Democratic Governance

  • 2012 Feb 02

    Building Democracy in Muslim-Majority Countries: Indonesia, Senegal, & Tunisia

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Alfred StepanAlfred Stepan, Columbia University

    About the Seminar
    In this seminar, Professor Alfred Stepan will elaborate on his research building democracy in Muslim-majority countries, with special emphasis on Indonesia, Senegal, and Tunisia. He will also discuss Muslims in Hindu-majority India.... Read more about Building Democracy in Muslim-Majority Countries: Indonesia, Senegal, & Tunisia

  • 2012 Jan 25

    Who Perceives Government’s Role in Their Lives?

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Suzanne MettlerSocial Policy Design and Its Implications for American Democracy

    Suzanne Mettler, Cornell University

    Co-sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy

    About the Seminar
    When asked by pollsters if they had “ever used a government social program,” the majority of Americans said they had not, yet when later asked about usage of 21 specific policies, nearly all reported that they had used at least one or more policies. What explains such widespread denials of government’s role in people’s lives? And, what are the political implications of such attitudes? This seminar will explore the significance of policy visibility – the extent to which people have utilized policies designed to make government’s role fairly obvious versus those that obscure it by channeling benefits through the tax code or other market mechanisms.... Read more about Who Perceives Government’s Role in Their Lives?

  • 2011 Nov 16

    Memories of Justice: Distributive Politics and the Arab Uprisings

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Steven HeydemannSteven Heydemann, United States Institute of Peace
    Co-sponsored the Middle East Initiative, HKS

    About the Seminar
    This presentation will address questions about the extent to which issues of economic justice and popular preferences for distributive equity factor into repertoires of collective action in Arab societies, and continue to shape popular reactions to shifts in economic policy that expose citizens to increased levels of economic insecurity. Heydemann will focus on the historical processes through which popular conceptions of distributive justice became institutionalized within systems of economic governance in Arab societies in ways that have had enduring effects on state-society relations. He will argue that the intensity of redistributive preferences in the Arab world can be shown to be higher than in other comparable developing regions, and that this divergence is important for understanding both the mass uprisings that have swept the Middle East over the past year and the emerging politics around issues of social and distributive justice that have become especially prominent in post-authoritarian societies in the region.... Read more about Memories of Justice: Distributive Politics and the Arab Uprisings

  • 2011 Nov 02

    Parties on the Ballot: Visual Cues and Voting Behavior in Uganda

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Devra MoehlerDevra Moehler, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

    About the Seminar
    Many developing countries include candidate pictures and party symbols on electoral ballots in order to allow autonomous voting by citizens with little education and voting experience. Advocates of visual cues argue that they reduce error and they allow illiterate voters to identify candidates and parties and mark their ballots in private, rather than having to rely on assistance from others who may try to alter their votes. However, these symbols might themselves shape voter preferences – and, hence, election outcomes – in unintended ways.

    In this seminar, Devra Moehler describes how she conducted a survey experiment just days prior to the February 2011 elections in Uganda to test the effects of party identifiers and other features on ballot papers.... Read more about Parties on the Ballot: Visual Cues and Voting Behavior in Uganda

  • 2011 Nov 01

    U.S.-China-Latin America Relations: President Humala’s Administration Perspective

    2:45pm to 4:00pm

    Location: 

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

    Harold ForsythHarold Forsyth, Peruvian Ambassador to the U.S. and former Peruvian Ambassador to China
    Co-sponsored by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies

    About the Speaker
    Harold Winston Forsyth became ambassador of Peru to the United States on August 29, 2011.

    Before arriving in Washington, Forsyth was ambassador of Peru to China (2009-2011). Previous to that post he served as ambassador of Peru to San Marino and Turkey, Italy, and Colombia. He also served as consultant of the General Secretariat of the Andean Community of Nations, and was permanent representative of Peru to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Program.... Read more about U.S.-China-Latin America Relations: President Humala’s Administration Perspective

  • 2011 Oct 20

    Islam and Democracy: Two Expressions of Islam in Contemporary Indonesia

    10:00am to 3:00pm

    Location: 

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

    About the Seminar
    Islam is commonly perceived as incompatible with democracy. The nature of state in Indonesia proves that religion and the state are two separate entities. As the largest Muslim-majority country in the world, Indonesia was a democratic country from 1950 to 1957. The fall of former President Soeharto’s New Order authoritarian regime in 1998 has been an avenue to a new democratic Indonesia.

