JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

Eminent Scholar Glen Browder Concludes Public Lecture Series in Alabama, Moscow, Washington

December 5, 2002 -- Over the past three months, almost a thousand persons -- mainly high school and college students in Alabama and Washington -- have been challenged to accept personal responsibility for the future of American democracy by Jacksonville State University Eminent Scholar Glen Browder.

Former Congressman Browder conducted sixteen forums as an extended version of the JSU Eminent Scholar Public Lecture Series this Fall, beginning at Alabama schools in September and concluding in November at institutions in the national capital; he even delivered one lecture in Moscow.

At each forum, Browder engaged his audience with an open rhetorical inquiry--"Is America Dying?" Then, pursuing a theme developed in his new book (The Future of American Democracy: A Former Congressman's Unconventional Analysis), he outlined the strengths, vulnerabilities, and some possible outcomes of America's historic "Great Experiment". He concluded by challenging young citizens to educate themselves for democratic participation, to pressure political leaders about their vision for American democracy, and perhaps to assume democratic leadership responsibilities themselves.

Along the course of the series, Dr. Browder discovered that, while very few people believe America is dying, most Americans are concerned about important and unsettling changes in American democracy. Interestingly, too, he found that the various audiences responded to his analysis depending upon their political relationship with the federal government and their geographical distance from Capitol Hill. "Washington area audiences talked, as concerned activists, about their dissatisfaction with Congress, the White House, and the Courts; Alabamians talked about the irrelevancy of politics in their daily lives and their declined interest as citizens; and Russians seemed to be troubled about America's conflicted role as democratic model and international super power."

While acknowledging the limitations of his lecture series in solving these problems, Browder hopes that the forums encourage young people to talk about their responsibilities for the Great Experiment in the Twenty-First Century. "America is undergoing a democratic metamorphosis of uncertain destiny," he claims, "and we owe it to future generations to deal constructively with these changes."

For additional information about the Jacksonville State University Eminent Scholar Public Lecture Series, including Browder's provocative analysis and the sites/institutions visited in Alabama, Washington, and Moscow, contact the JSU News Office at 256-782-5826 or access Dr. Browder's website at "www.futureofamericandemocracy.org".


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