Democracy in Hard Places

  • 2014 Mar 12

    Cities, Technology and Democracy Study Group Session 2: The Responsive City

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

    124 Mt. Auburn St., Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

    City HallSusan Crawford, John A. Reilly Visiting Professor in Intellectual Property at Harvard Law School and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

    About the Session
    This interactive session will focus on government officials and civic activists using new data tools to transform city government, in particular on the institutional and cultural considerations of organizational change, from bureaucratic hurdles to communicating and sharing data across departments and across sectors to the importance of leadership.

    Read the Challenges to Democracy blog post about this event
    ... Read more about Cities, Technology and Democracy Study Group Session 2: The Responsive City

  • 2014 Feb 26

    The Unknown Known: Film Screening and Discussion Featuring Director Errol Morris

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    Wiener Auditorium, Ground Floor, Taubman Building, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA

    EUnknown Known posterrrol Morris, Filmmaker and AuthorArchon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship (Moderator)

    Seats are limited and will be first come first serve.

    About the Event
    Join us for a screening of The Unknown Known, Errol Morris’ latest documentary film profiling former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Following the screening, Morris will participate in a discussion, moderated by Archon Fung, on the expansion of presidential power and the potential threats it poses to our democracy’s compact between the chief executive, Congress, the courts, and the people. In The Unknown Known, Rumsfeld gives unprecedented access to the Oscar-winning filmmaker Errol Morris. Whether you think Rumsfeld is a patriot or a liar, he is always fascinating.... Read more about The Unknown Known: Film Screening and Discussion Featuring Director Errol Morris

  • 2014 Feb 19

    Cities, Technology and Democracy Study Group Session 1: Participatory Budgeting

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

    124 Mt. Auburn St., Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

    MeetingArchon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship
    Chris Osgood, Co-chair, Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics
    Shari Davis, Executive Director, Boston Youth Fund

    About the Session
    This interactive session will focus on innovations in participatory democracy including Boston’s youth participatory budgeting project, the first ever in the country. Guests will include Chris Osgood, co-chair of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, and Shari Davis, Executive Director of the Boston Youth Fund.... Read more about Cities, Technology and Democracy Study Group Session 1: Participatory Budgeting

  • 2013 Dec 15

    The Heart of Robin Hood

    2:00pm

    Location: 

    American Repertory Theater, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA

    Robin Hood photoPerformance at the American Repertory Theater
    Followed by a discussion on inequality and the quest of a modern Robin Hood

    Steve Meacham, City Life/Vida Urbana
    Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship

    About the Event
    “In this spectacular rendition of the English legend, the notorious Robin Hood and his band of merry men steal from the rich, but refuse to share with the oppressed peasantry. As the wicked Prince John threatens all of England, it is down to Marion to boldly protect the poor and convert Robin Hood from outlaw to hero. First seen at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2011, this new production is filled with high adventure, epic romance, amazing fight choreography, and an original score inspired by contemporary British folk music.”

  • 2013 Dec 06

    All the King’s Men

    7:00pm

    Location: 

    Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

    Movie stillAll the King’s Men (1949) with Harvard Film Archive

    About the Event
    Join us for a screening of the 1949 classic All the King’s Men at Harvard Film Archive’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Directed by Robert Rossen, All the King’s Men was based on the novel by Robert Penn Warren chronicling the rise and fall of local politician Willie Stark (based loosely on a former governor of Louisiana named Huey Long). Ash Center Director Tony Saich will introduce the film with brief remarks on how politics has or has not changed in the last six decades and on the health of American democracy today.... Read more about All the King’s Men

  • 2013 Nov 06

    Too Many Checks, No Balance: Partisan Brinkmanship or a Shrinking Presidency as the New Normal?

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

    Malkin Penthouse, Littaeur Building, 79 JFK St, Cambridge, MA

    White HouseTom Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, David King, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, and Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship (Moderator)

    About the Event
    Coming close on the heels of the recent federal government shutdown and narrowly avoided default, this discussion will explore the relationship between the president and Congress. What have we learned from recent events about the shifting nature of power between the executive and legislative branches? How have different presidents, in relation to Congress, approached leadership and authority; negotiation and compromise? Is partisan brinksmanship the new norm both in Congress and in the relationship between the president and Congress? What is driving the gridlock? Where is the greatest potential for change? What can individual citizens do?... Read more about Too Many Checks, No Balance: Partisan Brinkmanship or a Shrinking Presidency as the New Normal?

