Reconciling and healing America
The United States faces extraordinary problems of polarization, radicalization, and extremism that make it difficult to address pressing policy issues. There have been precipitous increases in the public’s distrust of government, institutional dysfunction, and racial and ethnic violence. Taken together, these developments pose systemic risks and threaten the very fabric of our society, economy, and political processes.
On February 9, Brookings hosted a webinar to discuss the United States’ polarization and the importance of overcoming those divisions, particularly after a divisive election campaign and its troubled aftermath. Panelists explored the sources of American divisions and policy solutions with the potential to take the country on a path toward healing and shared prosperity. Speakers identified specific steps that would address the structural factors fueling polarization and extremism and opportunities for state and community leaders to contribute to these overall efforts.
Viewers submitted questions for speakers by emailing email@example.com or by tweeting at @BrookingsInst.
Panel 1: Policy solutions for a path towards healing
Darrell M. West
Senior Fellow - Center for Technology Innovation
Douglas Dillon Chair in Governmental Studies
Interim Vice President and Director - Governance Studies
Director - Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion Initiative
Interim Vice President and Director - Economic Studies
Founding Director - Center for Effective Public Management
Senior Fellow - Governance Studies
Panel 2: How civil society can help the country overcome divisions
Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and Europe
Co-Director of Field Operations - Braver Angels
Director of Policy & Advocacy - Interfaith Alliance
Eaton Professor of Government - Harvard University
Incoming Assistant Professor of Government - William & Mary
Founder and Director - International Justice Lab
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The upshot is an environment in which the leaders of the world’s most powerful democracies have to engage with an ever more challenging world, even as they’re on shaky ground at home. This can fuel doubts among our allies and overconfidence among our adversaries, and leave us all more vulnerable as a result.