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CEPPA Talk – Robert Talisse (Vanderbilt University)

November 12, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Title: ‘The Problem of Polarization’

Abstract: “The cure for democracy’s ills is more democracy.” This popular adage is false. Contemporary democracy faces problems that have their source in otherwise laudable forms of political participation. In short, enactments of democratic citizenship heighten our exposure to polarization, which in turn erodes our capacities to perform well as citizens. This talk examines the phenomenon of polarization, identifies the problem that polarization poses to democracy, and proposes a strategy for addressing that problem. Perhaps surprisingly, if we aim to nurture our democratic capacities, we need to sometimes engage together in nonpolitical cooperative activities.