The Crisis in American Democracy: webinar & civics toolkit


Scott Simon, Host of Weekend Edition, National Public Radio (moderator)

Dick Simpson, Professor of Political Science, University of Illinois at Chicago

Angelique Power, President & CEO, Skillman Foundation

Elizabeth Matto, Director, Center for Youth Participation, Eagleton Institute, Rutgers University

What is driving American democracy’s contemporary crisis? Even more urgently, what are solutions and strategies Americans can pursue to revitalize their democracy? Moderated by NPR’s Scott Simon, this May 10th, 2022 webinar, “The Crisis in American Democracy,” discusses the challenges confronting Americans in their struggle to build a multiracial, multiethnic democracy. The webinar opens with a short presentation from political scientist Dick Simpson charting how income and racial inequality, money in politics, polarization, nonparticipation, corruption, and constitutional design are all contributing to contemporary American democratic backsliding. Following this short presentation our panelists discuss strategies, reform measures, and existing grassroots organizations engaged in the struggle to create a more participatory and deliberative democracy. This webinar can be used to inspire class lectures.  Clips or the entire webinar can also be shown in class to begin discussions of the crises facing our democracy.

Associated Teaching Resources from Dick Simpson

Course Syllabus – Seminar in American Politics:  Democracy’s Challenges and Rebirth

Mini-Lecture #1 –  Introduction PowerPoint and Notes

Mini-Lecture #2 – Racial and Income Inequality PowerPoint and Notes

Mini-Lecture #3 – Money in Politics PowerPoint and Notes

Mini-Lecture #4 – Political, Institutional and Moral Corruption PowerPoint and Notes

Mini-Lecture #5 – Deliberative and Participatory Democracy PowerPoint and Notes

Event Co-Sponsors:

University of Illinois System Institute of Government and Public Affairs

University of Illinois Press

American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies

The Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University

American Political Science Association

Browse all of APSA’s Teaching & Learning webinars


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