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Digital democracy lecture: Promise and Pitfalls for Governance


Cass Sunstein, the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School and department of political science, will give a lecture, " 2.0," on the promise and the peril of digital democracy at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, in 128 Pearson Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Sunstein is a contributing editor to The New Republic, and he has authored or co-authored more than a dozen books on law, politics, technology and culture, including Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech (1993), (2001), and Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge (2006).

He will address contemporary conundrums such as: While it is often said that all politics are local, are all politics now becoming digital? If so, how will this transform American political life in the 21st century? And will the Internet and other digital technologies enhance the quality of our democracy by increasing access to political knowledge or will they threaten to erode democracy, by fragmenting citizens into self-selected groups?

A Harvard Law School graduate, Sunstein clerked for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He also served in the Justice Department's office of the legal counsel. He frequently appears as a witness before congressional committees, and he has been a consultant regarding constitution-making for various nations.

On April 16-18, William A. Galston, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute, will visit Miami to continue the discussion of digital democracy. He will deliver a public address on this topic at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17.

Both lectures on digital democracy are funded by a grant from the Murray and Agnes Seasongood Good Government Foundation. The Seasongood Foundation promotes good government by funding a variety of internships, research projects, citizen participation projects and educational programs. The grant is aimed at bringing "nationally prominent thought leaders in fields related to local or regional government to the region's universities and colleges to speak with students, faculty, media and the public in order to provide an opportunity to learn about innovative approaches to local government and to stimulate interest in career opportunities in municipal and government service."

While they are at Miami, Sunstein and Galston will also meet with faculty and students. Sunstein's and Galston's visits are organized by Miami's department of political science.


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