Can the Republic Be Rebuilt?

Bipartisan agreement exists in affirming that our republican political system has decayed over the last two generations. But why has this decay happened and what can we do to stop it? Can we save our institutions or is saving them an impossible project?

Join IHE Media Fellow Ross Douthat (The New York Times) for a conversation about the causes of decline in our American republic and how our republican system of government might be rebuilt. Douthat asks Yuval Levin (Director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute and senior editor of The New Atlantis) and Christopher Caldwell (Senior Fellow at the Claremont Institute) for their reflections on and diagnoses of the causes of our republican government’s decline as well as what we need to do to save it.



Ross Douthat is a Media Fellow at the Institute for Human Ecology. He joined The New York Times as an Op-Ed Columnist in 2009. Previously, he was a Senior Editor at the Atlantic and Blogger for He is the author of To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism (Simon and Schuster, 2018), Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (Simon and Schuster, 2012), and Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (Hyperion, 2005). He is the co-author, with Reihan Salam, of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream (Doubleday, 2008). Mr. Douthat is also the Film Critic for National Review. He holds a B.A. from Harvard University.

Yuval Levin is the founding and current editor of National Affairs. He is also the director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and holds the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Public Policy. He is a senior editor of The New Atlantis and a contributing editor to National Review. Dr. Levin was formerly the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He has been a member of the White House domestic policy staff (under President George W. Bush) and the executive director of the President’s Council on Bioethics. He is the author of several books on political theory and public policy, most recently A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream (Basic Books). He holds a B.A. from American University and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

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Christopher Caldwell is a contributing editor at the Claremont Review of Books and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He was previously a senior editor at the Weekly Standard and a columnist for the Financial Times. His writing also frequently appears in The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times (where he is a contributing editor to the paper’s magazine), and The Washington Post. Mr. Caldwell is the author of The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties and Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West. He holds a B.A. from Harvard University.