Left, Right Meet at CenterGAMBIER, Ohio (December 18, 2009) Some of the country's top political analysts and commentators will gather at Kenyon in April to discuss the health and future of America's political parties.
The Center for the Study of American Democracy at Kenyon hosts its inaugural, biennial conference on April 8-10, 2010. The conference will begin with a balanced keynote presentation by E.J. Dionne, columnist for the Washington Post, and William Kristol, founder and editor of the Weekly Standard, Center director John Fortier said.
"At a critical juncture in our politics, the Center for the Study of American Democracy looks at the important American institution of political parties," Fortier said. "How have our parties and party system been shaped by history and our constitution, how healthy is the party system today, and what is the future of American political parties?"
Dionne and Kristol, Fortier said, are "two of America's best political thinkers on the left and right," and they will be joined at the conference by prominent commentators, experts on public policy, and political scientists in a series of public and private sessions designed to encourage lively and productive dialogue.
Participants expected at the conference include David Broder, Washington Post columnist and professor of journalism at the University of Maryland; James Ceaser, author and professor of politics at the University of Virginia; Edward "Ned" Foley, professor of law at the Ohio State University and an expert on election law and administration; William Galston, professor of civic engagement and director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland and former presidential advisor; Fred Greenstein, author and professor of politics emeritus at Princeton University; John Harwood, chief Washington correspondent for CNBC and political writer for the New York Times ; Ruy Teixeira, author and senior fellow at the Century Foundation and Center for American Progress; former U.S. Rep. Deborah Pryce; and Amy Walter, editor-in-chief of the Hotline.
The keynote presentation and some panel discussions will be open to the public. Private sessions will feature the core group of participants in discussion with Kenyon faculty and students. A specific agenda suited to the strengths of the participants and objectives of the conference is being developed.
The goal of the Center for the Study of American Democracy is to stimulate nonpartisan civic and political discourse through conferences, lectures, and seminars. The Center was established through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2007. The $710,000 "We the People" Challenge grant is being matched by $2.1 million in donations generated by the College's current $230 million capital campaign. Fortier was named director in 2008.