Authority in a Democratic Political System

Dr. Larry Gerston is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at San Jose State University in San Jose, California. He is also a communications specialist and author of numerous books on politics, public policy, and civic engagement. Dr. Gerston’s newest book, Reviving Citizen Engagement: Policies to Renew National Community, examines the loss of political attachment in the United States, explains the costs to society, and offers solutions for making America whole again. His Public Policymaking in a Democratic Society: A Guide to Civic Engagement has been heralded for its promotion of “hands on” civic participation. Dr. Gerston appears each week as the political analyst at NBC Bay Area television station. He has also appeared on NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, CNN, PBS, and BBC. More than 125 of his op-ed columns have been published in leading newspapers, including the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times. When not teaching or writing, Dr. Gerston consults in media training, crisis management, and strategic thinking.

In this lecture, Dr. Larry Gerston explores the meaning of political authority, how such authority is exercised in democratic versus non-democratic societies, and the benefits and limits of political authority in democracies.

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