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Forming Theories from Multiple Sources and Disciplines: The Problem of Polarization.

Masterclass by Donald Horowitz, James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science Emeritus, Duke University

In this Masterclass, Professor Horowitz argues that in order to tackle the problem of polarization in Comparative Politics, we require evidence not just from multiple countries, but from multiple disciplines. Drawing on his book on Constitutional Processes and Democratic Commitment (Yale University Press, 2021), he will demonstrate that while polarization gives the appearance of being quite durable, and we think of it as very hard to change, it can be modified. Polarization tends to be more situational than we are inclined to believe and evidence of moderation is elicited from several different disciplines and phenomena. Professor Horowitz further shows that even in polarized polities, ostensible opponents can form a genuine consensus.

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Speaker bio:

Donald L. Horowitz is the James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science Emeritus at Duke University. He holds law degrees from Syracuse and Harvard and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard. The author of eight books, Professor Horowitz has held a number of distinguished visiting positions at Universities in the US, Hungary, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, and the UK.

He has also served as Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics, a Guggenheim Scholar, and a Carnegie Scholar. In 2009, he was presented with the Distinguished Scholar Award of the Ethnicity and Nationalism Section of the International Studies Association. He has been a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, and a Siemens Prize Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin. Professor Horowitz delivered the Lipset Lecture in Washington and Toronto in 2013. He also gave the Corry Lecture at Queens University in Ontario in the same year. He has given keynote addresses and other named lectures at universities in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, India, England, Northern Ireland, Malaysia, and South Africa; and the Castle Lectures on Ethics, Politics, and Economics at Yale.

Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993, Professor Horowitz served as President of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy from 2007 to 2010. In 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the Flemish-speaking Free University of Brussels.



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XFI Conference Room 1