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Voting with conviction? Or: why democracy may demand the impossible of voters

Thursday 16 November 2023

In order to vote or participate in politics in other ways, citizens need strong convictions – for instance about whom to vote for or about which policies to favour. In this talk, Jeroen de Ridder wants to investigate two sorts of demands that democracy makes on our political convictions and argue that these demands are difficult to balance because they pull in opposite directions. On the one hand, political convictions should be well-informed and rational. On the other, they should be powerful and motivating enough to underpin political participation.

Balancing these two sets of demands has always been difficult, but is even harder in a political environment characterised by complex challenges, deep disagreement, polarisation, and online misinformation. Jeroen will end by sketching a proposal for what sort of attitude our political convictions ought to embody.

About the speaker

Jeroen de Ridder is University Research Chair Professor of Political Epistemology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research focuses on the roles of knowledge in politics and society. He was co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology (Routledge, 2021) and of the Dutch volume Doen, durven of de waarheid? Democratie in digitale tijden (Amsterdam Univ Press, 2020).

This meeting will be online

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