• 2015 May 05

    Political Leadership in a Challenging World: Lessons from Sweden

    12:00pm to 2:00pm


    Darman Room, Taubman Building, 1st Floor Harvard Kennedy School

    Speaker: Anna Kinberg Batra, Leader of the Swedish Opposition

    Join the Center for Public Leadership, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and the Women and Public Policy Program for an intimate luncheon conversation about Sweden's government crisis in the fall of 2014 and Ms. Kinberg Batra’s current focus on preparing her reform agenda for the 2018 election.... Read more about Political Leadership in a Challenging World: Lessons from Sweden

  • 2015 Apr 30

    Comparative Democracy Seminar Series

    4:10pm to 5:30pm


    Ash Center, 124 Mount Auburn St., Suite 200-North, Cambridge.MA

    Upcoming Events:

    Compulsory Voting and Income Inequality

    About the Event:
    What difference does it make if more, or fewer, people vote? What difference would it make if the state made people vote? These questions are central both to normative debates about the rights and duties of citizens in a democracy and to contemporary policy debates in a variety of countries over what actions states should take to encourage electoral participation. In this seminar, Professor John Carey will address the phenomenon of compulsory voting and the legal requirements that compel citizens to vote in elections. Specifically, he will focus on a rare case of abolishing compulsory voting in Venezuela where not forcing people to vote yielded a more unequal distribution of income.

    ... Read more about Comparative Democracy Seminar Series

  • 2015 Apr 30

    #Hack4Congress DC

    Thu - Fri, Apr 30 to May 1, 8:00am - 5:00pm


    Google, 25 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest #900, Washington, DC 20001

    #Hack4Congress DC#Hack4Congress brings together political scientists, technologists, designers, lawyers, organizational psychologists, and lawmakers to foster new digital tools, policy proposals and other innovations to address the growing dysfunction in Congress.

    In three “not-just-for-technologists” events (in Cambridge, San Francisco, and Washington DC), civic innovators are invited to spend a weekend working on “hacks” (both technical and non-technical) to improve Congress. Each event concludes with presentations and the selection of the best project.

    Winners will travel to DC in May to present their ideas to a panel of Members of Congress and civic innovators.

    The event will kick off on April 29 at 5:30pm with a panel discussion entitled “Creating a 21st Century Congress” at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center.

    See the Reddit AMA with the speakers here.

    Watch Senator Blumenthal's opening remarks:

    Watch the Hackathon's project pitches:

    See This Event in the Media Here:

    ... Read more about #Hack4Congress DC

  • 2015 Apr 29

    #Hack4Congress DC Panel Discussion and Reception

    5:30pm to 7:30pm


    Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center 901 K Street, NW 11th Floor, Washington, DC 20001

    #Hack4Congress DC Panel Discussion and Reception  -- "Creating a 21st Century Congress"

    Please join us for a panel discussion on "Creating a 21st Century Congress." 

    Moderated by decorated technology journalist Nancy Scola, the discussion will center on the institutional, financial, and cultural barriers to building a legislature that functions in the year 2015 — and what needs to be done to produce a more efficient and effective Congress. A reception will follow. 


    Read more about #Hack4Congress DC Panel Discussion and Reception
  • 2015 Apr 23

    Strengthening Democracy Worldwide: International IDEA @ 20

    4:10pm to 6:00pm


    Ash Center Foyer,124 Mount Auburn St, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

    About the Event
    Yves Leterme, the current Secretary General International IDEA will discuss the challenges facing efforts to strengthen democracy worldwide from the perspective of International IDEA, one of the leading inter-governmental organizations at the forefront of these initiatives. He will reflect on the record of success over the last two decades, since the organization’s founding in 1995, and consider the lessons for future developments and priorities.  The discussion will be moderated by Pippa Norris, the Paul. F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics.  Following the talk, a reception will be held in the Ash Center foyer.... Read more about Strengthening Democracy Worldwide: International IDEA @ 20

