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Join Charles Beitz, Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics at Princeton University for an Obert C. Tanner Lecture on the Intimations of Failure.
Political scientists, constitutional lawyers, and democratic theorists consider norms of democratic representation in literature whose paths cross too seldom. They do not agree about the meaning of fair and effective representation. Democratic theory is perhaps the area to which one would look for insight, but for the most part it has been too remote from political practice to illuminate the problems of our recent institutional history. These lectures will try to bring the theory of democratic representation into closer contact with its troubled American practice.
For those interested in the moral basis of representative democracy, the narrative of malfunction raises two questions. First, are the symptoms documented by political scientists really failures? What norms of democratic representation do they infringe? This is a problem of diagnosis. Second, approaching the subject more constructively, what would successful democratic representation look like? If we grant that democratic politics is unavoidably a form of regulated rivalry, what would it mean for its regulation to be fair and effective? The first lecture will address the problem of diagnosis.
Please be advised that this event is currently being offered in person.
The in-person event will be held at Toll Room, Alumni House, on the UC Berkeley Campus.