    Nationalists, Islamists, and secular political parties compete in fair and free elections. Civil liberties and political rights, however, have allowed undemocratic forces such as transanstional Islamist radical movements and groups of Islamist thuggery to strive for an Islamist state in Indonesia.

    This seminar will reveal the two expressions of liberal-democratic and radical-conservative Islam in Indonesia since 1998. Four speakers will elaborate the course of Islam and Democracy in Indonesia.... Read more about Islam and Democracy: Two Expressions of Islam in Contemporary Indonesia

  • 2011 Oct 05

    Ousting Autocrats: The Political Economy of Competitive Authoritarianism

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Why Dominant Parties Lose bookKenneth Greene, University of Texas, Austin

    About the Seminar
    Why do incumbents in competitive authoritarian regimes continue to win elections or lose power? Employing a time-series cross-national analysis of election outcomes, Professor Kenneth Greene will show that autocratic incumbents or their parties endure despite poor economic performance, economic modernization, and trade openness. Instead, he will demonstrate that incumbents in competitive authoritarian regimes that permit meaningful electoral competition persist in power if they can create partisan advantages by politicizing public resources. Conversely, such regimes meet their doom when privatizations put the state’s fiscal power out of their reach. His argument has implications for the fate of competitive authoritarian regimes, transitions to democracy in hybrid systems, and the study of incumbency advantages and electoral fairness in comparative politics.... Read more about Ousting Autocrats: The Political Economy of Competitive Authoritarianism

  • 2011 Oct 05

    Morocco: The Path to Democracy?

    12:00pm to 1:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Aboubakr JamaïAboubakr Jamaï, Publisher of Le Journal Hebdomadaire and Assahifa al-Ousbouiya
    Co-sponsored by the Middle East Initiative

    About the Seminar
    Has Morocco found the magic formula? The right path to democracy, that is a reformist path without the vagaries of revolutionary upheaval? On July 1, 98 percent of Moroccans approved a new constitution said to give more prerogatives to elected institutions at the expense of the monarchy. The regime and its allies have hailed the process as a model of consensual and peaceful change. This idyllic depiction does not withstand the check of reality. The constitutional process was hurried and no serious monitoring took place during the voting period. More fundamentally, the monarchy reluctantly initiated the constitutional reform process.... Read more about Morocco: The Path to Democracy?

  • 2011 Oct 03

    The European Parliament: A Key Actor in Transnational Democracy

    2:45pm to 4:00pm

    Location: 

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

    Klaus WelleKlaus Welle, Secretary-General of the European Parliament
    Co-sponsored by the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University, and the Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe, Harvard Kennedy School

    About the Speaker
    Klaus Welle is the European Parliament’s most senior official. Appointed by its Bureau, he is responsible for Parliament’s administration, heading the Secretariat. Welle assists the President, the Bureau, the political groups and the elected Members of the European Parliament. He ensures the seamless operation of parliamentary business under the leadership of the President and the Bureau. In addition, with the President, he verifies and signs the ordinary legislative acts of the European Union, and plays an important role in the preparation of the Parliament’s draft budget estimates.

  • 2011 Sep 21

    China's Road Towards Democratic Governance

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Yu KepingYu Keping, Director, Center for Chinese Government Innovations, Peking University 

    About the Seminar
    Yu Keping will illustrate briefly the whole process of governance reform since the Reform in 1978 in China, including achievements, breakthrough reforms, map line, dynamics, and reform focus in the near future. He will also frankly discuss and analyze the biggest challenges faced by the Chinese government today – or, put another way, the most unsatisfactory issues that concern the public about their government. Such dissatisfaction lies not in economic growth, but in social problems such as social inequality, the growing gap between the rich and poor, serious corruption among public officials, social instability, high crime rates, environmental degradation, and ignorance of citizens’ human rights. To solve these problems, it is far from enough to merely rely on economic development: it is imperative to enhance democratic governance. This is the basic reason why Chinese President Hu Jintao stresses the importance of “scientific development.” The essence of “scientific development” lies in the coordinated, comprehensive, and sustainable development policies and practices among the political, economic, cultural, societal, and environmental arenas. This is also the reason that Premier Wen Jiabao continually underscores that democracy and rule of law, as well as equality and justice, are the primary values of true Socialism.... Read more about China's Road Towards Democratic Governance

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