Amicus Curiae Lecture Series to feature Marc Hetherington speaking on political polarization

Marshall University’s Amicus Curiae Lecture Series will conclude its fall 2017 season on Thursday, Nov. 9, when it welcomes Vanderbilt University Professor Dr. Marc Hetherington to lecture on political polarization in the United States. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall on the Huntington campus.

Hetherington will discuss the subject of the award-winning book he co-authored with Dr. Jonathan D. Weiler, “Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics,” which argues that the polarization of ordinary Americans is the result of people’s views of right and wrong and good and evil.

The book explains “why Americans feel polarized even if they don’t call themselves strong liberals and strong conservatives.” As described by Cambridge University Press, “it offers an especially powerful explanation for the voting dynamics among white working class voters … a much discussed but poorly understood” portion of the electorate.

“This is a very timely topic, as political polarization is one of the key issues affecting our democracy today, and has been for some time,” said Patricia Proctor, director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy, which sponsors the Amicus Curiae Lecture Series.

Hetherington also co-authored the books “Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis,” with Dr. Thomas J. Rudolph, and “Why Trust Matters: Declining Political Trust and the Demise of American Liberalism.” He has lectured throughout the United States (including at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton and the University of Virginia, among others) and abroad, including at the London School of Economics.

The Amicus Curiae Lecture Series is supported by a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council.