Panel: Overcoming Political Polarization
Robert Putnam, Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University
Jane Mansbridge, Charles F. Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values, Harvard Kennedy School
Arturo Valenzuela, Emeritus Professor of Government and Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Moderator: Steve Levitsky, Professor of Government, Harvard University
While some partisan polarization is healthy for democracy, one of the key drivers of democratic decay in new and established democracies is intense polarization, where political opponents begin to regard each other as existential enemies, allowing incumbents to justify abuses of democratic norms to restrain the opposition, and encouraging the opposition to use “any means necessary” to (re)gain power. Our panelists will discuss lessons and ideas regarding how democratic polities can best respond to and perhaps overcome extreme polarization.
Lunch will be available. Advance sign-up is appreciated but not required.