Sept. 12, 2023

16th James S. Palmer Lecture Series to feature Richard H. Pildes, internationally recognized legal expert on democracy

Lecture will explore political fragmentation and challenges of democracy

The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary will host Richard H. Pildes, an internationally recognized expert on legal and political issues concerning democracy, on Sept. 26 as part of the 16th James S. Palmer Lecture Series.

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.

Richard H. Pildes

Pildes 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 is also 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 Joe Biden recently appointed Pildes to the President’s Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Pildes has authored close to 100 academic articles on subjects such as the decline of effective government; the rise of hyperpolarized politics; and the new age of political fragmentation and how that affects democracies throughout the West. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and served as an election analyst for CNN and NBC during the 2000 U.S. Presidential election.

The James S. Palmer Lecture Series was established by the School to pay tribute to former UCalgary Chancellor James S. Palmer’s dedication and service during his term of office (1986-1990) and for his continuing support of post-secondary education in Alberta. It is one of the most significant public academic activities hosted by UCalgary.

The purpose of the lecture series is to expose students, faculty and members of the Calgary community to eminent thinkers with international stature and to promote discussion of important public issues.

The lecture will take place on Sept. 26 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at MacEwan Hall. The event is open to the public as well as the entire university community. The lecture is free of charge, although registration is required. Register here.

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