The Institute for Humane Studies invites you to join us for a conversation with Robert B. Talisse, W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, about his new book Sustaining Democracy: What We Owe the Other Side (Oxford University Press, 2021) on Friday, December 3, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Why should we uphold civil, democratic relations with people we believe to be flat-out wrong? In Sustaining Democracy, Talisse argues that collective self-government requires that we treat people with whom we disagree as equal partners. Drawing on social science research concerning political polarization and partisan identity, Talisse shows that our alliances grow increasingly homogenous and conformist if we break off interactions with our political foes. 

Sustaining Democracy is being called “a wonderful response to a critical contemporary problem” (Kimberley Brownlee, University of British Columbia) in which “Talisse shows that to save our democracy we must remedy the maladies that make us see monsters everywhere” (Leif Wenar, Stanford University). 

IHS Senior Program Officer Brad Jackson will host the conversation on Friday, December 3rd, which will take place on Zoom and will be followed by a Q&A. 

Robert Talisse

Robert Talisse


Robert Talisse is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. His central research area is democratic theory, where he pursues issues concerning legitimacy, justice, and public political argumentation. His previous books include Overdoing Democracy: Why We Must Put Politics in its Place (Oxford University, 2019).

Bradley Jackson

Senior Program Officer