Making Democracy Work

The Making Democracy Work Seminar Series is a public dialogue series examining practical solutions to strengthening democracy and public engagement and participation in government in the United States and around the world.  The Ash Center will be convening academics, practitioners, technologists, community members, and elected officials to explore solutions to our democratic deficit.

2017 Feb 15

Women and Leadership: Responses to Challenging Times

4:15pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Suite 200N, 124 Mt Auburn Street, Cambridge

Please join us for a discussion about women and leadership, featuring:

  • Leah Wright Rigueur, “Intersectionality at the Core”
    • Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Melissa Williams, “Representing Women in Theory and Practice”
    • Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto and Senior Visiting Scholar, Ash Center
  • Jane Mansbridge, "Organizing as Women and Avoiding Common Failures”
    • Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values, Harvard Kennedy School

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2017 Mar 23

Understanding Red State Rage & What To Do About It

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Location: 

John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, 79 John F. Kennedy St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Join us for a discussion with Arlie R. Hochschild, Professor Emerita of Sociology at University of California, Berkeley. Professor Hochschild's most recent research focuses on the rise of the American right–the topic of her latest book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (The New Press, September 2016), a finalist for the National Book Award.

Based on intensive interviews of Tea Party enthusiasts in Louisiana, conducted over the last five years and

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2016 Nov 30

What It Means to be a Progressive Today and How to Maintain Optimism

4:10pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Suite 200N, 124 Mt Auburn Street, Cambridge

Join us for our next seminar with Baroness Tessa Jowell as she leads a discussion entitled: "What It Means to be a Progressive Today and How to Maintain Optimism."

The British Labor Party has been the standard bearer for progressive politics and policy in England for more than a century. Since its foundation the British Labour Party has been essentially a coalition from social democracy to socialism. While always evolving the Labour Party, as dismal opinion polling shows, is becoming a mass membership movement rather than a government in waiting. How can center left

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2016 Nov 16

Leading in the Post-Truth World Where Facts Don’t Matter

4:10pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Suite 200N, 124 Mt Auburn Street, Cambridge

 

Join us for our next seminar with Baroness Tessa Jowell as she leads a discussion entitled: "Leading in the Post-Truth World Where Facts Don’t Matter."

Good public policy requires attention to facts and to the best science. Yet, in areas like health, environment, planning, and media, facts are often disputed and the science challenged. Successful policy development and implementation requires not just science and analysis, but small “p” politics to make sure that policy is connected to good science and facts in the face of opposition. How can public

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2016 Nov 09

Is Movement Politics Now More Appealing Than Party Politics

4:10pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Suite 200N, 124 Mt Auburn Street, Cambridge

Join us for our next seminar with Baroness Tessa Jowell as she leads a discussion entitled: "Is Movement Politics Now More Appealing Than Party Politics."

We rely on political parties to develop political leaders, articulate sensible and effective public policies and to govern wisely. But increasingly in the United States and in Europe, citizens are turning away from established political parties and revolts within them threaten to undermine the great parties of Anglo and American democracy. How can the great parties save themselves?

This discussion will be

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2016 Nov 02

Brexit and Trump: The New Populism in the UK and US

4:10pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Suite 200N, 124 Mt Auburn Street, Cambridge

Join us for our inaugural seminar with Baroness Tessa Jowell as she leads a discussion on Brexit and Trump: the new populism in the US and UK. As frustrated citizens lose faith in established political processes and leaders, they are turning to alternatives that may produce bad policy, bad outcomes for society, and perhaps even threaten democracy itself. What are the sources of these “populist” revolts against the elites that produced Brexit and the Trump candidacy? What does the future hold?

This discussion will be moderated by Archon Fung, Ford Foundation

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