Browder To Lead Democracy Forums Throughout Alabama
JACKSONVILLE -- August 28, 2002 --
Former Congressman Glen Browder will lead a series of provocative public discussions
throughout Alabama this Fall focusing on the future of American democracy.
Dr. Browder, now Eminent Scholar in American Democracy at Jacksonville State University, will raise dramatic questions about the uncertain future of America’s “Great Experiment” during a series of open gatherings tentatively scheduled for Anniston (Sept. 9), Huntsville (Sept. 16), Birmingham (Sept. 23), Montgomery (Sept. 30), Mobile (Oct. 7), and other sites to be determined. The forums, presented by JSU as part of its Eminent Scholar Public Lecture Series, will consist of Browder’s provocative remarks followed by audience participation.
The purpose of the series is to encourage public debate, especially among young people, about dramatic developments that challenge traditional notions of American public life. Drawing from his new book The Future of American Democracy: A Former Congressman’s Unconventional Analysis (2002), Browder says that America is changing in important and unsettling ways that demand national dialogue.
“America’s Great Experiment has indeed been a grand and glorious endeavor for over two hundred years,” he says, “but our national democratic experiment also embodies principles and tendencies that inherently and continuously threaten American democracy.”
Particularly at the beginning of the Twenty-First Century, he believes that we are undergoing a democratic metamorphosis that, for better or worse, is transforming our nation and the world. “The critical question for contemporary America is how our nation--a people of growing cultural diversity, with increasingly divergent ideals, values, and principles of governance--can continue the collective pursuit of freedom, equality, and justice through the historic framework of representative democracy.” Perhaps, Browder speculates, we may have reached the limits of our democratic destiny. As he asks rhetorically at the beginning of his new book: “Is America dying?”
Browder, who has served as an Alabama State Legislator (1982-86), Secretary of State (1987-89), and U.S. Congressman (1989-96), taught thousands of students the essentials of American democracy as a JSU professor before launching his political career. He brings to this series a unique combination of experience and perspectives as a public official, political scientist, and self-proclaimed “American dreamer.”
Browder’s unconventional analysis has received strong, positive reviews from public officials, academicians, and journalists. Former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta calls Browder’s message “a wake-up call for our democracy”; Dr. Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia’s Governmental Studies Center, says that Browder “challenges every citizen, especially the young, to think anew about America’s democracy”; and Governing Magazine’s Alan Ehrenhalt asserts that “all of his recommendations are worth reading and paying attention to.”
For additional information regarding this series and specific events, contact the JSU News Office at 256-782-5826 or the JSU Political Science Department at 256-782-5650.
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