Life and Justice in America - Implications of the New Administration




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Jan 18, 2018
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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Life and Justice in America - Implications of the New Administration

Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association reflects on the first year of US President Donald Trump

In September 2017, 57 academics, professionals, practitioners, observers, and students of American Studies from 25 countries, convened at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria for the session Life and Justice in America: Implications of the New Administration.

As this weekend marks the one year anniversary of Donald J. Trump's inauguration as president of the United States on January 20, 2017, it is a timely occasion for the publication of the report from the 15th symposium of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA).

Since its founding in 1947, Salzburg Global Seminar has been examining, debating and dissecting America and its culture and institutions. Drawing on the 70 years of cross-border exchange that began at Schloss Leopoldskron in the aftermath of war, the multi-disciplinary four-day program examined what the “American Dream” means in today’s world and assessed progress in the United States toward fulfilling that potential. 

Fairness and justice, immigration issues, incarceration practices, demographic changes, implications and challenges of new policies, and the fulfillment of domestic and foreign expectations were all key elements of focus for the session. The ultimate question for scrutiny and discussion was “How does the apparent reality of life and justice in America today reflect on the historic ‘American Dream’ and the ‘Promise of America,’ globally and in the United States since the founding of the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies in 1947?”

This report offers summaries of each of the day’s thematic discussions and a list of resources provided by the participants, as well as interviews with some faculty members and speakers:

  • Elaine T. May: Despite being preoccupied with safety, Americans have made themselves less secure
  • Lecia Brooks: Dedicated to ending injustice in America
  • Linell Letendre: Justice requires a culture of leadership, professionalism and respect
  • Dreamscape: Exploring race and justice in America
  • Asif Efrat: The new US administration has shown less interest in international cooperation
  • Nancy Gertner: “Lawyers should effect social change”
  • Chris Lehmann: American justice is still a model for the world – but a flawed model


Download the report as a PDF

To request a print copy, please email press[at]