Friday, December 21, 2012

"Is America Governable?"

Sandy Levinson


 Those of you who know my postings over the years know my pessimism about the answer to the question in the subject heading.  More to the point, though, is that this is the title of a major conference I have organized to take place at the University of Texas Law School the weekend after Inauguration, January 24-26.  We will obviously know by then whether we have jumped over the fiscal cliff or slid down the austerity slope, whether it is really likely that anything is going to be done about the free availability of all sorts of weaponry and ammunition, whether the United States is likely to continue paying its debts, and so on.  I anticipate that the discussions will be web-streamed and possibly even on C-SPAN, given the quality of the participants, many of whom have published recent books altogether relevant to the topic, and continuing timeliness of the subject (unless Republican lions and Democratic lambs really are frolicking with one another and we can talk about what has accounted for this unexpected development).  There is no cost for attendingI see no  point to opening this for discussion.  I will be offering some other posts shortly on American ungovernability that I will certainly open up.

The official website of the conference is  

Is America Governable?
University of Texas School of Law, January 24-26, 2013
Conference Schedule (tentative)

Thursday, 5:30-7:30pm (Law School Auditorium): 
The State of the Union, Evan Smith (moderator)
          Mickey Edwards, Bill Galston, Sandy Levinson, Tom Mann, Norman Ornstein, Alan Wolfe

Friday (Eidman Courtroom)

 9:15-10:45am:  Compromise and governance, Elizabeth Sherman (moderator)
                   Mickey Edwards, Jane Mansbridge, Jack Rakove, Dennis Thompson 

11:00-12:30pm:  So How Well Did Our Electoral System(s) Do in 2012?, Joseph Fishkin (moderator)
                   Edward (Ned) Foley, Heather Gerken, Richard Hasen, Mark Rosen

LUNCH:  12:45-2 Atrium  Luncheon talk:  Larry Lessig:  Is the Republic Still in Danger of Being Lost?  Lessons from the 2012 Elections 

Eidman Courtroom
2:15-3:3:45 pm:  “The People’s Branch”:  Is Congress Hopeless?, John Fortier (moderator)
                   Sarah Bilder, John Ferejohn, Tom Mann, David Mayhew, Norman Ornstein 

4:00--5:30 pm:  Executive branch(es) and governance:  A Cause for Optimism or Fear?, Jeff Tulis (moderator)
                   Philip Bobbitt, Jacob Gersen, Stephen Griffin, Tom McGarity, Stephen Skowronek

Saturday (Eidman Courtroom)

9:15-10:45am:  Governance and the judiciary, Scot Powe (moderator)
                   Adam Liptak, James Gibson, Alan Tarr

11:00-12:15:  Governance from the State perspective, Lynn Baker (moderator)
                   Bruce Cain, John Dinan

1:30-3:30pm:  Thinking about the future (and outside the box?), Jack Balkin, moderator
                   James Fishkin, David Orentlicher, Ernesto Cortes

Lynn Baker, University of Texas Law School
Jack Balkin, Yale Law School
Sarah Bilder, Brookings Institution, George Washington University
Philip Bobbitt, University of Texas Law School, Columbia Law School
Bruce Cain, University of California at Berkeley
Ernesto Cortes, Industrial Areas Foundation
John Dinan, Wake Forest University
Mickey Edwards, Aspen Institute
John Ferejohn, New York University School of Law
James Fishkin, Stanford University
Joseph Fishkin, University of Texas Law School
Edward (Ned) Foley, Moritz School of Law, Ohio State University
John Fortier, Bipartisan Policy Center
William Galston, Brookings Institution
Heather Gerken, Yale Law School
Jacob Gersen, Harvard Law School
James Gibson, Washington University of St. Louis
Stephen Griffin, Tulane Law School
Richard Hasen, University of California at Irvine School of Law
Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School
Sanford Levinson, University of Texas Law School
Adam Liptak, New York Times
Thomas Mann, Brookings Institution
Jane Mansbridge, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard  University
David Mayhew, Yale University
David Orentlicher, University of Indiana School of Law
Thomas McGarity, University of Texas Law School
Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute
Lucas A. (Scot) Powe, University of Texas Law School
Jack Rakove, Stanford University
Mark Rosen, Chicago-Kent School of Law
Elizabeth Sherman, American University
Stephen Skowronek, Yale University
Evan Smith, Texas Tribune
Alan Tarr, Rutgers University
Dennis Thompson, Harvard University
Jeffrey Tulis, University of Texas
Alan Wolfe, Boston College

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