Democratic Governance

  • 2013 Oct 01

    Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Dollarocracy coverRobert McChesney, University of Illinois and John Nichols, The Nation

    About the Seminar
    In this seminar, two leading media experts – journalist John Nichols and academic Robert McChesney – examine the forces that have sapped elections of their meaning and stolen America’s democratic potential: the pay-to-play billionaires and the politicians who do their bidding, the corporations that have been freed to buy elections and the activist judges who advance their agenda, and the media conglomerates that blow off journalism while raking in billions airing intellectually and morally reprehensible political advertising. The determination of media companies to cash in on that mockery, especially by selling ad time at a premium to the campaigns – when they should instead be exposing and opposing it – completes a vicious circle.

    Nichols and McChesney argue that what has emerged is a “money-and-media election complex.” This complex is built on a set of commercial and institutional relationships connecting wealthy donors, corporations, lobbyists, politicians, coin-operated “think tanks,” beltway pundits, and now super-PACS.... Read more about Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America

  • 2013 Jun 03

    Electoral Integrity Project 2013 Annual Workshop

    Mon - Tue, Jun 3 to Jun 4, 9:00am - 5:00pm

    Location: 

    Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, CGIS-South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge

    About the Project
    The second annual Workshop of Electoral Integrity will focus upon “Concepts and Indices of Electoral Integrity.”

    Countries around the world share challenges in meeting international standards of electoral integrity. The most overt malpractices used by rulers include imprisoning dissidents, harassing adversaries, coercing voters, vote-rigging counts, and finally, if losing, blatantly disregarding the people’s choice. Serious violations of human rights, undermining electoral credibility, are widely condemned by domestic observers and the international community. Recent protests about integrity have been mobilized in countries as diverse as Russia, Mexico, and Egypt.

    In many countries, however, minor irregularities are more common, exemplified by inaccurate voter registers, maladministration of polling, pro-government media, lack of security in absentee ballots, vote miscounts, and gerrymandering. Problems in America are exemplified by the notorious hanging chads in Florida in 2000 and accusations of voter fraud and voter suppression during the Obama-Romney contest.

    In response to these developments, recent years have seen growing attempts to analyze flaws in electoral integrity using systematic evidence, including the development of several cross-national data-sets, the use of techniques of forensic analysis, and new instruments monitoring mass and elite perceptions of malpractices.

    As it is timely to take stock of these developments, this workshop seeks to bring together international experts among scholars and practitioners to discuss cutting edge research on electoral integrity.... Read more about Electoral Integrity Project 2013 Annual Workshop

  • 2013 Jun 03

    Electoral Integrity Project 2013 Annual Workshop

    Mon - Tue, Jun 3 to Jun 4, 9:00am - 5:00pm

    Location: 

    Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, CGIS-South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

    About the Project
    The second annual Workshop of Electoral Integrity will focus upon “Concepts and Indices of Electoral Integrity.”

    Countries around the world share challenges in meeting international standards of electoral integrity. The most overt malpractices used by rulers include imprisoning dissidents, harassing adversaries, coercing voters, vote-rigging counts, and finally, if losing, blatantly disregarding the people’s choice. Serious violations of human rights, undermining electoral credibility, are widely condemned by domestic observers and the international community. Recent protests about integrity have been mobilized in countries as diverse as Russia, Mexico, and Egypt.... Read more about Electoral Integrity Project 2013 Annual Workshop

  • 2013 Apr 12

    International Development Conference

    (All day)

    The International Development Conference at Harvard Kennedy School of Government is a yearly student-organized, student-run conference dedicated to fostering a constructive dialogue between leading academics, practitioners, policymakers, and students concerned with creating a better world. The Conference is hosted at the Kennedy School and is a joint effort between students at Harvard and Carnegie Mellon University. The Ash Center was a co-sponsor of the 2013 event.

