Democratic Governance

  • 2021 Mar 04

    Citizen Ballot Initiatives: A New Tool for Election Reform

    4:00pm to 5:00pm

    Location: 

    Zoom virtual webinar

    The last several years have seen the growing and successful use of citizen-initiated ballot initiatives to win major election reforms. Some of the most successful, well-funded, and engaging campaigns have had unlikely initiators: small groups of everyday Americans fed up with waiting for someone else to take on an issue and deciding to do it themselves. Organizers of successful citizen-driven campaigns from different parts of the country, which beat the odds and succeeded, will discuss their issues, their motivations, and how they won.

    ...

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  • 2021 Mar 02

    Owning the Narrative & Leveraging Rapid Response to Your Advantage: Tech & Democracy Workshop with Ernest Britt

    4:00pm to 5:15pm

    Location: 

    Register for virtual workshop

    Rapid response moments can spark nationwide movements — if you know how to use them to your advantage. Join Ernest Britt, Color Of Change Senior Campaign Manager and former Digital Manager for Stacey Abrams, for a hands-on workshop on digital rapid response techniques and how to transform crises into clear calls to action. Using real-life examples from Ernest’s experience on presidential and gubernatorial campaigns, participants will learn how to more effectively approach rapid response, including crafting a narrative, engaging stakeholders,...

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  • 2021 Feb 25

    Democratic Backsliding and International Relations in the Americas

    3:30pm to 4:45pm

    Location: 

    Virtual event, registration required

    In recent years, several countries throughout the Americas have increasingly experienced concerning signs of democratic backsliding: Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Paraguay and Peru have all seen varying degrees of deterioration of their democractic institutions such as independence of the judiciary or the right to free protest. Similarly, the United States, which has long prided itself as a champion of democracy in the region and the world, was shaken by an unprecedented threat to its democracy on January 6 when a mob of insurgents sieged the Capitol building in an...

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  • 2021 Feb 23

    Political Geographies of the Populist Right

    4:00pm to 5:00pm

    Location: 

    Virtual event, registration required

    Support for populist right-wing parties and candidates has increased considerably across the globe in recent years. In addition to this overall rise in support, receptiveness towards the exclusionary, reactionary rhetoric and policies of Bolsonaro, Trump, Modi or their European counterparts all have their own distinct electoral geographies. Join Ash Center Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow Pauliina Patana and a global panel of experts as they discuss how to make sense of these deep geographic divides, similarities and differences in spatial patterns across countries, strategies parties are...

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  • 2021 Feb 18

    Moving Forward or Moving Backward: Election Legislation in the States

    4:00pm to 5:00pm

    Location: 

    Virtual event, registration required

    The 2020 elections hinged, in dramatic ways, on widely varying state laws and state election procedures. Major changes were made in light of the pandemic, to expand options for mail-in and early voting and to Election Day itself. These changes engendered strong support and strong opposition, and were one reason for the record turnout of 160 million voters. Now, state legislatures are in session all around the country. Will the changes adopted in 2020 be made permanent? Will voting options be expanded further? Or will states seek to roll back voting opportunities as a result? Join us for...

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  • 2021 Feb 10

    Can We Break Out of the Two-Party Doom Loop?

    12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Location: 

    Virtual event, registration required

    The January 6 Capitol insurrection shows that the United States is facing exceptional challenges to our democracy. Lee Drutman, Senior Fellow in the Political Reform Program at the New America Foundation, thinks that our two-party system is a root cause of that dysfunction. Although we have had a two-party system in name for many decades, there were divisions and overlaps between parties that created room for bargaining, compromise, crossing over, and even unity. In our current state of hyper-polarization, however, the two parties are fully sorted, and this give-and-take has eroded into...

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  • 2021 Feb 09

    Social Media, Misinformation, and Election Integrity: A Technology and Democracy Workshop with Kevin Chan from Facebook

    4:00pm to 5:15pm

    Location: 

    Register for virtual workshop

    Join Kevin Chan, Facebook Director of Public Policy, Canada; AY 2020-2021 Ash Center Technology and Democracy Fellow, for a dynamic, hands-on workshop engaging with real-world issues around social media platforms, misinformation, and election integrity. Participants will tackle critical questions head-on by working in groups representing key stakeholders, including election officials, political parties, civil society, and online platforms, in a simulation framed around the 2019 federal election in Canada. The session will...

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  • 2020 Dec 17

    Georgia on Our Minds: Voter Engagement and Voter Protection in the Senate Runoffs

    12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Location: 

    Virtual event, registration required

    At this moment, the attention of the country is sharply focused on the state of Georgia.  Just two months after a breathtakingly narrow election, one in which the mechanisms of democracy and the performance of the officials who administered it were severely tested, the voters of Georgia will make another high-stakes decision on January 5.  While the candidates and the media are mostly focused on who will win the two Senate runoff races, there is another crucial set of dynamics at work about the voting process itself.  We want to look at what efforts are taking place to...

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  • 2020 Dec 15

    Looking Forward: The Paths and Prospects for Democracy Reform

    12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Location: 

    Virtual event, registration required

    As the smoke (slowly) clears from the 2020 elections, advocates for full participation and democracy reform are charting a path forward.  In Congress and in state legislatures, the lessons of 2020 and the new contours of politics will shape efforts going forward.  What is the terrain reformers will confront, what are the reforms being proposed, and what are the prospects for success, short term and long term?  The Ash Center is pleased to pose these questions to four leading democracy advocates and election experts:... Read more about Looking Forward: The Paths and Prospects for Democracy Reform

  • 2020 Nov 19

    Protecting and Deepening Our Democracy: What Should We Do Now?

    5:30pm

    Location: 

    Virtual event, registration required

    Join Archon Fung for an exploration of some possible futures of American democracy and what can be done to create a more equal and inclusive democracy. Fung is the Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. His research explores policies, practices, and institutional designs that deepen the quality of democratic governance with a focus on public participation, deliberation, and transparency. He co-directs the Transparency Policy Project and leads democratic governance programs of the Ash Center for...

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