Democratic Governance

  • 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 Dec 03

    (Re)designing Democracy for the Long Term

    12:00pm to 2:00pm

    Location: 

    Conference Room (Room 226), Ash Center, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

    definition of democracyA light lunch will be served

    About the Speakers:

    Éloi Laurent, Senior Economist at OFCE (Sciences Po Centre for Economic Research in Paris, France) and Visiting Scholar, Center for European Studies/Visiting Professor, Environmental Science and Public Policy.

    Michael MacKenzie, Democracy Fellow, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School.

    Graham Smith, Professor of Politics, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, U.K. and trustee for the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development, currently Ash Center Senior Visiting Scholar.

    About the workshop:

    Many of our most pressing political problems involve long-term issues such as environmental degradation, debt accumulation, education spending, or the viability of social policies such as public pension plans. Short electoral cycles create strong incentives for politicians to adopt policies that produce near-term net benefits. Moreover, individuals are often more concerned about their own immediate interests than they are about long-term collective problems. For example, environmental concerns have consistently ranked far behind immediate economic concerns in almost all democracies since the start of the “great recession” in 2008. But is this a structural problem with democracies? Are democracies inherently vulnerable to fall prey to the concerns of the present?... Read more about (Re)designing Democracy for the Long Term

  • 2013 Nov 19

    The Beautification of Postwar Colombo

    4:00pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

    CGIS Knafel, K262

    Speaker: Jonathan Spencer, Professor of the Anthropology of South Asia & Head of School of Social and Political Science, Social Anthropology, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh

    Chair: Charles Hallisey, Yehan Numata Senior Lecturer on Buddhist Literatures, Harvard Divinity School

    Overview
    Since the end of the country’s 30-year civil war in 2009, the Sri Lankan armed forces have continued to grow despite the absence of obvious military threats to the government. Under the guidance of the President’s brother, the Ministry of Defence now plays a leading role in town planning through the Urban Development Authority (which is formally part of the Ministry). Colombo has seen an aggressive programme of improvement, which started with a “war” on alleged underworld figures, has taken in the eviction of hawkers from pedestrian spaces, the creation of new leisure areas, and now would seem to involve the clearance of “sub-standard” housing, especially in places like Slave Island, an historically dense and religiously and culturally mixed area near the city centre.... Read more about The Beautification of Postwar Colombo

  • 2013 Nov 14

    Strategic Dilemmas of Contemporary Conservatism

    5:00pm

    Location: 

    Center for European Studies, Bush Hall, 27 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA

    Dr. Herbert Kitschelt, Duke University

    This keynote address for the “Conservative and Center-Right Politics in Developed Democracies: Continuity And Change conference is free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

    Herbert Kitschelt is George V. Allen Professor of International Relations and Professor of Political Science at Duke University. He specializes in comparative political parties and elections in established and new democracies, comparative public policy/political economy, and 20th century social theory. He has published many books and articles on the transformation of European party systems, party organization, and party strategies (Logics of Party Formation, Cornell University Press 1989; Beyond the European Left, Duke University Press, 1990; The Transformation of European Social Democracy, Cambridge University Press, 1994; The Radical Right in Western Europe, 1995, in collaboration with Anthony J. McGann). The study of the European New Right received the American Political Science Association’s 1996 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for best book on government, politics or international relations.... Read more about Strategic Dilemmas of Contemporary Conservatism

  • 2013 Nov 13

    Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Vijayendra RaoVijayendra Rao, Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

    About the seminar:

    In this Seminar, Dr. Vijayendra Rao discusses the World Bank Policy Research Report, “Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?” a subject of intense debate and advocacy, and billions of dollars in development aid. Dr. Rao will briefly review the history of participatory development and argue that its two modalities, community-based development and local decentralization, should be treated under the broader unifying umbrella of local development. He will compare organic participation (endogenous efforts by civic activists to bring about change) and induced participation (large-scale efforts to engineer participation at the local level via projects) and focus on the challenges of inducing participation. Dr. Rao will discuss “civil society failure” and explain its interaction with government and market failures.... Read more about Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?

  • 2013 Nov 07

    Kennedy School Professors Discuss Causes of Congressional Gridlock

    (All day)

    In the News

    By Kristina D. Lorch and Jill E. Steinman – November 7, 2013
    Harvard Crimson

    “For the first time in recent history, the most conservative Democrat in Congress is more liberal than the most liberal Republican, said Harvard Kennedy School professor Thomas E. Patterson Wednesday evening.

    “During a panel discussion titled “Too Many Checks, No Balance: Partisan Brinkmanship or a Shrinking Presidency?,” Patterson and David King, a lecturer at the Kennedy School, discussed the roots of the current political gridlock and its impact...

    Read more about Kennedy School Professors Discuss Causes of Congressional Gridlock
  • 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 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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