Ronald Brownstein is a Senior Editor at The Atlantic, Senior Political Analyst at CNN, and a shrewd observer of American politics. In this Conversation, Brownstein analyzes factors that fuel our increasingly polarized politics. He explains why these partisan divisions are likely to increase as we head toward elections in 2018 and 2020. Brownstein and Kristol also consider possible outcomes in the midterms, the direction of the Trump presidency, and reflect on the electoral dilemmas both parties face in an atmosphere of intense partisanship.

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Diana Schaub is a professor of political science at Loyola University Maryland and a leading interpreter of political philosophy and American political thought. In this Conversation, Schaub considers the life and ideas of the statesman and political thinker Frederick Douglass (c. 1818 – 1885). Schaub reflects on Douglass’s life, including his experience of slavery, his abolitionist politics, his work on behalf of the Union in the Civil War, and his post-war efforts to secure civil rights. Schaub demonstrates Douglass’s importance as a political thinker, pointing to his reflections on the corruptions of slavery, the meaning and requirements of freedom, the significance of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the role of prudence in politics.

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In July 2014, we released the first part of a Conversation with University of Virginia literature professor Paul Cantor on Shakespeare and politics. Now we are pleased to share the second part—in which Cantor analyzes central themes in the English history plays, including the character of monarchies and republics and the relationship of religion and state. Turning to Shakespeare’s comedies, Cantor argues that Shakespeare sought to replace medieval Christian notions of romantic love with a more reasoned approach to love. Finally, in his analysis of “The Tempest,” Cantor contends that Shakespeare was the only poet who could write tragedies and comedies at the highest level, transcending the division between the tragic and comedic views of life.

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A leading commentator on European politics, Caldwell shares his perspective on recent developments in Europe, particularly the surging populist movements that have upended politics in many countries. Caldwell focuses particularly on populist parties and movements in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Hungary—and also analyzes the ramifications for Europe as a whole. Highlighting the effects of mass migration, weak economies, and mounting debt, Caldwell anticipates greater turmoil and significant threats to the European Union in the years ahead.

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Edward Conard is a former Managing Director of Bain Capital and bestselling author. In this Conversation, Conard shares his perspective on why innovation is the key to America’s long-term economic vitality and how we can go about fostering it. To address what he describes as a shortage of properly-trained talent and risk-bearing capital, Conard calls for increasing high-skilled immigration and other public policies that match talent with opportunities. Conard and Kristol also reflect on the inequalities that are inherent in a technology-driven economy and consider what can be done now to benefit lower-skilled workers in the years to come.

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The distinguished American Enterprise Institute scholar on the distinctive character of the North Korean regime and the threats it poses.

You can also watch this coversation at ConversationsWithBillKristol.org.

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You can also watch this conversation at ConversationsWithBillKristol.org.