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Polarization Spring Conference

Spring Conference, February 22-23, 2019

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 – including restoration of the civic and intellectual virtues of civil disagreement and civic friendship – the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, together with its partners in the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, is organizing a lecture series in 2018-19 and Spring 2019 conference on “Polarization and Civil Disagreement: Confronting America’s Civic Crisis.”

Polarization Series logo

Friday, February 22, 2019

8:30-9:30 AM

Breakfast and Event Check-in

 

9:30- 10: 45 AM      

Keynote:  "Rethinking Polarization: How a Tough Problem Got Tougher."

Jonathan Rauch, Brookings Institution

 

11:00 AM -12:30 PM

Panel I: The Roots of Partisanship and the Possibility of Civility

Moderator: Daniel Cullen, Rhodes College, Jack Miller Center

Panelists:

Harvey Mansfield, Harvard University

Tom Kelly, Princeton University

Teresa Bejan, Oxford University                                                    

 

12:30 - 1:00 PM

Break for Lunch

 

1:00- 2:15 PM

Panel 2: Is Political Polarization in 2018 Really Worse than it has Ever Been?

Moderator: Eric Felten, The Weekly Standard

Panelists:

Jay Cost, American Enterprise Institute

Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute

Joanne Freeman, Yale University

 

2:30 -4:00 PM  

Panel 3:  Populism and Tribalism in American Life

Moderator: James Stoner, Louisiana State University

Panelists:

Michael Zuckert, Notre Dame University, Arizona State University, Visiting Scholar

Musa Al-Gharbi, Columbia University

Shikha Dalmia, Reason Foundation Senior Analyst, The Week

Manu Meel, CEO, Bridge USA

        

Keynote Address and Dinner

6:00 -8:30 PM

Keynote:

Yuval Levin, “Healing a Fractured Country,” National Affairs

 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

8:30-9:00 AM

Breakfast and Event Check-in

 

9:00- 10:15 AM

Panel 4: Polarization in the Media and Social Media

Moderator: Mi-Ai Parrish, Arizona State University

Panelists:

Naomi Schaefer Riley, American Enterprise Institute

Damon Linker, The Week

Megan McArdle, Washington Post

Ashutosh Bhagwat, University of California, Davis

 

10:30-11:45 AM

Panel 5: Polarization, Parties, and Political Life

Moderator: Marc Landy, Boston College, Arizona State University, Visiting Scholar

Panelists:

Ron Christie,

Morris Fiorina, Stanford University

James Ceaser, University of Virginia

 

12:00-1:15 PM

A Conversation - Can Pluralism and American Institutions address the challenge of Populism?

Moderator: Paul Carrese, Arizona State University

Panelists:

William Kristol, The Weekly Standard

William Galston, Brookings Institution

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Departure at convenience of Conference Participants

Musa Al-Gharbi

Musa Al-Gharbi

Musa Al-Gharbi’s primary research areas include the sociology of knowledge, applied social epistemology, cognitive sociology and social psychology. He has utilized these frameworks to explore a range of questions related to U.S foreign policy, national security, policing, mass movements, race and inequality, institutions of higher learning, and more recently, U.S. political elections. He is also very committed to public engagement and cross-partisan engagement, with publications and interviews in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Voice of America, The Atlantic, New Republic, Slate, Al-Jazeera, The Baffler, Salon, AlterNet, Huffington Post, Fox News, National Review, National Interest, The American Conservative and many other outlets. He is also part of the core team at Heterodox Academy.


Teresa Bejan

Teresa Bejan

Teresa M. Bejan is an American political theorist and author. She is Associate Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Oriel College. She is the recipient of the American Political Science Association's 2015 Leo Strauss Award for the best doctoral dissertation in political philosophy. In 2016, she was elected as the final Balzan-Skinner Fellow in Modern Intellectual History at the University of Cambridge. Professor Bejan is the author of “Mere Civility: Disagreement and the Limits of Toleration,” published by Harvard University Press.


