The American Global Challenge: Aligning Economy, Democracy & Environment in the 21st Century

Economy, Environment, Democracy - Broken?

Lecture series by Lance Bennett, Ruddick C. Lawrence, Professor of Communication

Life quality for growing numbers of people on the planet is threatened by a set of systemic problems. The global economy is not working well for people or the environment. Economic policies across the political spectrum rely on unrealistic expectations about economic growth and resource consumption. America and many other democracies face policy gridlock, breakdowns in representation, and voter anger. How did we get here? What can be done to address these great challenges of our time? This lecture series examines the prospects for realigning our economic, environmental and political systems in light of the outcomes of the 2016 elections: (a) economic and democratic system breakdown, (b) can capitalism be fixed, (c) the role of money in political reform (d) dismantling the environment versus economy myth, and (e) building the next system.

Go to supplementary reading list


Lecture Videos

January 17: System Breakdown: Economy and Democracy in Crisis

January 31: Can Capitalism Be Fixed?

February 7: The Best Democracy that Money Can Buy

February 22: Economy vs. Environment

March 7: Building the Next System

Thank you to the University of Washington Alumni Association for supporting this event. Find more public lecture information at


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