The UNC Program for Public Discourse seeks to foster civic virtue and democratic citizenship by promoting the rhetorical dimensions of civic engagement, including speech, dialogue, argumentation, and debate. We utilize such tools as essential means of facilitating robust public deliberation. We host public events featuring speakers who demonstrate the transformative potential of agonistic dialogue, i.e., collaborative disagreement.
For our inaugural Debating Public Policy Series event, the UNC Program for Public Discourse invites two UNC faculty members to debate the advantages and disadvantages of President Biden’s recent proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $15.
Luca Flabbi, Ph.D.(Panelist, Associate Professor @Department of Economics): A 2004 graduate of New York University, Luca Flabbi is a labor economist interested in gender differentials and discrimination, bargaining in the labor market and in the household, search models estimation.
Paige Ouimet, Ph.D.(Panelist, Professor of Finance @Kenan-Flagler Business School):Paige Ouimet has several research projects looking at income inequality and the role of firms. She also has researched ESOP (employee share ownership plans) and employee stock options and their impact on labor productivity, wages and turnover. Her research agenda is concentrated at the juncture of finance and labor economics. She is interested in in how decisions studied in finance impact employee stakeholders – specifically how those effects are reflected in firm performance and, hence, corporate finance decisions.
Kevin Marinelli, Ph.D.(Moderator, Executive Director @UNC Program for Public Discourse): Kevin Marinelli serves as executive director of the Program for Public Discourse and teaches in the Department of Communication. He teaches courses in rhetorical studies, and his scholarship centers on public argument. Currently, he is investigating practices of rhetorical citizenship.
This is a recording of our virtual event The Future of Conservatism hosted on March 23, 2021.
Conservatism in America has an uncertain future. On a host of issues including populism, free trade, and nationalism, conservatives are no longer united. Now, perhaps more than ever, what it means to be a “conservative,” where conservatism is likely headed, and where, ideally, it should direct itself are open to debate. A panel of political thinkers with different views on conservatism discussed these critical questions.
The panel was composed of:
Patrick Deneen, PhD, Professor of Political Science and the David A. Potenziani Memorial Chair of Constitutional Studies at the University of Notre Dame
Yuval Levin, PhD the director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute
Daniel McCarthy, the editor of Modern Age: A Conservative Review, published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo, PhD an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Texas State University.
The event was moderated by Jed Atkins, PhD, the director of the Arete Initiative at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, where he is the E. Blake Byrne Associate Professor of Classical Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science.
This Abbey Speaker Series event was co-sponsored by the UNC Program for Public Discourse and the Arete Initiative, part of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.
This is a recording of our virtual event Defining Racial Justice in the 21st Century hosted on February 23, 2021.
In the wake of a summer of protests against police brutality, the midst of an ongoing pandemic, and the aftermath of a contentious election, the UNC Program for Public Discourse and Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies brought together a panel of Black academic, journalistic, religious, and political leaders to discuss and debate their different definitions of what racial justice looks like – and how it might be achieved – in the twenty-first century.
The panel was composed of:
NC State Senator Valerie Foushee, chair of the North Carolina Black Alliance, a network of Black legislators that advocates for communities of color on a variety of issues.
Touré Reed, PhD, a Professor of History at Illinois State University whose research and writings focus on the impact of race and class ideologies on African American civil rights politics and US public policy from the Progressive Era through the Presidency of Barack Obama.
Jacqueline C. Rivers, PhD, a lecturer at Harvard University and the Executive Director of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies.
The event was moderated by Jamelle Bouie, columnist for the New York Times and a political analyst for CBS News who covers campaigns, elections, national affairs, and culture.
This is a recording of our virtual event Free Speech on Campus hosted on October 20, 2020.
A panel discussion about the current state of free expression on college campuses. A part of #UNCResearchWeek, our panelists discuss the "Free Expression and Constructive Dialogue at UNC-Chapel Hill" report composed by UNC Profs. Jennifer Larson, Mark McNeilly, and Timothy Ryan. You can read more about the study’s conclusions and find a link to the full report on The Daily Tar Heel. Profs. Larson and McNeilly also discussed the report with the James G. Martin Center earlier this year.
The panel was composed of:
Greg Lukianoff, President and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, FIRE, and co-author of the New York Times best-seller, The Coddling of the American Mind.
Sigal Ben-Porath, Ph.D., a professor in the Literacy, Culture, and International Education Division of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.
Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill, Ph.D., Director of the Campus Free Expression Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Moderated by Prof. Kevin Marinelli, Executive Director of the UNC Program for Public Discourse.
This is a recording of our virtual event, Robert P. George and Cornel West In Conversation, hosted on September 10, 2020, and moderated by Thomas Chatterton Williams.
Cornel West: "What I mean by 'the left' is I am talking about the tradition, both secular and religious, that pushes back against the logic of the market, that pushes back against corporate power..." Robert P. George: "The form of American conservatism that I am attracted to is old-fashioned liberalism in the tradition of James Madison and Alexis de Tocqueville. A tradition that views freedom as important, not as an end in itself, but as a means to other ends."
Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.
Cornel West, a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He has taught at Yale, Harvard, the University of Paris, Princeton, and, most recently, Union Theological Seminary.
Thomas Chatterton Williams, a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Harper’s.