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The Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service

Lecture Series

Four of the nation’s leading experts on constitutional democracy will discuss current crises in the U.S., in a series of events beginning on February 16, 2021. These events are free and open to the public via YouTube, and will include live question & answer session in each. Links to each YouTube stream can be found in the talks’ titles.

Tuesday, February 16 | 12 Noon, Pacific Time

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University
The crisis in historical context: What the era of Reconstruction tells us

Foner’s many books include The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, which won the Pulitzer, Bancroft, and Lincoln prizes for 2011; A House Divided: America in the Age of Lincoln, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War; and his latest book, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad.

Thursday, February 25 | 12 Noon, Pacific Time

Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University
Is Trump a symptom of a Constitutional Dis-Ease?

Ackerman is the author of 19 books in constitutional law and history, political philosophy and public policy, including his award-winning three-volume series on American constitutional development, We the People, and his recent book Revolutionary Constitutions, which puts the constitutional crisis in historical perspective by comparing the post-war experience of democratic nations around the globe. He is a Commander of the French Order of Merit, a member of the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society has awarded him the Henry Phillips Prize for lifetime achievement in Jurisprudence.

Thursday, March 4 | 12 Noon, Pacific Time

Stephen Skowronek, Pelatiah Perit Professor of Political and Social Science, Yale University
The wayward course of American presidential democracy

Skowronek has served as the Wynant visiting professor at the Rothermere American Institute, Balliol College Oxford, and has been a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and also held the Chair in American Civilization at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His many books include The Policy State: An American Predicament (with Karen Orren); The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to Bill ClintonThe Search for American Political Development (with Karen Orren); and Presidential Leadership in Political Time: Reprise and Reappraisal.

Tuesday, March 16 | 12 Noon, Pacific Time

Kim Lane Scheppele, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs, Princeton University
The crisis of democracy in global context

Scheppele has published widely in law reviews and social science journals in several languages. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the International Academy of Comparative Law. In 2014, she received the Law and Society Association’s Kalven Prize for influential scholarship. From 2017 to 2019, she was the elected president of the Law and Society Association. Since 2010, she has been documenting the rise of autocratic legalism first in Hungary, Poland and elsewhere around the world.