Ashutosh Bhagwat

Ashutosh Bhagwat

Ash Bhagwat is Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis School of Law, where he teaches administrative law, constitutional law and economic regulation. Prior to joining the Davis faculty in 2011, Professor Bhagwat was a member of the faculty at the UC Hastings College of the Law for seventeen years. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit, and Justice Anthony Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court. Professor Bhagwat is the author of “The Myth of Rights,” published by the Oxford University Press as well as numerous articles on a wide variety of legal subjects, with a particular focus on the First Amendment. Professor Bhagwat is a member of the American Law Institute.


Paul Carrese

Paul Carrese

Paul Carrese is the founding director of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University. For nearly two decades he was a professor of political science at the United States Air Force Academy. He is the author of "The Cloaking of Power: Montesquieu, Blackstone, and the Rise of Judicial Activism," and co-editor of three other books on George Washington, constitutionalism and American grand strategy. His most recent book is "Democracy in Moderation: Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Sustainable Liberalism." He has held fellowships at Harvard University; the University of Delhi (as a Fulbright fellow); and the James Madison Program, Politics Department, Princeton University.


James Ceaser

James Ceaser

James Ceaser is Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. He is the author of ten books divided between the subjects of American national elections and American political thought. Professor Ceaser has held visiting positions at Oxford University, The University of Bordeaux, The University of Basel, and Harvard University.


Ron Christie

Ron Christie

Ron Christie is founder and CEO of Christie Strategies LLC, a full-service communications and issues management firm in Washington DC. Christie is also the author of three books: “Blackwards: How Black Leadership is Returning America to the Days of Separate But Equal,” “Acting White: The Birth and Death of a Racial Slur,” and “Black in the White House.” Christie served as a Resident Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government Institute of Politics for the Fall 2011 term at Harvard University. He has taught as an adjunct professor or lecturer of public policy and American politics at Georgetown University and New York University in Washington, D.C. Mr. Christie is a veteran senior advisor of both the White House and the Congress, most recently as Acting Director of USA Freedom Corps and special assistant to President George W. Bush (2002-2004). He previously served as Deputy Assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney from 2001-2002. He is the North American political analyst for the BBC and he presented his first radio documentary "The Trumped Republicans" on February 13, 2019 on BBC World Service radio.


Jay Cost

Jay Cost

Jay Cost is a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of Chicago. He is the author of “The Price of Greatness: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and the Creation of American Oligarchy.”


Daniel Cullen

Daniel Cullen

Daniel Cullen is Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College, where he teaches political philosophy and the humanities, and directs the Project for the Study of Liberal Democracy. Professor Cullen is Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies at the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Constitutional Principles and History, and serves on the Center’s Academic Council. His writings include “Freedom in Rousseau′s Political Philosophy,” “Liberal Democracy and Liberal Education,” and essays on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, democratic theory, conservatism, liberal education, free speech and academic freedom.


Shikha Dalmia

Shikha Dalmia

Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation, a Bloomberg View contributor, a columnist at The Week, and writes regularly for Reason magazine. She also writes frequently for The Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications such as The Times of London, Time, USA Today and The Daily Beast. Dalmia previously served as a columnist for Forbes and the Washington Examiner.


Eric Felten

Eric Felten

Eric Felten is a journalist and author who has been a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Examiner. His work covering politics, policy, and cocktails (yes, cocktails) combines reportage with analysis and historical perspective. Mr. Felten’s books include “Loyalty: The Vexing Virtue,” “How’s Your Drink?” and “The Ruling Class: Inside the Imperial Congress.” He earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University where he studied game theory with Thomas Schelling and political philosophy with John Rawls and Harvey Mansfield. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, summa cum laude, at Arizona State University, where he studied philosophy of law with Jeffrie G. Murphy.


Morris Fiorina

Morris Fiorina

Morris Fiorina is the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution. His current research focuses on public opinion and elections. He has written or edited thirteen books, most recently, “Unstable Majorities: Party Sorting, Polarization and Political Stalemate.” Professor Fiorina has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences.


