Democratic Governance

  • 2010 Mar 03

    Can Immigration Policy be Both Liberal and Democratic?

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

    Pop Center, 9 Bow Street, 1st Floor Conference Room

    Gary Freeman, University of Texas, Austin

    About the Seminar
    Are liberal immigration policies compatible with democratic policymaking? Contemporary migration to Western countries has well-known implications for their ethnic and religious compositions but less well-known implications for democratic governance. In no Western country, with the exception of Canada, are current immigration policies supported by majorities. Countries with liberal policies (the United States) rarely enjoy broad support for their programs; countries with more democratic policy processes (Switzerland) run the risk of having their liberal policies scuttled by the voters. The immigration that has turned Europe into a destination region and has recently approached historic magnitudes in traditional immigration countries is driving the most far-reaching social transformation of Western countries since the industrial revolution. That such portentous changes are taking place without unambiguous popular consent and persist in the face of significant opposition identifies a serious democratic deficit at the heart of Western political systems.... Read more about Can Immigration Policy be Both Liberal and Democratic?

  • 2010 Feb 22

    Public Policies and Private Behaviors

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

    124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Room 226, Cambridge, MA

    Achieving Policy Goals through the Tapping of “Moral Resources”
    Claus Offe, Hertie School of Governance in Berlin

    About the Seminar
    All policies have target actors (“policy takers”) whose courses of action are to be changed from what they would be in the absence of a particular policy. In this seminar, Claus Offe started with the distinction of three mechanisms by which public policies can reach their goals. Apart from laws and their enforcement through (the threat of) coercive sanctions, there are mechanism of taxing and spending which appeal to the rational interest of policy takers. In addition, there are “soft” mechanisms of appealing to social and moral norms, the compliance to which is held to promote public goods and collectively desirable changes. He focused upon policy areas in which neither deterrence through coercion nor incentivization through taxes, benefits, or transfers are promising tools of public policy. One of many such examples is the issue of parental preventative care for child obesity through appropriate nutritional practices.... Read more about Public Policies and Private Behaviors

  • 2010 Feb 17

    A Theory of State Formation

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

    124 Mount Auburn, Suite 200-North, Room 226

    Carles Boix, Princeton University

    About the Seminar
    To explain the transition from stateless, relatively equal communities to agrarian, unequal and state-governed societies, that has taken place since about 8,500 BC, this seminar discussed a model with the following traits:

    • income-maximizing agents, who may either choose between a productive strategy or an expropriatory strategy, coordinating on peace without permanent political institutions, provided their economic conditions are relatively equal;

    • as soon as inequality rises (due to a biased technological shock), their spontaneous coordination around peace becomes unfeasible;

    • agents sort out into different types and states are formed, either of a monarchical type (where the more productive agents make a transfer to the less productive ones in exchange for permanent protection) or a republican system (where the former invest directly on some defensive structures to deter the latter from looting them).... Read more about A Theory of State Formation

  • 2010 Feb 10

    What Happens in Legislative Debates?

    4:10pm to 5:30pm

    Location: 

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

    A Deliberative Analysis of Two Contrasting Examples
    André Bächtiger, University of Bern

    About the Seminar
    In this seminar, Professor Bächtiger provided an update of the Deliberative Quality Index applied to two controversial bills in the Swiss legislature, one eventually decided relatively consensually and the other by a close majority vote. His analysis revealed different sequences in deliberative style, with elements that run from the reasoned” to the competitive.”... Read more about What Happens in Legislative Debates?

