to look at solutions to the challenges of “Polarization and Civic Disagreement.” Allen’s argument is that the most constructive way to confront America’s civic crisis is to take civic education seriously, by reorienting education’s trajectory toward readying students through the fundamentally humanistic elements of education for lives as democratic citizens.