Tuesday, Apr. 7, 7 p.m.
Smith Recital Hall, Silver Center for the Arts
Is the United States a Democracy or an Oligarchy
In a well-functioning democracy, the preferences and needs of ordinary citizens help shape government policy. By this measure, American democracy is failing. To assess the influences on federal government policymaking, Gilens gathered data on thousands of proposed policy changes over four decades. His analyses of these data show that economic elites and interest groups have considerable sway over policy outcomes, and ordinary citizens have little or none. He’ll discuss what this research reveals about the failures of America’s democratic institutions, as well as the kinds of reforms that might give greater voice and political influence to ordinary citizens.
Martin Gilens is professor of politics at Princeton University and author ofAffluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America.
All Sidore lectures are free and open to the public. Tickets are required and may be picked up at the Silver Center Box Office. Reservations are recommended: call (603) 535-ARTS. A reception with light refreshments follows each lecture.
For more information on the series, visit the Sidore Lecture Series website.