16th James S. Palmer Lecture Series

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The 16th James S. Palmer Lecture Series at The School of Public Policy welcomes Richard H. Pildes to speak on Sustaining Democracies in the Age of Fragmentation.

Political fragmentation is a defining challenge of our era. As traditional political landscapes continue to shift, fissures emerge, giving rise to diverse ideologies, movements and perspectives making it difficult for democratic governments to function effectively. Democracies no longer seem able to deliver on the urgent issues citizens care about most.

This lecture explores the reasons for this pervasive dissatisfaction and the potential remedies.

About Professor Richard H. Pildes

Richard H. Pildes is an internationally recognized expert on legal and political issues concerning democracy, with both a strong American and comparative focus.  He is the Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University School of Law, an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Law Institute, and a Guggenheim and Carnegie fellow.  He served as a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court and has successfully argued voting-rights cases before the Court and numerous federal courts of appeals.  President Biden recently appointed Professor Pildes to the President’s Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States.

His casebook, “The Law of Democracy: Legal Regulation of the Political Process”, helped create the study of democracy as an academic field in law schools.  Professor Pildes has authored close to 100 academic articles on subjects such as the decline of effective government; the rise of hyperpolarized politics; the new age of political fragmentation and how that affects democracies throughout the West; the U.S. Supreme Court; the Voting Rights Act; issues of redistricting and campaign finance; the powers of the Presidency; and a range of political reform topics.  He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and served as an election analyst for CNN in the 2020 election and for NBC in the 2000 election.

About the Palmer Lecture

The James S. Palmer Lecture Series was established to pay tribute to Mr. James Palmer’s dedication and service to the University of Calgary during his term of office as Chancellor. It is one of the most significant public academic activities hosted by the University of Calgary. The purpose of the Lecture Series is to expose students, faculty and members of the Calgary community to eminent scholars of international stature and to promote discussion of important public issues. It is open to the public and free of charge.

Contact us at sppcomm@ucalgary.ca with any questions.