The Castle Lecture Series - The Democratic Faith

Paul Sniderman, Farleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor of Public Policy, Stanford University

Lecture 1 - Myrdal’s Conjecture

Professor Paul Sniderman, Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkley, delivered this year’s Castle Lecture Series, “The Democratic Faith,” for the Program in Ethics, Politics, and Economics.  Fifty years and more of research on the beliefs and fears of citizens have emphasized their vulnerability to prejudice and political intolerance; their minimal levels of political knowledge; the wobbliness of their political preferences; and, not to run on interminably, the feebleness of their commitment to core democratic values. The three lectures will re-examine this portrait of citizens. The first lecture, “Myrdal’s Conjecture,” focused on the politics of race; the second, “Multiculturalism Redux,” on the conditions under which citizens support the inclusion of cultural minorities; the third, “The Elasticity of Preferences,” on the role of reasons and political institutions in organizing the political thinking of citizens.