  • 2009 Nov 30

    Immigration, Security, and Democracy

    (All day)

    Location: 

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

    The Dynamics of Policy Failure

    Ariane Chebel dAppollonia, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

    About the Seminar
    In this seminar, Ariane Chebel dAppollonia examines three interlocking processes that fuel the dynamics of security/integration policy failure.’ The first relates to the spiral effect of border escalation. Designed to prevent illegal immigration and terrorist threats, she argues that border controls in fact generate new immigration flows and increase insecurity. Second, the increasing volume of counter-terrorism activity has led to the proliferation of similarly flawed policy institutions in the United States and Europe: Hampered by a vague definition of terrorism, they have expanded and tackle security issues unrelated to terrorism. Third, the impact of the securitization of immigration may actually increase alienation and therefore facilitate terrorist recruitment. The net effect is the creation of a self-fulfilling prophesy of a permissive environment of violence.... Read more about Immigration, Security, and Democracy

  • 2009 Nov 18

    The Ethics of INGO Advocacy

    (All day)

    Location: 

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

    Why It Is OK That No One Elected Oxfam

    Jennifer Rubenstein, University of Virginia

    About the Seminar
    Advocacy campaigns by international anti-poverty non-governmental organizations are an increasingly prominent feature of global politics. Professor Rubenstein focuses on two possibilities for how these campaigns be conceptualized and normatively evaluated: 1) INGOs should be viewed as non-elected representatives” and evaluated based on how representative they are; 2) INGOs should be viewed as agents of justice” and evaluated based on how well they promote some conception of global justice.... Read more about The Ethics of INGO Advocacy

  • 2009 Nov 02

    Harnessing the Diaspora

    (All day)

    Location: 

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

    The Political Economy of Expatriate Dual Citizenship

    David Leblang, University of Virginia

    About the Seminar
    Professor David Leblang will discuss the causes and consequences of dual citizenship rights as they apply to expatriates. Arguing that migrant networks provide sending/home countries with access to global capital pools, he will demonstrate that the provision of dual citizenship helps home countries harness the financial and human capital of their diasporas. His seminar will assess the implications by examining the linkage between migration, dual citizenship and flows of foreign economic aid, portfolio investment, and remittances. He will also provide some evidence that dual citizenship increases the likelihood that migrants will express an intention to return to their home country and will discuss the rise in national policies providing for dual citizenship rights.... Read more about Harnessing the Diaspora

  • 2009 Oct 28

    Why Is There No Arab Democracy?

    (All day)

    Location: 

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

    Larry Diamond, Hoover Institution & Freeman Spogli Institute

    About the Seminar
    Why is there not a single democracy in the Arab world today, when every other region has a significant number of democracies? This seminar examines possible cultural, historical, economic, political, institutional, and geostrategic explanations for the democracy deficit in the Arab world. Rejecting some of these possible explanations and affirming others, it also considers what factors might foster transitions to constitutional democracy in the Arab world.... Read more about Why Is There No Arab Democracy?

  • 2009 Oct 21

    Dignity Through Discourse

    (All day)

    Location: 

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

    Poverty and the Culture of Deliberation in Indian Village Democracies

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

    About the Seminar
    In this seminar, Vijayendra (Biju) Rao will examine transcripts of village meetings (gram sabhas) in South India, to demonstrate how boundaries of caste and status are breached within them, and definitions of poverty and beneficiary selection understood and interrogated. The session will outline how discursive skills and civic agency are acquired and deployed by the poor in a quest for dignity.... Read more about Dignity Through Discourse

  • 2009 Oct 14

    Harnessing Politics to Fix Politics

    (All day)

    Location: 

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

    Heather Gerken, Yale Law School

    About the Seminar
    At this seminar, Professor Heather Gerken will call for an institutional turn in elections scholarship. While scholars of elections have long been preoccupied with the problem of political self-interest, they have focused too narrowly in identifying the problem and failed to think broadly enough about potential solutions. Professor Gerken will describe what this shift in emphasis would involve, charting new paths for future research. Specifically, she will discuss a set of institutional interventions and new political structures that would align leadership incentives properly with the public interest while promoting democratic participation and engagement with the central questions of election reform. While the projects and methodologies she describes will be eclectic, her arguments will be united by a single theme: we need to harness politics to fix politics.... Read more about Harnessing Politics to Fix Politics

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