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Conversations With History: Rogers M. Smith on Politics and American Political Ideals

November 17, 2011

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In a video conversation with Harry Kreisler, the political scientist Rogers M. Smith discusses the importance of building community and political identity and the increasing polarization around issues of inequality and relative international decline.

Recognizing the nerd in all of us, Guernica brings you Conversations with History, a video series of interviews with distinguished intellectuals conducted by creator and executive producer Harry Kreisler and produced by the Institute of International Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.

In this week’s episode, Kreisler welcomes Rogers M. Smith, Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, for a discussion of political ideals and political realities in American history. He highlights the importance of building community and political identity by assembling coalitions around narratives that appeal to a broad audience while shaping policy agendas. Professor Smith compares the leadership of Lincoln, Reagan, and Obama in addressing these tasks. He concludes with an analysis of how the issue of race has been approached as American political life has become increasing polarized around issues of inequality and relative international decline.

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Harry 20bio.jpgHarry Kreisler is also the Executive Director of the Institute of International Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. In that role, he shapes, administers, and implements interdisciplinary academic and public affairs programs that analyze global issues.


 

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  Robert Reich: Greece’s Choice—and Ours: Democracy or Finance?: Rule by democracy or by financial markets? Based on what’s happened in America, choose the former. More
 
  Lawrence Weschler: The Art of the Shakedown, from the Nile to the Potomac: How corruption in the U.S. puts everyday corruption in Africa to shame. More

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