  • 2013 Nov 02

    America’s Datafest with Tech4Change

    8:30am to 7:00pm

    Location: 

    Weil Town Hall and Starr Auditorium, Belfer Building, 79 JFK St, Cambridge, MA

    Tech for Change logoHosted by Tech for Change, a student group at Harvard Kennedy School

    About the Event
    The Ash Center is delighted to co-sponsor Harvard Kennedy School’s first hackathon, America’s Datafest. The event will convene policy wonks, computer programmers, immigrant advocates, data scientists and business experts for a one-day event committed to helping solve some of the biggest challenges related to immigration. Over the course of the day, participants will form teams, brainstorm ideas, design prototypes, and present solutions – a mobile app, business plan, new product, data insight, or something completely different. The winning two teams, selected by a panel of local experts, will compete for the global prize.... Read more about America’s Datafest with Tech4Change

  • 2013 Oct 30

    Leading a Nation of Devils: How to Get Things Done in a Democracy

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

    124 Mount Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

    Nation of Devils coverStein Ringen, University of Oxford

    Cosponsored by the Center for Public Leadership

    About the Seminar
    Are presidents and prime ministers – whether Thatcher, Blair, Reagan or Obama – responsible for the dysfunctions of democratic governance today? In this seminar, Stein Ringen argues that they are. The role of the chief executive in ensuring good governance is to “maintain order in a nation of devils,” a concept Ringen borrows from Immanuel Kant. They inevitably face opposition from those seeking to frustrate their plan – whether in moving a giant bureaucracy or in ensuring citizen compliance.... Read more about Leading a Nation of Devils: How to Get Things Done in a Democracy

  • 2013 Oct 06

    Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way

    2:00pm

    Location: 

    American Repertory Theater, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA

    Bryan CranstonFeaturing Bryan Cranston as Lyndon Baines Johnson
    Followed by a discussion on the play, LBJ, and civil rights with Alex Keyssar

    Listen to an Audio Recording of the Event



    Read the Challenges to Democracy blog post about this event.

    About the Speaker
    Alex Keyssar is the Stirling Professor of History and Social Policy at the Kennedy School. His books include The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (2000 and 2009), which was named the best book in U.S. history by the American Historical Association and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history. Keyssar is also the author of an award-winning history of unemployment in the United States. In addition to his scholarly publications, he writes frequently for newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times and Folha de Sao Paulo.... Read more about Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way

  • 2013 Oct 03

    Challenges to Democracy Launch Event: Inequality vs. Democracy with WBUR and NPR’s On Point

    6:00pm

    Location: 

    JFK Jr. Forum, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 JFK St., Cambridge, MA

    Tom AshbrookModerated by Tom Ashbrook, host of On Point.

    Featuring

    Chrystia Freeland
    Liberal Party Candidate for Canadian Parliament, Journalist and Author of Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else

    Martin Gilens
    Professor of Politics, Princeton University, Author, Affluence & Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America

    Alex Keyssar
    Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy, HKS Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy

    Watch a Video Recording of the Event

    Listen to an Audio Recording of the Event

    Read the Challenges to Democracy blog post about this event.

    View Photos from the Event:

    About the Event
    The subject of growing wealth and income gaps between the wealthiest and the rest is particularly salient to the health of our democracy – testing our sense of fairness, social mobility and equal opportunity. Economic inequality also threatens to undermine the principle of political equality upon which our country is founded.

    This discussion, moderated by Mr. Ashbrook and to be broadcast on WBUR and NPR’s On Point soon after, will examine economic inequality and its relationship with political inequality – in particular how and why life looks so different for the richest and the poorest Americans. How do the very poor view their opportunities to get ahead?... Read more about Challenges to Democracy Launch Event: Inequality vs. Democracy with WBUR and NPR’s On Point

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