Category: Papers

  • Leonora Zilkha Williamson

    Tough Conversations

    By Leonora Zilkha Williamson  As the calendar turns toward the next election, I think often of a dinner I tried to organize five years ago with two childhood friends (we’re all nearing 50 and spent youthful summers on the beach). The effort failed because of politics. One friend, an ardent… Read More

    Sep. 6, 2022

  • Vanderbilt University

    Vanderbilt Unity Index shows American political unity stabilized

    Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy releases second quarterly Vanderbilt Unity Index data measuring Americans’ faith and trust in democracy   Americans’ general faith and trust in democracy has stabilized in the first half of 2022, remaining relatively flat through the second quarter, according to the… Read More

    Jul. 12, 2022

  • Vanderbilt University

    Washington Post: How politically divided is the U.S.? It’s complicated but quantifiable.

    Read Dean John Geer and Mary Catherine Sullivan’s recent piece in the Washington Post about the Vanderbilt Unity Index. The new measure of national unity examines shifts over decades, and tells a better story than you might think. Read More

    Jun. 10, 2022

  • Vanderbilt University

    Vanderbilt Unity Project launches “Unity Index” showing quarterly snapshot on Americans’ faith and trust in democracy

    A new index designed by researchers at Vanderbilt University shows a steady erosion of trust in American political institutions over the past 40 years, with it hitting its lowest point in 2017 after racial unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Launched by the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy, the… Read More

    Apr. 11, 2022

  • Vanderbilt University

    Service-learning’s role in promoting active citizenship and unifying a community

    Service-learning’s role in promoting active citizenship and unifying a community By Billy O’Steen, Associate Professor of service-learning at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand “It was the first time I was happy to see a group of university students coming down my street,” said a… Read More

    Apr. 6, 2022

  • Vanderbilt University

    Political Leaders Agree on Core Attributes Needed to Reach Across the Aisle

    SUMMARY Unifying Theme: Hope for Consensus Across Party Lines: A Student Project While political partisans may not agree on much these days, 40 current and former elected officials interviewed by Vanderbilt students in the spring of 2021 agreed on leadership competencies to successfully work across the aisle, build coalitions and… Read More

    Dec. 22, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    Introduction to “Robert’s Rules of Order and Why It Matters for Colleges and Universities Today”

    In 1876, America weathered an economic roller coaster, a questionable presidential election and social unrest. Many envisioned the nation’s colleges and universities as the institutions best equipped to maintain the bonds between citizens and their elected government. However, a major in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, rather than a professor or college president, would provide the framework which enabled American colleges and universities to rise to global preeminence, when Henry Martyn Robert published the first edition of his Robert’s Rules of Order. Read More

    Oct. 20, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    Saving Icarus 2.0: AI Regulation Requires Extraordinary Partnerships

    Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to offer humanity enormous benefits, but ensuring that its progress aligns with democratic principles and human rights will require extraordinary coordination—political leaders engaged with technology leaders as partners, not adversaries—to craft a flexible regulatory framework. Read More

    Aug. 2, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    ‘Fate of Fact,’ an audio documentary by Jon Meacham

    This five-part audio series explores the question of how fear conquered truth, the history and origins of the strong grip misinformation and disinformation have on our politics, and how we got here today. The way forward isn’t about nostalgia, it’s not about sentimentality, it’s about seeing things whole.   Read More

    Jul. 26, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    Reflections on Bridge Builders in a Polarized Age

    When profiling diverse leaders across America—the bridge builders, who do not accept the status quo of bottomless rage toward others—I discovered that these bridge builders are countercultural. They do not accept buzzwords. They do not use labels. They choose nuance over caricature, realizing that when they box people in, they box themselves out of the possibility of meaningful connections that can lead to genuine change.  Read More

    Jul. 15, 2021