Mittwoch 26.10. 19.30 Uhr

Making Votes Count: Democracy in America

Talk and Conversation

Head-to-Head: A Meeting of Inspired Minds

Location: Hospitalhof Stuttgart, Büchsenstr. 33, 70174 Stuttgart 
Admission: Free
Language: English
Registration: Please register here for the event. 

With the 2022 US midterm election upon us, Americans are reminded once again of the idiosyncrasies of the US electoral college system. In the last twenty years alone, two US presidents were elected even though they lost the popular vote. Both occasions revealed that not all Americans’ votes count equally, despite the oft-quoted principle of “One Man, One Vote,” established in 1964. In this talk, Alma Steingart discusses what “counting” and “equity” mean in both their mathematical and sociopolitical contexts and will survey twentieth-century efforts to amend the electoral process. She will also address the surreptitious tactics of redistricting, apportionment, and proportional voting as examples of democratic procedures that run counter to basic notions of “fair representation.”

Alma Steingart and Felix Heidenreich will discuss how voter perceptions of fairness, not only in the United States, influence trust in democratic institutions and thus exacerbate the real danger for democracy — erosion of democratic values, habits, and norms.

With: Alma Steingart, Columbia University; Felix Heidenreich, Stuttgart University
In cooperation with
: The American Academy in Berlin, Evangelisches Bildungszentrum Hospitalhof Stuttgart
Generously supported by: Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, and Berthold Leibinger Stiftung GmbH.


Alma Steingart

Alma Steingart is an assistant professor of history at Columbia University, where she focuses on the interplay between politics and mathematical rationalities. She received her BA from Columbia and PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows. In her first book, Axiomatics: Mathematical Thought and High Modernism (Chicago, forthcoming), Steingart traces the influence of axiomatic reasoning on mid-century American intellectual thought, from the natural and social sciences to literary criticism and modern design. She has published in Osiris, Representations, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Grey Room, and elsewhere. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science, among others.

Photo Credit: Columbia University


Felix Heidenreich

Felix Heidenreich is a political scientist and philosopher who teaches at the Universität Stuttgart. His research focuses on the contemporary crisis of democracy and on modern political theory. Among his recent publications is „Demokratie als Zumutung: Für eine andere Bürgerlichkeit“ (Klett-Cotta, 2022), a monograph on the way democracies recruit citizens for participation. He also publishes in newspapers and journals such as the FAZ, Die Zeit, the NZZ, and the Merkur.

Photo Credit: Felix Heidenreich