June 9, 2021 Kluge Center to Host Pillars of Democracy Series on Strengthening US Institutions

Press Contact: Bill Ryan, (202) 707-1940, wryan@loc.gov
Public Contact: Andrew Breiner, (202) 707-1940, abreiner@loc.gov
Website: John W. Kluge Center

A series of new events from the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, the Pillars of Democracy, will examine the challenges facing major institutions in American society. The series will debut in July and continue through May 2022.

From the branches of government to religious and civic organizations, the media and political parties, key foundations of American life are less respected, less trusted and less involved in forming individual character than at any point in our history.

The John W. Kluge Center, with the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute, will host the series to explore how institutions should work in a functioning society, and grapple with the question of how their decline can be counteracted. These panel discussions will draw on the expertise of historians, political scientists, authors and others from across the ideological spectrum, to show the full extent of the challenges facing American institutions, and their potential promise.

The Pillars of Democracy series will consist of a monthly event over the coming ten months (excluding December). The series begins on July 8 (click here to register) with an analysis of the U.S. Congress and will end in May 2022. All events are free to the public.

Each event will focus on one institution, with panelists answering the questions: “What is the institution’s proper role? Where does it fall short? And what can we do about it?”

Event schedule:

  1. The U.S. Congress — July 8, 2021
  2. The Presidency — Aug. 19, 2021
  3. The Federal Judiciary — Sept. 16, 2021
  4. The Regulatory State — Oct. 21, 2021
  5. Political Parties November — Nov. 18, 2021
  6. Electoral Institutions — Jan. 20, 2021
  7. The Military — Feb. 17, 2022
  8. Churches and Other Civic Institutions — March 17, 2022
  9. The Media — April 21, 2022
  10. Universities and the Academy — May 19, 2022

July 8 at 4 pm ET: The U.S. Congress
Click here to register. 

John Haskell, Director, John W. Kluge Center

Frances Lee is a professor of political science at Princeton University and the 2019 Library of Congress Chair in Congressional Policymaking. Lee is the author of "Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Perpetual Campaign" (2016), "Beyond Ideology: Politics, Principles and Partisanship in the U.S. Senate" (2009), and co-author of "Sizing Up The Senate: The Unequal Consequences of Equal Representation" (1999). Lee is the recipient of the American Political Science Association’s Richard F. Fenno Award, the D.B. Hardeman Award from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, and the American Political Science Association’s E.E. Schattschneider Award.

Sarah Binder is the most recent Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance, professor of political science at George Washington University and senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. An expert in Congress and legislative politics, her current research explores the historical and contemporary relationship between Congress and the Federal Reserve. Her co-authored book, "The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve" was published by Princeton University Press in 2017. She is associate editor of The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage Blog and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Philip Wallach is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies America’s separation of powers, with a focus on regulatory policy issues and the relationship between Congress and the administrative state. Before joining AEI, Dr. Wallach was a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, where he authored “To the Edge: Legality, Legitimacy, and the Responses to the 2008 Financial Crisis” (Brookings Institution Press, 2015). He was later affiliated with the R Street Institute and served as a fellow with the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress in 2019.

Any views expressed by the panelists are solely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of the Library of Congress, the American Enterprise Institute or the Brookings Institution.

Additional information on the upcoming events will become available in the months ahead. Subscribe to the Kluge Center blog here for updates on the series.

This series of events is co-sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute.

About the John W. Kluge Center
The Kluge Center’s mission, as established in 2000, is to reinvigorate the interconnection between thought and action, bridging the gap between scholarship and policymaking. To that end, the center brings some of the world’s great thinkers to the Library to make use of the Library collections and engage in conversations addressing the challenges facing democracies in the 21st century.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

About the American Enterprise Institute
The American Enterprise Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization where scholars work to expand liberty, increase individual opportunity and strengthen free enterprise.

About the Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public.


PR 21-029
ISSN 0731-3527