‘What Happened to the Vital Center?’

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‘What Happened to the Vital Center?’

William Antholis, Ron Christie, Nicholas Jacobs, Sidney Milkis, Molly Reynolds

Wednesday, February 02, 2022
3:00PM - 4:00PM (EST)
Event Details

The Miller Center's Sid Milkis and coauthor Nicholas Jacobs of Colby College discuss their new book What Happened to the Vital Center? The book, out now from Oxford University Press, tackles a foundational question within American political history: Is current partisan polarization, aggravated by populist disdain for constitutional principles and institutions, a novel development in American politics?



Wednesday, February 02, 2022
3:00PM - 4:00PM (EST)
Online webinar
Bill Antholis headshot

William Antholis

William J. Antholis has served as director and CEO of UVA's Miller Center of Public Affairs since January 2015. In that time, the Miller Center has strengthened its position as the leading nonpartisan research institution on the American presidency and worked with scholars across the University of Virginia to deliver vital research to policymakers and the public. Before coming to the Miller Center, Antholis served as managing director at the Brookings Institution from 2004 to 2014, working directly with Brookings's president and vice presidents. Antholis is the author of Inside Out India and China: Local Politics Go Global (2013) and co-author (with Strobe Talbott) of Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming (2010). He has published articles, book chapters, and opinion pieces on U.S. politics, U.S. foreign policy, international organizations, the G8, climate change, and trade.

Ron Christie headshot

Ron Christie

Ron Christie is a Miller Center practitioner senior fellow and founder and CEO of Christie Strategies LLC, a full-service communications and issues management firm in Washington, D.C. Christie is also the author of three books: Blackwards: How Black Leadership is Returning America to the Days of Separate But Equal, Acting White: The Birth and Death of a Racial Slur, and Black in the White House. Christie served as a resident fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government Institute of Politics at Harvard University and as an inaugural resident fellow at the University of Southern California Center for the Political Future.

NIcholas Jacobs headshot

Nicholas Jacobs

Nicholas F. Jacobs is an assistant professor at Colby College, where he teaches in the Government Department. He earned his PhD at UVA where he was a student of Sid Milkis. Jacobs's research focuses on the historical development of the American presidency, the president's place in the federal order, and how federalism has constrained and expanded opportunities for presidents to carry out their political goals.

Sid Milkis heashot

Sidney Milkis

Sidney M. Milkis is the Miller Center’s White Burkett Miller Professor of Governance and Foreign Affairs, Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professor, and UVA professor of politics. His research focuses on the American presidency, political parties and elections, social movements, and American political development. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students, he regularly gives public lectures on American politics and participates in programs for international scholars and high school teachers that probe the deep historical roots of contemporary developments in the United States. His many books include the recently published Rivalry and Reform: Presidents, Social Movements, and the Transformation of American Politics.

Molly Reynolds headshot

Molly Reynolds

Molly Reynolds is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings. She studies Congress, with an emphasis on how congressional rules and procedure affect domestic policy outcomes. She is the author of the book, "Exceptions to the Rule: The Politics of Filibuster Limitations in the U.S. Senate," which explores creation, use, and consequences of the budget reconciliation process and other procedures that prevent filibusters in the U.S. Senate. Current research projects include work on oversight in the House of Representatives, congressional reform, and the congressional budget process.