Name-calling, shouting matches, cutting off relatives, and even violence born of intense disagreements—there is bipartisan agreement that the current state of political discourse in America is troubling. How did we get here, and what can we, as a society and as individuals, do about it?
Professor Steven Stehr investigates the roots and consequences of the erosion of political civility in our public spaces. Stehr leads a conversation that asks, to what extent is this lack of civility driven by long-term trends in American society? Is contemporary America somehow different than the way it was in the past? Was there ever a “golden age” of civility in the United States? Using historical examples and contemporary cases, Stehr shows audiences how the erosion of civil discourse harms democracy, and what can be done to combat it.
Steven Stehr (he/him) is the Sam Reed Distinguished Professor in Civic Education and Public Civility at Washington State University. He earned his PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council, National Academy of Science, and the Century Foundation.
Stehr lives in Moscow, Idaho.
This talk is presented in partnership with The Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, which educates citizens across the state about democratic institutions and public affairs, and is based at Washington State University. For more information, visit The Foley Institute’s website.
For more information on how to book a speaker, please contact Asia Lara at (206) 682-1770 x101 or by email.