Research & Resources

Through our books, case studies, journal articles, papers, and surveys, the Ash Center is home to some of the world’s most advanced research and publications on issues related to democratic governance and self-governance.

To explore all research authored by Ash Center faculty, please visit the Harvard Kennedy School website. You can view the Ash Center’s open access policy here.

A black and white image of fallen and crumbling pillars

Book

When Democracy Breaks: Studies in Democratic Erosion and Collapse, From Ancient Athens to the Present Day

When Democracy Breaks aims to deepen our understanding of what separates democratic resilience from democratic fragility by focusing on the latter.

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El Salvador’s Presidential Elections and the Future of Democracy

Video

El Salvador’s Presidential Elections and the Future of Democracy

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele was recently re-elected with more than 80% of the vote. While Bukele is credited with bringing the country’s crime rate to historic lows, he has also adopted increasingly authoritarian measures under the guise of fighting the country’s powerful gangs. Speakers analyzed the sources of Bukele’s popularity, the human toll of Bukele’s prolonged state of exception, and the threats to democracy in El Salvador.

AGI and Democracy

Policy Brief

AGI and Democracy

We face a fundamental question: is the very pursuit of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) the kind of aim democracies should allow?

Why Citizens Don’t Hold Politicians Accountable for Air Pollution

Video

Why Citizens Don’t Hold Politicians Accountable for Air Pollution

This Global Challenges to Democracy Seminar Series event featured Tariq Thachil, Professor, Madan Lal Sobti Chair for the Study of Contemporary India; Director, Center for Advanced Study of India; University of Pennsylvania. Urban citizens in low-income democracies rarely hold elected officials accountable for toxic air. To understand why, Thachil discussed a recent paper co-authored by Shikhar Singh.

India’s National Election: The Future of the World’s Largest Democracy

Video

India’s National Election: The Future of the World’s Largest Democracy

As India prepares for general elections beginning next month, the world’s largest democracy finds itself at an inflection point. With incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expected to maintain control of the country’s parliament, what can we expect from a third five-year term? What are the opportunities and challenges that a dominant BJP poses to India’s democracy? Is India’s democracy in decline, as some assert, or does it remain broadly competitive and inclusive and perhaps even a relative bastion of democracy’s promise?

Confronting Dictators: Lessons from Egypt, Russia, and Venezuela
Shady ElGhazaly Harb sits at a table speaking to a seated audience

Video

Confronting Dictators: Lessons from Egypt, Russia, and Venezuela

Panelists from the Nonviolent Action Lab discuss their experiences, lessons learned, and perspectives on their respective struggles, nations, and roles have evolved during their time at Harvard.

Democracy as Approximation: A Primer for “AI for Democracy” Innovators

Additional Resource

Democracy as Approximation: A Primer for “AI for Democracy” Innovators

This essay was adopted from a presentation given by Aviv Ovadya at the Second Interdisciplinary Workshop on Reimagining Democracy held on the campus of Harvard Kennedy School in December 2023.

Preventing Rebel Resurgence after Civil War
Photo of Michael Weintraub

Video

Preventing Rebel Resurgence after Civil War

This Global Challenges to Democracy Seminar Series event featured Michael Weintraub, Associate Professor in the Escuela de Gobierno at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and Director of the Security and Violence Area of the Center for the Study of Security and Drugs (CESED).