Spring events to address American Democracy, American Dream

From left to right: Daniel Carpenter, Anne Case, and Catherine Rampell

This spring, the La Follette School will host leading experts to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing our country.

The event series American Democracy, American Dream will examine the importance of public policy’s influence on democracy and everyday American life. Events will cover the history of 19th century petitioning, America’s evolving role on the global stage, and capitalism’s effects on the working class.

All spring events are free. With the exception of our annual Alumni & Friends Reception, all events will be open to the public and livestreamed online. More information on each event can be found below.

March 24 — Daniel Carpenter, Democracy by Petition

Discovery Building and via livestream, 5–6 p.m.

Harvard University Professor of Government Daniel Carpenter will discuss his book Democracy by Petition, which traces the explosion and expansion of petitioning across the North American continent. Petitions facilitated the extension of suffrage, the decline of feudal land tenure, and advances in liberty for women, African Americans, and Indigenous peoples.


April 14 – La Follette School Alumni & Friends Reception

Overture Center for the Arts, 5–7 p.m.

After rescheduling due to COVID, we look forward to hosting our annual networking and social event for La Follette School alumni, students, faculty, and staff! Please join us for hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and a La Follette School Student Association (LSSA) hosted table selling La Follette School merchandise.


April 14 – Anne Case, The Great Divide: Education, Despair & Death

Overture Center for the Arts and via livestream, 7–8 p.m.

Anne Case, author of Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism, will give an account of how the flaws in capitalism are harming America’s working class. Case will discuss the dramatic rise in deaths from opioid overdose, alcoholism, and suicide in recent decades and how the disparity between those who are prospering and those who are struggling continues to grow.

Funding for Anne Case is provided by the Hilldale Lecture Fund, the Center for Demography and Healthy Aging, and the Paul Offner Lecture Fund.


May 2 – Public Affairs Journalist in Residence, Catherine Rampell

Virtual lecture only, more information will be available soon.

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell will be UW–Madison’s spring 2022 Public Affairs Journalist in Residence. During her campus visit, Rampell will give a virtual talk on May 2 related to her data-driven coverage of economics, public policy, immigration, and politics. She will also be a keynote panelist at the May 4 La Follette Forum.

The Public Affairs Journalist in Residence is made possible by the La Follette School’s Kohl Initiative, University Communications, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. More details will be available soon.

May 4 – La Follette Forum 2022: American Power, Prosperity, and Democracy

Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

Registration is now open for the third annual La Follette Forum, which will focus on American Power, Prosperity, and Democracy. Experts from academia, journalism, private industry, and the public policy world will discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant international economic crisis, the rise of China as a world power, and threats of authoritarianism to the future of American democracy.

The La Follette Forum is made possible by the La Follette School’s Kohl Initiative.

Learn more & register