  • 2015 Apr 21

    Getting to Yes (or No): Making Ballot Initiatives More Voter-Friendly and Deliberative



    Ash Center Foyer, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA


    John Gastil, Professor and Head, Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, Penn State University
    Jon Hecht, MA State Representative (D-Watertown)
    Tyrone Reitman, Executive Director, Healthy Democracy Oregon
    Carmen Sirianni (moderator), Morris Hillquit Professor of Labor and Social Thought, Brandeis University

    About the event:

    Join academics and practitioners in a panel discussion on the Citizens’ Initiative Review, an innovative approach to direct democracy through ballot initiatives.

    More than 70% of the people in the US live in a state or city where direct democracy is available. In 2014, Americans in 42 states voted on altogether 158 ballot measures. Topics featured in these ballots included burning questions such as the minimum wage, criminal justice, guns, immigration and insurance. As an effect of citizens’ participation in these ballots, four states for example raised the minimum wages from the beginning of this year. Europe, on the other hand, awaited for the result of the Scottish independence referendum with fear and excitement in 2014. However, the complexity of current policy issues and investments of large interest organizations in referendum campaigns have raised concerns about the functioning of direct democracy.... Read more about Getting to Yes (or No): Making Ballot Initiatives More Voter-Friendly and Deliberative

  • 2015 Apr 20

    Articulatory Urbanism

    1:00pm to 2:00pm


    Room 124, Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

    The concept of “articulation,” which has a long trajectory in geography, philosophy, social studies, and cultural theory, has had a much lesser impact on urban studies and architecture. In the work of Cities South of Cancer, ­the research group created and chaired by Felipe Hernández at the University of Cambridge, articulation has inherent potential for the study of the impact of subaltern agencies in the continuous development of cities. This talk explores the notion of articulatory urbanism, both theoretically and through the work of the CSC in various developing-world cities: Cali and Pereira (Colombia), Jakarta (Indonesia), Querétaro (Mexico), and Nanjing (China). The CSC proposes an approach to urbanism geared towards articulation rather then absorption and/or eradication. It seeks to strategically articulate diverse and often antagonistic elements in order to reconfigure the notion of city, helping to improve conditions of life for people in conflict-ridden communities.... Read more about Articulatory Urbanism

  • 2015 Apr 17

    Big Data, Privacy, and the Power of the Purse: Bringing Revenue Collection into the 21st Century



    Ash Center Foyer,124 Mt. Auburn St., Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

    Ash Center Student Speaker Series (Tax Week Special!)

    Charles Data Alemi, MPP ’15
    Yunjung Song, MPP ’15

    Lunch will be provided

    About the Event
    As most celebrate (or mourn) the end of tax season here in the United States, we turn our attention overseas toward two efforts to make revenue collection more modern and transparent. On behalf of the South Sudan Customs Service, Charles Data Alemi has studied the challenges facing that new country’s attempts to better collect customs and indirect taxes levied on imports. In particular his talk will focus on the complexity of the current policy and the challenges presented by a lack of data availability. Yunjung Song will talk about her work exploring the potential for broader disclosure of taxpayer data in South Korea. By comparing the tax privacy policies of a number of other countries, she suggests a new tax data disclosure policy for the National Tax Service of South Korea. What is the right balance, she asks, between economic feasibility, operational feasibility, political feasibility, the public’s right to know, and tax data privacy?... Read more about Big Data, Privacy, and the Power of the Purse: Bringing Revenue Collection into the 21st Century

  • 2015 Apr 13

    U.S.-China Under Xi Jinping: From Strategic Collision to Common Purpose?



    JFK Jr. Forum


    Kevin Rudd
    Prime Minister of Australia, (2007-2010, 2013)
    Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
    Anthony Saich
    Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Daewoo Professor of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
    Meghan L. O’Sullivan
    Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
    Graham T. Allison (moderator)
    Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
    ... Read more about U.S.-China Under Xi Jinping: From Strategic Collision to Common Purpose?