THE EVOLVING CHALLENGES TO DEMOCRACY, EQUALITY, AND FREEDOM
the result of cleavages based on ideology, religious doctrine, economic
class, or physical appearance, tensions between majorities and minorities
constitute defining problematics for all political communities. The necessary
difficulties involved in defining boundaries and distinctionswhich
can range from informal labels to legal categories to thin red lineslie
at the foundations of politics. These issues have not abated with the advent
of the 21st Century.
On the contrary, advanced modern democracies continue to face persistent difficulties related to political minorities and boundaries as a result of increasing global interdependence. Actors at the state, substate, and superstate levels must evolve to accommodate the challenges of new technologies, new patterns of migration, new forms of production and corporate organization, and new demands for recognition.
This one-day academic conference brought together graduate students primarily from (but not limited to) every subdiscipline of political science to present and discuss original work on questions related to these evolving challenges. The schedule included eight student panels (with faculty respondents), a keynote lecture by Seyla Benhabib, and a concluding evening reception.
We would like to thank the following Yale institutions whose generosity made this conference possible: the Department of Political Science; the Institution for Social and Policy Studies; the Center for the Study of Globalization; the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity; the Center for the Study of Race, Inequality, and Politics; and the McDougal Graduate Student Center.