Constitution Day Lecture: The Exceptional U.S. Constitution
American exceptionalism has been a potent—and quite frequently divisive—political point in recent years. At the heart of the ideological and partisan posturing over the notion is the idea of whether the United States has a privileged place among nations on account of its unique history and considerable achievements. In other words, "exceptional" is almost always implicitly understood as a normative term. Typically missing from these heated discussions is any recognition--far less examination--of how the U.S. Constitution is quite exceptional in a descriptive sense--that is, how it stands apart from the constitutions of most liberal democratic nations. It will be Dr. Michael Bailey's task in this lecture to explain how the U.S. Constitution differs from most other democratic constitutions and what the implications are for democratic governance on account of these differences. Given the fact that democratic discourse in the United States is increasingly toxic and divisive, a reconsideration of our Constitution and its effects on governance is in order.
Tuesday, September 17 at 5:00pm to 6:00pm