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How different is America in reality from the rest of the developed Western world? Are Americans exceptionally libertarian, religious, patriotic, optimistic, individualistic, and moralistic as compared to British, Canadian, French, German, or Japanese citizens? What does comparative polling data show? Are we exceptional in our views about the role and size of government or of labor unions? What is the role religion plays in American life and how does it differ from the role religion plays in the public life of other major Western democracies? Are we, in fact as well as in ideology, all that different from the rest of the developed Western world? Are these differences ideological or do they stem from the availability of wide open spaces of land in the New World and the recent immigrant background of many Americans? Are second and third generation Americans different from those in the first generation and how? Why does America spend so much more on national defense and foreign policy than do other nations? Why is the birthrate so much higher in the U.S. than in other developed nations? Do we still do a better job of assimilating our immigrants than Western Europeans do in assimilating theirs? Does our relative geographical isolation from the rest of the world still give us a unique outlook and perspective?
3:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Showcase Panel II: Is America Different from Other Major Western Democracies?
- Prof. Randy E. Barnett, Georgetown University Law Center
- Prof. James Lindgren, Northwestern University School of Law
- Mr. Bruce Stokes, National Journal
- Prof. Graham K. Wilson, Boston University
- Moderator: Hon. Ronald A. Cass, President, Cass & Associates, PC and Dean Emeritus, Boston University School of Law