2nd Distinguished Lecture

The second Lecture held on November 20, 2014 from 18:00 to 20:00,  at the University Toulouse 1 Capitole, Amphitheater CUJAS, Anciennes Facultés, 2 rue des Puits-Creusés
John Aldrich, political scientist from Duke University, talked on

"Democracy really is the worst form of goverment except all the others..."

We are proud to announce professor John H. Aldrich for our second distinguished lecture in 2014. John Aldrich has received grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has served as co-editor of the American Journal of Political Science and as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Rockefeller Center,  in Bellagio, Italy. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Abstract of the presentation:
"Politicians, at least in the U.S., are driven by one of two motivations. The first motivation is that of the ambitious politician, the careerists who seeks only to have a long career in office. The second motivation is that of the policy purist, those who seek only to advance the policy and ideological views that motivated them to enter politics in the first place. Today, at least in the U.S., the ambitious politicians who succeed by building winning coalitions are giving way to the purists who seek to stand firm on policy, win or lose. The results of this shift are that:
  • The achievable good gives way to the often-vain search for the best
  • Majority rule is devalued and thus gives way to righteous appeals.
  • Moderation gives way to extremism, in money, in support, in hollow electoral victories.
  • The public does not like this, but cannot or do not muster enough support to win electoral victories that are otherwise achievable."

John Aldrich's Interview

For more information on professor Aldrich: his homepage
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