People of colour and poor, ethnic minorities are over-represented among those outside the official electoral system in the country which has postured itself as the champion of democracy. What is going on?
About lecture series We The People Count
How can it be that in the country which has postured itself as the champion of democracy throughout the 20th century, people of colour and poor, ethnic minorities are over-represented among those outside the official electoral system? That the road to political victory seems to be less about persuasive ideas and more about strategies around (im)mobilising demographic cohorts, suggests that the system is under pressure. America experts, Frans and Paul Verhagen, join us to explore the institutionalised systems underpinning American elections through the lenses of race, ethnicity and class history in shifting power dynamics.
Democracy’s Promise and Practice
Frans Verhagen (expert in the historical development of American society) digs deep into the USA’s past to consider the extent to which institutionalised powers and the electoral system are able to guarantee inclusivity in its centuries old democracy. He tours the history of inclusion and exclusion in the official systems shaping political representation in the USA. During this exploration of race, ethnicity and class in relation to the resilience of the political power sharing institutions, he traces the evolution of disenfranchisement. What do we know about challenges to the system and the will to change it? What do the historical dynamics shaping institutions and power checks and balances in the American electoral system tell us about what is going on today?