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Julian Zelizer Discussion "Ethics in the Age of Partisan Warfare," at UGA

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Can the American Congress be ethical in this age of intense partisan warfare? That question is being addressed by Princeton University professor and CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer during a visit to Athens this afternoon. The University of Georgia is hosting a discussion led by Zelizer at the Russell Special Collections Libraries. The lecture will explore past debates over ethics reform, as well as the push for new oversight and enforcement amid growing allegations of sexual misconduct.

“I’m going to talk about, in particular, the way in which the partisan polarization that has gripped Washington gradually made it much harder to enact those ethics reforms or to make sure they were actually working,” according to Zelizer.

He says the rules meant to help have been turned into weapons.

“Ethics rules, rather than being a tool to improve government and to make politicians more accountable, became another tool of partisan combat. That’s the story I want to tell today and I’m hoping to generate a discussion from the audience about what might come next.”

Zelizer says there are current challenges in the Executive Branch.

“There’s been this perpetual concern that is unlike other presidencies we’ve had that the interest of the President and the interest of his business might bleed into his actions as president. And I don’t think this story is over."

The “Politics in the Age of Partisan Warfare” discussion is 4 pm.