Democracy's Futures, Spring 2022

Democracy's Futures

Democracy's Futures Seminar Spring 2022

The Democracy's Futures seminar, co-convened by Madhav Khosla (Law) and Jed Purdy (Law) for Spring 2022, is part of a university-wide initiative that seeks to illuminate and reinforce democratic commitments and practices by fostering engaged scholarship. The events of the last five years, and particularly those of the last year, have highlighted the ways that our most prized values and institutions may be unexpectedly shaken, and even come into mortal peril. They have also highlighted a certain complacency about democracy that had crept into what was too easily imagined as a settled system. We regard understanding and engaging these stakes as among the most important tasks of the university today.

Renewed awareness of constitutional democracy’s fragility drives us back to basic questions. What do we mean, and what should we mean, by “democracy”? What should we regard as its non-negotiable features and fundamental values? What is the relationship of democracy to other sources and sites of authority, such as constitutionalism, liberalism, expertise, or identity? Are those relationships in the process of being renegotiated? Should they be? Although these brief sentences are abstract, they name disputes that are remaking the world, for better or worse.

We seek to combine a sense of urgency with a spirit of genuine openness and curiosity.

Our premise is that there is no opposition between scholarly seriousness and practical response to urgent questions. We hope participants will gain in the selection and definition of their scholarly questions, the purpose of their public and institutional engagement, and the content and goals of their teaching. We are gathering to think together about the pressing questions of our time, and how our work and institutions should engage them.


Participants
Madhav Khosla
Madhav Khosla

Convenor
Columbia Law School

Jedediah Purdy
Jedediah Purdy

Convenor
Columbia Law School

Daniel Markovits
Daniel Markovits

Yale University

Pratap Mehta
Pratap Mehta

Princeton University

Jan-Werner Mueller
Jan-Werner Mueller

Princeton University

Will Selinger
Will Selinger

University College London

Kimberly Phillips-Fein
Kimberly Phillips-Fein

New York University

Katharina Pistor
Katharina Pistor

Columbia Law School

Seyla Benhabib
Seyla Benhabib

Yale University / Columbia Law

Nicola Lacey
Nicola Lacey

London School of Economics

Nickolas Bowie
Nickolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

David Bromwich
David Bromwich

Yale University

Benjamin L. Liebman
Benjamin L. Liebman

Columbia Law School

Dr. Jens Meierhenrich (LSE)
Jens Meierhenrich

London School of Economics

 



For assistance with administrative matters, contact cdi@law.columbia.edu.