The Yale University Library presents an Arts and Humanities Book Talk:
Frances McCall Rosenbluth, Damon Wells Professor of Political Science, Yale University and Ian Shapiro, Sterling Professor of Political Science, Yale University: “Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself.”
Please join us for a conversation with Professors Frances McCall Rosenbluth and Ian Shapiro about their new book “Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself.”
In recent decades, democracies across the world have adopted measures to increase popular involvement in political decisions. Parties have turned to primaries and local caucuses to select candidates while ballot initiatives and referenda allow citizens to enact laws directly. Many places now use proportional representation, encouraging smaller parties that represent different interests rather than two dominant parties. Yet voters keep getting angrier. There is a steady erosion of trust in politicians, parties, and democratic institutions, culminating most recently in major populist victories in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Hungary, Poland, and elsewhere.
Rosenbluth and Shapiro argue that devolving power to the grass roots is not the solution. It is part of the problem. Efforts to decentralize political decision making have made governments and especially political parties less effective and less able to address constituents’ abiding concerns. They argue that to revive confidence in governance, we must restore power to political parties, which are the core institutions of representative democracy.
Rosenbluth is the Damon Wells Professor of Political Science. Shapiro is the Sterling Professor of Political Science. The conversation will be moderated by William Frucht, Executive Editor of the Yale University Press.
This is the opening event of Yale University Library 2018-19 Arts and Humanities Book Talk Series. It is co-sponsored by the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies and the Yale University Press.