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Democratic Transparency and State Secrets: A Question of Values?

Levan Coffeehouse Conversations on Practical Ethics

Do extensive government surveillance programs of the sort recently revealed by Edward Snowden interfere with democratic citizens’ ability to exercise self-government?  Is a government’s deploying of secret interpretations of secret laws in secret courts compatible with the rule of law?  Should we grant our government the authority to openly conduct surveillance of our fellow citizens and ourselves?


Sharon Lloyd, Professor of Philosophy, Law and Political Science 


John Dreher, Associate Professor of Philosophy, USC Dornsife

Ari Ratner, Fellow at Truman National Security Project, former appointee at the Obama Department of State

Michael H. Shapiro, Dorothy W. Nelson Professor of Law, USC Gould School of Law

Kevin Starr, University Professor and Professor of History, USC Dornsife

Tiffany Chang, Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy, USC Dornsife

Matthew Gratias, Ph.D Candidate in Political Science and International Relations, USC Dornsife