New School News

Law Professor Jeremy Waldron to Lecture on “The Principle of Loyal Opposition”

Amidst growing complaints about the polarization of American politics and the lack of bipartisan cooperation in Washington, The New School for Social Research is presenting The Principle of Loyal Opposition,, the 2011 Paul H. Douglas Lecture on Tuesday, October 18 at 6:00 p.m. with Jeremy Waldron, university professor and professor of Law, New York University; Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, Oxford University.

The lecture will explore an old political idea that offers new solutions for the democratic legislative process. Loyal opposition goes beyond the mere toleration of dissent, but officially incorporates into government, organized opposition to the current proposals of the majority administration. This system is epitomized in the establishment within Westminster-style political structures of an official post of “Leader of the Opposition,, along with remunerated posts for members of a shadow cabinet. But history and global politics provide numerous other examples. Professor Jeremy Waldron’s talk will explore the political philosophy behind loyal opposition and explore its foundational role in modern democracy.

The free event will be held in Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th Street, 5th Floor, with a reception to follow. Reservations are required and can be made by emailing

The Paul H. Douglas Lecture Series on Ethics and Government was established to honor Senator Douglas’ distinguished, three-term career in the U.S. Senate, which was marked by legislative productivity that combined the highest moral standards with practical wisdom. The aim of the series is to engage the public as well as the New School community on this critically important subject. Each lecture features a distinguished speaker who is or has been deeply involved in governmental and ethical issues. The New School’s reputation for civic-minded, progressive thought and action makes it the ideal home for a lecture series of this nature.

The Paul H. Douglas Lecture Series on Ethics and Government is made possible by support from the Bridgewood Fieldwater Foundation.

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