Polarization: Is America Too Fragmented? Rick Pildes and Lee Drutman

Why is American politics so dysfunctional? Is it because we are too polarized or too fragmented? Throughout this fall we will be exploring different aspects of polarization— arguably the most important threat to both effective governance and a stable democracy. 

This episode includes an edited recording of a lively conversation from the podcast, "Politics In Question", between Rick Pildes, Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law, and political scientist Lee Drutman, a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation.

Lee has been a guest on several previous episodes of "How Do We Fix It?". Author of the book, "Breaking the Two Party Doomloop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America", Lee is known as an advocate for proportional representation with ranked-choice voting, arguing that it would reduce political polarization and minimize the risks of democratic backsliding. 

Rick is skeptical of this analysis, and argues that "the most pervasive and perhaps deepest challenge facing virtually all Western democracies today is the political fragmentation of democratic politics." He has written widely about this topic. 

Thank you to our friends at "Politics In Question", who have given us permission to share their interview. Both "Politics In Question" and "How Do We Fix It?" are members of The Democracy Group, a network that shares political podcasts about democracy, civic engagement and civil discourse.

This episode is part of a fall series made with support and funding from Solutions Journalism Network — a non-profit training and advocacy organization. SJN trains journalists to focus on what the news misses most often: How people are trying to solve problems and what we can learn from their successes and failures.

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