Ethics & Public Policy Center

VIDEO: Yuval Levin’s Why Institutions Matter: Three Lectures on Breakdown and Renewal



Princeton University


Beginning April 30, 2018, EPPC Hertog Fellow Yuval Levin presented three lectures hosted by Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, as part of the Charles E. Test, M.D., Distinguished Lectures Series. Below are summaries of the lectures:

Lecture 1: A Crisis of Confidence
Everybody says Americans are “losing faith” in our society’s institutions, but we rarely stop to consider what this means. What is an institution? What does it mean to have “faith” in institutions? And how does our changing understanding of the purpose and integrity of American institutions relate to the profound social crisis our country has been living through?

Lecture 2: Institutional Confusion
Our changing understanding and expectations of institutions become clearer when we consider some prominent examples. How might the state of the American family, the branches of our federal government, the university, journalism, and other key institutions reflect deeper changes in America’s political, social, and cultural life?

Lecture 3: A Path to Renewal
Understanding how our institutions and our expectations of them have changed can help us articulate a key part of what is missing in our national life—and so a key source of the frustration that reigns in our politics. But might seeing that also help us see how to address that frustration, help us replenish some of our spent social capital, and help our country better address its 21st-century challenges?

Click here to watch videos of Mr. Levin’s lectures.

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