In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Rick Pildes joins Lee and James to consider two different explanations for America’s present political dysfunction. Pildes is the Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law at the New York University School of Law. His work explores legal and policy issues concerning the structure of democratic elections and institutions, such as the role of money in politics, the design of election districts, the regulation of political parties, the structure of voting systems, the representation of minority interests in democratic institutions, and similar issues. Earlier in his career, Pildes clerked for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Law Institute. Most recently, President Biden appointed Pildes to the President’s Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Why is American politics presently dysfunctional? Is it because Americans are too polarized? Or is it because they are too fragmented? How has political fragmentation affected politics in the past? What challenges does it pose for effective governance? What is an effective government? And how many political parties do Americans really need? These are some of the questions that Rick, Lee, and James ask in this week’s episode.