Joanne Freeman

Joanne Freeman

Joanne B. Freeman, Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, is a leading expert on early American politics and culture. The author of the award-winning “Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic,” and editor of “Alexander Hamilton: Writings” and “The Essential Hamilton,” Freeman is particularly well known for her expertise in dirty, nasty politics, an interest that has made her work particularly relevant in recent years. A co-host of the popular American history podcast “BackStory,” she is a frequent commentator on PBS, NPR, CNN, and MSNBC. Her most recent book, “The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War,” explores physical violence in the U.S. Congress.


William Galston

William Galston

Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution
William A. Galston is the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and Senior Fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program. Prior to January 2006, he was the Saul Stern Professor and Acting Dean at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, and founding director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). Galston was Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Domestic Policy from 1993 to 1995. He is a winner of the American Political Science Association’s Hubert H. Humphrey Award and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the co-chair of The New Center with Bill Kristol. His most recent book is “Anti-Pluralism: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy.”


Tom Kelly

Tom Kelly

Thomas Kelly is a professor of philosophy at Princeton University, where he has taught since 2004. He is also an Associated Faculty of both The University Center for Human Values and The James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton. The topics he has addressed in his published work include the nature of evidence, the nature of bias, the phenomenon of belief polarization, and whether it can be rational to continue to believe things that one knows are disbelieved by one’s peers.


William Kristol

William Kristol

William Kristol is a founding director of Defending Democracy Together, an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to defending America’s liberal democratic norms, principles, and institutions. Kristol was a founder of The Weekly Standard in 1995 and edited the influential magazine for over two decades. Before starting The Weekly Standard, Kristol led the Project for the Republican Future, where he helped develop the strategy that produced the 1994 Republican congressional victory. Before that, Mr. Kristol served in senior positions in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. Prior to coming to Washington, Kristol taught politics at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. He received his undergraduate degree and his PhD from Harvard University.


Marc Landy

Marc Landy

Marc Landy is Professor of Political Science at Boston College. He and Sid Milkis wrote “Presidential Greatness.” He is the author of a textbook “American Government: Enduring Principles, Critical Choices.” He has published many articles about the presidency, federalism and public policy.


Yuval Levin

Yuval Levin

Yuval Levin is the founder and editor of National Affairs, a quarterly journal of essays on public policy and political thought. He is also the Vice President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington DC. His writings have appeared in numerous publications and he is the author, most recently, of “The Fractured Republic: Renewing America's Social Contract in the Age of Individualism.” He holds a PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.


Damon Linker

Damon Linker

Damon Linker is a senior correspondent at theweek.com and a consulting editor at the University of Pennsylvania Press. In recent years, he has taught critical writing at Penn and worked as a senior editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Linker is the author of “The Theocons” and “The Religious Test.” His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and other leading publications. Linker studied history, philosophy, and writing at Ithaca College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1991. He went on to earn a Master of Arts in history from New York University and a PhD in political science from Michigan State University.


Harvey Mansfield

Harvey Mansfield

Harvey C. Mansfield, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Government at Harvard University, studies and teaches political philosophy. He has written on Edmund Burke and the nature of political parties, on Machiavelli and the invention of indirect government, in defense of a defensible liberalism and in favor of a Constitutional American political science. He has also written on the discovery and development of the theory of executive power, and has translated three books of Machiavelli’s and (with the aid of his wife) Tocqueville's “Democracy in America.” He won the Joseph R. Levenson award for his teaching at Harvard, received the Sidney Hook Memorial award from the National Association of Scholars, and in 2004 accepted a National Humanities Medal from the President. In 2007, he delivered the Jefferson lecture for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in 2011 received the Bradley prize. He is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.


Megan McArdle

Megan McArdle

Megan McArdle is a Washington Post columnist. She wrote for the Daily Beast, Newsweek, the Atlantic and the Economist and founded the blog “Asymmetrical Information.” She is the author of “The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success.”


