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2022-2023 Big Thought Series: Sept. 20, 2022

Keynote Lecture

Belief in the Legitimate Opposition

Dr. Russell Muirhead
Robert Clements Professor of Democracy and Politics at Dartmouth College

Before the age of modern democracy, organizing to challenge the government was treasonous and had to be done in secret. With modern democracy, political conspiracies could come out in the open. Conspiracies came to be known as parties. Modern democracy requires turning over power to the other side when it wins -- and refusing to persecute the other side when you win. This is what the “legitimate opposition” means, in practice. Democracy cannot work without believing the other side is legitimate. What do we have to believe to think of the opposition as a “legitimate opposition”?

Professor Muirhead, co-author with Nancy L. Rosenblum of A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy (Princeton U. Press, 2019), will examine whether amid political partisanship and the tendency of rival partisans to hate each other, we can still believe in the legitimate opposition.

Russell MuirheadTuesday, September 20, 2022

7:00 p.m.

Event Space, Roger & Francine Jean Student Center

Further Reading