  • 2013 Apr 10

    Reinventing Urban Democracy in New York and Somerville

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

    Starr Auditorium, Belfer Building, 2nd Floor, HKS

    Joseph Curtatone, Mayor of Somerville, MA; Brad Lander, Council Member, New York City; and Hollie Russon-Gilman, Ash Center

    Co-sponsored by the Regional, State, Local & Tribal Governance Public Interest Council, HKS

    About the Seminar
    What would happen if citizens got together to decide collectively how budgets are spent? Participatory budgeting began in Brazil, where it is used in more than 100 cities, and has just recently spread to the United States. Council Member Brad Lander helped to spearhead the efforts of eight New York City council members to put their capital budgets, totaling around $10 million, up to this democratic process. He will speak about the vision, the benefits, and the challenges of this exciting new experiment in urban democracy.... Read more about Reinventing Urban Democracy in New York and Somerville

  • 2013 Apr 03

    The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

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

    David Karpf, School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University

    Co-sponsored by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy

    About the Seminar
    Online politics is neither limited to “clicktivism” nor comprised of “organizing without organizations.” In David Karpf’s new book, he presents evidence that the new media environment has given rise to a new generation of political advocacy groups.... Read more about The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy

  • 2013 Mar 13

    When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Corey BrettschneiderHow Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality

    Corey Brettschneider, Professor of Political Science, Brown University

    About the Seminar
    How should a liberal democracy respond to hate groups and others that oppose the ideal of free and equal citizenship? The democratic state faces the hard choice of either protecting the rights of hate groups and allowing their views to spread, or banning their views and violating citizens’ rights to freedoms of expression, association, and religion. Avoiding the familiar yet problematic responses to these issues, political theorist Corey Brettschneider proposes a new approach called value democracy. The theory of value democracy argues that while the state should protect the right to express illiberal beliefs, the state should also engage in democratic persuasion when it speaks through its various expressive capacities: publicly criticizing, and giving reasons to reject, hate-based or other discriminatory viewpoints.... Read more about When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?

  • 2013 Mar 11

    Crisis Leadership in Higher Education

    (All day)

    Given the power of the media, colleges and universities are more cognizant of the threat of potential crises. However, as much as institutions can prepare, the unexpected can still happen. As a campus leader, knowing how to act quickly and effectively in the wake of a crisis can protect your students and your institution's reputation. Since relatively mundane events can quickly turn into crisis events, it is important to understand how to successfully plan for, manage, survive and recover from unexpected events such as disorderly protests, hostage situations and outbreaks of violence.

  • 2013 Mar 06

    Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?

    (All day)

    THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED

    Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?

    Vijayendra Rao, World Bank Lead Economist


    About the Book
    In their recent Localizing Development: Does Participation Work? policy research report, Ghazala Mansuri and Vijayendra Rao review the history of participatory development and argue that community-based development and local decentralization should be treated under the broader unifying umbrella of local development. They suggest that a distinction between organic participation (...

    Read more about Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?
  • 2013 Feb 28

    The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Kay SchlozmanKay Schlozman, J. Joseph Moakley Professor, Boston College
    Sidney Verba, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
    Henry E. Brady, Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy, Harvard University

    About the Seminar
    In this seminar, co-authors Professor Schlozman, Professor Verba, and Dean Brady will discuss The Unheavenly Chorus, the first book to look at the political participation of individual citizens alongside the political advocacy of thousands of organized interests – membership associations such as unions, professional associations, trade associations, and citizens groups, as well as organizations like corporations, hospitals, and universities. Drawing on numerous in-depth surveys of members of the public as well as the largest database of interest organizations ever created – representing more than 35,000 organizations over a 25-year period – they conclusively demonstrate that American democracy is marred by deeply ingrained and persistent class-based political inequality. They argue that the well educated and affluent are active in many ways to make their voices heard, while the less advantaged are not. They reveal how the political voices of organized interests are even less representative than those of individuals, how political advantage is handed down across generations, how recruitment to political activity perpetuates and exaggerates existing biases, how political voice on the Internet replicates these inequalities – and more.... Read more about The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy

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