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Molly Scudder

Please join me in congratulating Molly Scudder, assistant professor of political science, on the publication of her new book, Beyond Empathy and Inclusion: The Challenge of Listening in Democratic Deliberation (Oxford University Press, 2020).

The book examines how to achieve democratic rule in large pluralistic societies where citizens are deeply divided. Listening is key, she writes, concluding that citizens in a democracy must listen to their political opponents even if they do not agree or even empathize with them. Acknowledging that genuinely listening to others can be difficult, Beyond Empathy and Inclusion introduces Molly’s “listening act theory” to explain the democratic force of listening and investigates how to motivate citizens to listen – even to those with whom they disagree.

Political theorist Mark Button, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, wrote that “Scudder’s impressive combination of normative deliberative theory, empirical political science, communication scholarship, and social psychology opens up fertile new directions for the theory and practice of democratic politics today. I hope we possess the wisdom to listen to her.”

Congratulations, Dr. Scudder!

David's Signature

David A. Reingold
Justin S. Morrill Dean
College of Liberal Arts