Like most states, the once-a-decade process of drawing new legislative boundaries in California was hardly an exercise in participatory democracy. The redistricting process was historically controlled by the state legislature and maps were drawn in secret, designed to extract maximum political advantage for incumbent officeholders. The results were clear. In 2002, the first election cycle for the US House of Representatives in California using the state’s then-newly adopted legislative boundaries, saw not a single incumbent in California’s 53-person large congressional delegation
Kate O'Gorman, MPA '17, inaugural democratic governance award-winner, is passionate about improved policy implementation and her local government.
Like many of her fellow HKS graduates, Kate O’Gorman is saying her last goodbyes to Cambridge and the Harvard campus after having just completed her Master in Public Administration (MPA). This commencement season has been a busy one for O’Gorman who in addition to her newly minted master’s degree was also the inaugural recipient of the Ash Center’s Martha H. Mauzy Award for Advancement of Democratic Governance. Read more about Meet the 2017 Martha H. Mauzy Award Winner
Following the announcement of the establishment of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, we sat down with Miles Rapoport, Senior Democracy Practice Fellow at the Ash Center, to discuss the commission, its composition, and whether it could be an effective force for improving election laws, procedures, and administration.
On May 3, 2017, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Yes Europe Lab hosted Luigi Di Maio, Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies in the Italian Parliament and a leader of the Five Star Movement, Italy's leading opposition political party. Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship and HKS Academic Dean provided opening remarks. Read more about Video & Text: A Conversation with Luigi Di Maio
In 2016, for every dollar earned by men, women in the Greater Boston Area earned 77 cents, according to a recent report from the Boston Women’s Workforce Council. The city could wait for the wage gap to close over time — estimates by the American Association of University Women say the US will reach equity around 2152, or do something about it. For MaryRose Mazzola MPP ’15, doing nothing has never been an option, and today she is actively involved in closing Boston’s wage gap as executive director of the Boston Women’s Workforce Council.
Over half a century after the assassination of Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba — the country’s first democratically elected prime minister, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is still waiting for its first peaceful transition of political power.
Though Congo’s constitution required the country’s current president Joseph Kabila to step down from office last December as his second five-year term as president ended, elections have again been postponed — and few observers have faith that voting will take place anytime soon. Among this group is Tom O’Bryan
By now, most are familiar with the trope expounding on the transformative power of data in our society today. We see its manifestation in nearly every part of our lives, from how we shop for goods to the route we take on the commute to work or school. For cities, the impact of data has the potential to be no less transformational, and city halls around the country are grappling with how best to integrate this seemingly endless array of information into their decision-making processes. Increasingly, the job of making sense of and harnessing this data to improve governance is falling to a new category of city hall staffer: the chief data officer (CDO). Read more about Civic Analytics Network: Helping Cities Unlock the Power of Data
In advance of Chinese President Xi Jinping's first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, we sat down with Edward Cunningham, China Programs director at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation to discuss China, Trump, and climate change.
How has China reacted to the Trump Administration’s recently announced plans to roll back many Obama-era regulations aimed at limiting CO2 emissions?
China’s President Xi has clearly signaled that China intends to position itself as the political
President Obama’s unprecedented decision to commute the sentences of nearly 1,500 federal inmates incarcerated on low-level drug offenses has given a second chance to those on the receiving end of disproportionate sentences handed down at the height of the war on drugs and allowed them and their familiesto begin the process of rebuilding their lives. For Teresa Acuña, mid-career MPA 2017 and the Roy and Lila Ash Fellow at the Ash Center, her experience as a legislative aide and advocate would intersect in an intensely personal manner with President Obama’s efforts to undo some of the social damage wrought by this decades-long war on drugs.
With Congress set to kick off confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, the Ash Center sat down with Maya Sen, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Sen’s research interests include the American legal system and politics. She is the author of several recent papers on political ideology and politicization in the judiciary.
In light of contemporary conversations about immigration, the Ash Center sat down with Moshik Temkin, an Associate Professor of Public Policy and a specialist in the history of the modern United States in global and comparative perspective, to talk about the history of immigration in the US and what it can teach us about modern debates and policy.
How do Americans evaluate potential candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court? More specifically, do political opinions make a difference in how citizens evaluate the branch of government that is supposed to be impartial?
According to Maya Sen, assistant professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), the answer is yes.
Sen’s latest paper, “How Political Signals Affect Public Support for Judicial Nominations,” uncovers evidence to suggest that Americans place high importance on the political leanings of Supreme Court candidates. Although
Experts Provide A Modern Analysis & Historical Perspective at JFK Jr. Forum Event
President Trump’s controversial executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries immediately raised howls of protests from politicians, activists, and the media. Harvard’s President Drew Faust put it succinctly when she said, “[the] executive order imposing restrictions on travel to the United States has provoked uncertainty and escalating anxiety among many people.” At Harvard Kennedy School, students and faculty grappled with the order’s implications and whether it was likely to achieve its stated goal of deterring possible future terrorist attacks.