Marian Miner Cook
Athenaeum

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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Tuesday, February 02, 2021 - Evening Program
American Democracy in Crisis
Hilary Appel, Lily Geismer, and George Thomas, panelists

For the very first time in American history, the peaceful transfer of power was tested and compromised. Urged on by a sitting president who falsely claimed massive election fraud, a violent mob seized the Capitol Building in an effort to stop the counting of electoral votes. While the insurrection was unsuccessful, millions of Americans continue to believe that the election was stolen. Equally gravely, according to some surveys, one in six Americans do not think it is important to have a democratic form of government. Like never before, American democracy is under tremendous pressure from within. To help put recent events in historical and comparative perspective, a panel of CMC professors, Hilary Appel, Lily Geismer, and George Thomas, will lead a discussion of the challenges and prospects for American democracy going forward.

Hilary Appel is the Podlich Family Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College. Appel has published numerous books and articles on the politics of economic reform in Russia and Eastern Europe in leading scholarly journals like World Politics, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Review of International Political Economy, Post-Soviet Affairs, East European Politics and Societies, and others.

Lily Geismer, associate professor of history at Claremont McKenna College, focuses her research and teaching on 20th century political and urban history in the United States, especially liberalism. She is currently working on a book project entitled "Doing Good: The Democrats and Neoliberalism from the War on Poverty to the Clinton Foundation," which explores the Democratic Party’s promotion of market-based solutions to problems of social inequality. 

George Thomas is the Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions at Claremont McKenna College and director of the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World. He is the author of “The Founders and the Idea of a National University: Constituting the American Mind,” “The Madisonian Constitution,” and co-author of the two volume “American Constitutional Law: Essays, Cases, and Comparative Notes,” as well of numerous scholarly articles.

This panel discussion is sponsored by the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World at CMC.