No Longer on Speaking Terms: The Breakdown of Political Dialogue and Collaboration in America

October 14, 2020 |

Cosponsored by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics

This webinar brings together experts from the extended Saint Anselm community to discuss the disruption of civil political discourse in America. Why are the left and right unable to speak with one another anymore? What does this increasing polarization mean for the future of our politics and nation? Is there anything we can do about this? Join us as we discuss the current state of politics in America, and our hope for a better future. Register here.


Erik ClevenErik Cleven

Erik Cleven is an associate professor in the Department of Politics and currently serves as the Richard L. Bready Professor in Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good. Before entering academia he spent many years working with international conflict in the former Yugoslavia, Russia and East Africa. His recent research is on dialogue efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and how dialogue can help deal with the effects of political polarization in the United States. His research has been published in journals like Ethnopolitics and the Journal of Dispute Resolution. In the last ten years he has developed an approach to dialogue work called Transformative Dialogue and offered dialogue training in Kenya, Jordan, Norway, the Netherlands, and the United States. He has also advised community dialogue projects in both the rural and urban United States and trained dialogue facilitators. He currently serves on the board of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation.

Melissa HeerbothMelissa Heerboth

Melissa Heerboth is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Mercyhurst University, where she teaches courses in social psychology, psychology of prejudice, cultural psychology and relationship psychology. Her research areas include relationship skill development, perceptions of gender in the workplace, and political polarization. She is currently researching the effects of political polarization on social relationships. Heerboth received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology, MST in College Teaching, and MA in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire and a BA in Psychology from Saint Anselm College in 2002.

Neil LevesqueNeil Levesque

Neil Levesque has long-held leadership roles in politics and governance across New Hampshire, currently serving as the executive director at the nationally known New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College. In addition to his role at the Institute, Levesque spent some time as chief of staff for President Steven R. DiSalvo. Levesque began his career working for U.S. Representative Charles Bass through 12 years of service and five successful elections. Prior to joining the Institute, he was employed with the Global Wealth Management Division at Morgan Stanley, and was part of an advisory team with responsibilities in private, corporate, and endowment fund management. In addition to his roles in politics, finance, and higher education, Levesque has served on numerous nonprofit boards. Currently he is the chairman of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Centennial Anniversary Commission, on the Board of Trustees and vice-chair at Catholic Medical Center, and on the Board of Directors at Pease Development Authority. Levesque grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire and earned his B.A. in political science at Wheaton College. He and his wife live in Concord, New Hampshire with their daughter, Molly.

Ashley PratteAshley Pratte

Ashley Pratte is Vice President at The Herald Group, a full-service public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C. She has extensive experience in crisis communications, strategic communications, and brand reputation management. Before her move to Washington, D.C. Ashley served as press assistant, and interim communications director to Congressman Frank Guinta (R-NH). She also worked on his congressional campaign in 2010. Ashley has made frequent appearances on MSNBC, Fox News, Al Jazeera, and CBS News. She is also an opinion contributor for NBC News Think. She has been published in CNN, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, and The Hill. She was named as one of Maverick PAC's 30 Under 30 in 2017. Ashley now resides in Washington, D.C. but is proud to call New Hampshire home. She graduated from Saint Anselm College in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Communication.

October 14, 2020 from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Max Latona,