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Tenth Annual Fall Symposium
Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013

12:30 - 5:00 PM
Corcoran Commons
Boston College

Twitter: #mh10



• Directions

• Panelist Profiles

• Reading List

• Past Symposia

Free Public Symposium
E Pluribus Paralysis:
Can We Make Our Democracy Work?


Congressional approval ratings have declined to historic lows this year during a session that is alleged to be the least productive in our history. Indeed, lawmakers are so gridlocked that the federal government was forced to shut down, further frustrating the electorate. Entrenched social divisions exacerbate an already tense situation and conflict is pervasive. We are at an impasse.

Fortunately, some of the brightest minds around will offer ideas at our 10th annual symposium for getting our politics back on track. We are hosting three interrelated conversations, each exploring a different aspect of our theme and featuring some of the country's most prominent scholars, practitioners, and political observers. For the first time, all three sessions will be orchestrated by the same moderator the award-winning broadcast journalist Jane Clayson.

Since our inaugural symposium on presidential power in 2004, each symposium has examined a fundamental aspect of our democracy or the interplay between our democracy and other important cultural institutions, such as the media, religion, or the military.

The Program       panelists

12:30 - Introductions

12:45 - Session 1: Capital Ideas: Reducing the influence of money in our democracy
The conversation will focus on the increasingly significant role of campaign spending in both electoral and regulatory politics, the implications of this for our democracy, and arguments and proposals for mitigating the influence of money in federal and state politics.
Panelists: Thomas Mann, Zephyr Teachout, Alan Wolfe

2:00 - Break

2:15 - Session 2: Righting Voting Wrongs: Making our republic more democratic
The conversation will focus on the current status of voting rights, the recent Supreme Court decision in Shelby v. Holder, and various proposals for ensuring fair and equal access to the ballot as well as increasing public engagement in both elections and civic life more generally.
Panelists: Heather Gerken, Alexander Keyssar, Khalil Gibran Muhammad

3:30 - Break

3:45 - Session 3: Bending the Arc of History: Toward equality and democracy
The conversation will examine the lingering effects of social, economic, and educational inequalities, and racial and gender discrimination on our democracy.
Panelists: Reniqua Allen, Kenneth Feinberg, Glenn Loury


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