Lezing

SG - Democracy’s Promise and Practice

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?

Organisator Studium Generale
Datum

di 6 oktober 2020 20:00

Locatie Impulse, gebouwnummer 115

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?

About Frans Verhagen

Frans Verhagen
Frans Verhagen (1954) holds degrees in Law and Sociology from Groningen University, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University in New York and a PhD from Radboud University in Nijmegen. His professional career is in journalism, publishing and editorial writing. He has worked as a foreign correspondent in Washington DC and in later years ran his own quarterly magazine, called Amerika. Verhagen had studied the United States extensively and has written 19 books about American history and American Society. He writes on a regular base for op-ed pages of the major Dutch and Belgian newspapers and provides background analysis on Dutch radio and tv. In addition he has written a well-read blog on America since the mid-nineties.