December 8, 2016

Purple Project

POLIS is focused on fostering informed, civil discourse and on bridging the divides that separate us. These aims often run at cross-purposes with our political climate—a climate where many elected officials have no need to listen to opposing views because they face little risk of running against opposing candidates . . . a climate where negative ads are effective campaign tools, and then all too often carry over into the weightier job of governance.

This semester POLIS launched “The Purple Project: Bridging Red and Blue America.”  We believe that Purple is possible.  One example is the recently established North Carolina Leadership Forum, through which conservatives, moderates, and liberals engage in civil dialogue and respectful disagreement.  Political opponents need not be enemies.  Ideological outsiders need not be ignored.

Divisions are exacerbated by fear and mistrust, and by a competitive spirit as old as politics itself.  But there is more that unites us than divides us.  The Purple Project will identify areas of potential collaboration and will promote principles that replace rancor with respect.

Read the latest on the Purple project.

The Devil’s Discourse Podcast

These days, extreme partisanship, a breakdown in civility, policy-making and process-driven gridlock, and other pathologies of modern politics have caused many Americans to lose trust in political institutions. The notion of individuals coming together to solve problems seems increasingly antiquated. However, most Duke University students want to hear what the other side thinks. They want to better understand the foundations of others’ beliefs. They want to learn how others’ experiences have shaped their world view.

The Devil’s Discourse Podcast captures these tough, honest, and respectful conversations, showcasing to the Duke community and to communities beyond that constructive dialogue is a first step toward jumpstarting cross-party collaboration and sound policy making.

Click here to listen to the Devil’s Discourse podcasts.

Redistricting Reform: Mapping Our Future

In February, Common Cause, the Campaign Legal Center, POLIS co-hosted a conference to highlight efforts around the country to end the undemocratic practice of drawing legislative districts for political advantage, also known as “gerrymandering.” Panel discussions featured leaders of national and state advocacy campaigns—from the right and the left—to reform our broken redistricting system.