Manu Meel

Manu Meel

Manu studies at UC Berkeley and is the CEO of BridgeUSA, a national organization that aims to improve political culture on college campuses. An avid political entrepreneur, Manu has contributed to several news outlets, advanced pro-democracy efforts nationally, and is leading the policy operation for a Baltimore mayoral candidate. In the past, Manu has worked for AEI in Washington DC and has worked at the Department of State as a political analyst in counterterrorism. Manu is passionate about empowering young people and his work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other media platforms.


Norman Ornstein

Norman Ornstein

Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a columnist and contributing editor for The Atlantic. For thirty years he was an election eve analyst for CBS News; since 2012, he has been a principal on-air election eve analyst for BBC News. His many books include “The Permanent Campaign and Its Future,” “The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track,” and the New York Times bestseller, “It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism,” along with its expanded edition retitled “It’s Even Worse Than It Was.” His new book with EJ Dionne and Tom Mann, “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet-Deported,” was immediately on the New York Times and Washington Post bestseller lists.


Mi-Ai Parrish

Mi-Ai Parrish

Mi-Ai Parrish is the Sue Clark-Johnson Professor in Media Innovation and Leadership at ASU. She also is the CEO and President of MAP Strategies Group, based in Phoenix. Previously, she was president and publisher of USA Today Network Arizona, The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com. She served as president and publisher of the Kansas City Star and kansascity.com for four years and president and publisher of Idaho's largest media company for five years prior to that. She was a journalist for 15 years, ranging from The Chicago Sun-Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Arizona Republic, (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune and Virginian-Pilot. Parrish is the recipient of the 2017 Athena Businesswoman of the Year, 2017 Asian Corporate and Entrepreneur Leader Champion, 2016 PSA Behavioral Health Champion and winner of Best Opinion Writing for USA Today Network.


Jonathan Rauch

Jonathan Rauch

Jonathan Rauch, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, is the author of six books and many articles on public policy, culture, and government. He is a contributing editor of The Atlantic and recipient of the 2005 National Magazine Award, the magazine industry’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. His latest book is “The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50.” His multiple-award-winning column, “Social Studies,” appeared from 1998 to 2010 in National Journal. Among the many other publications for which he has written are The New Republic, The Economist, Reason, Harper’s, Fortune, Reader’s Digest, Time, The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Slate, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Public Interest, National Affairs, The Advocate, The Daily, and others.


Naomi Schaefer Riley

Naomi Schaefer Riley

Naomi Schaefer Riley is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute focusing on issues regarding child welfare. She is a former columnist for The New York Post and a former Wall Street Journal editor and writer, as well as the author of six books including, “Be the Parent: Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat.” Her book, “Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America,” was named an editor’s pick by the New York Times Book Review. Ms. Riley’s writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post, among other publications.


James Stoner

James Stoner

James R. Stoner, Jr. is the Hermann Moyse, Jr., Professor and Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute in the Department of Political Science at Louisiana State University. He is the author of “Common-Law Liberty: Rethinking American Constitutionalism” and “Common Law and Liberal Theory: Coke, Hobbes, and the Origins of American Constitutionalism,” as well as a number of articles and essays. A Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute, he has co-edited three books the Institute published: “The Thriving Society” (with Harold James), “The Social Costs of Pornography” (with Donna M. Hughes), and “Rethinking Business Management.” His is latest book, “The Political Thought of the Civil War,” co-edited with Alan Levine and Thomas W. Merrill, was published by the University Press of Kansas in August 2018.


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Michael Zuckert

Michael Zuckert (BA, Cornell University; PhD, University of Chicago, 1974) is Nancy Reeves Dreux Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, Editor of American Political Thought, and a Visiting Scholar at Arizona State University. He has published extensively in the areas of early modern political philosophy and American political thought. His most recent book is co-authored with Catherine Zuckert, entitled “Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy."