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Polarization and Contentious Politics in the Age of Covid
Previous episodes in this series explored the strains on governments’ ability to get things done in response to crises. The Covid pandemic has revealed, and indeed amplified, both weaknesses in state capacity and inequities in implementation. In the United States, the upsurge in public protest against police violence and racism is one response. Globally, populist and nationalist movements reflect public perceptions that states not only are failing their citizens but also governing in ways that are unfair, unjust, and even illegitimate.

Polarization and intense domestic conflict can further erode public trust and confidence in a democratic polity. But what exactly is polarization, what are its forms, from where did it emerge, and why does it exist and persist? Are today’s contentious politics and conflicts the natural features of polities or expressions of problems that must be addressed in order to preserve democracy? Join Christian Davenport and Rachel Kleinfeld, major contributors on these questions, in conversation with moderator Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar.

This event is presented by CASBS in partnership with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Annual Reviews.

This is episode 3 in CASBS's webcast series "Social Science for a World in Crisis." Visit the series web page: casbs.stanford.edu/social-science-world-crisis

Send questions for the panelists in advance of the event to casbs-events@stanford.edu.

Jul 9, 2020 02:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar
Justice @Supreme Court of California
Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar began serving on the Supreme Court of California in 2015. Previously he was the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law and Political Science, and Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University. A scholar of public law, complex organizations, and political economy, he served as Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy (2009-10), led the Presidential Transition Task Force on Immigration (2008-09), and co-chaired the U.S. Dept. of Education Equity and Excellence Commission (2011-13). He is a Fellow of the Harvard Corporation and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, serves on the boards of the Hewlett Foundation and the American Law Institute, and chairs the boards of CASBS, AI Now, and Stanford Seed. A naturalized U.S. citizen born in Mexico, he is a graduate of Harvard, Stanford, and Yale Law School. He clerked for Chief Judge Mary Schroeder of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Christian Davenport
Professor of Political Science @University of Michigan
Christian Davenport is Professor of Political Science and Faculty Associate at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, and Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Arts and Sciences. His research interests include political conflict, measurement, racism, and popular culture. He is the author of seven books, including The Peace Continuum: What It is and How you Study It, with Erik Melander & Patrick Regan (2018, Oxford). His new book under review is Disturbing Spells: Government Repressive Campaigns and What Can Be Done To Stop Them (with Benjamin Appel). The first issue of his graphic novel RW-94: Reflections on Rwanda (with Darick Ritter) recently was released, with others on the way. Davenport also is engaged in various data collection efforts, developing crowd-sourcing data collection programs and facilitating the development of conflict/peace studies. Learn more at christiandavenport.com.
Rachel Kleinfeld
Senior Fellow @Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld advises governments, philanthropists, and activists on how democracies make major social change. As a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, she particularly focuses on countries facing violence, corruption, and other problems of poor governance. In 2010, Time magazine named her one of the top 40 political leaders under 40 in America for her decade of work as the founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project. In 2011, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton appointed Kleinfeld to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board. In 2015, she was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. Kleinfeld is the author of three books, including A Savage Order: How the World’s Deadliest Countries Can Forge a Path to Security (Knopf, 2018), and Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad: Next Generation Reform (Carnegie, 2012). She received her D.Phil. from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes scholar. Learn more at rachelkleinfeld.com.