Category Archives: Corruption

The Challenges of Ensuring Credible Elections

KeeleyIn this post, HKS student Juliette Keeley, MPP ‘17 delves into the challenges of election monitoring and highlights innovations designed to address different aspects of this complex problem. She lays out the advantages and shortcomings of using technology in various capacities to improve election-reporting mechanisms, to report and limit violence and intimidation, and to map community-based organizations. Keeley finds that widespread on-the-ground mobilization and citizen participation are common themes running throughout the most successful election monitoring initiatives.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Corruption, Democracy in Hard Places, Elections, Innovation, Participation, Representation, Technology, Voting Rights

Breaking Congo’s Glass Ceiling

Tom O'Bryan_smallThe following is an excerpt from “Breaking Congo’s Glass Ceiling: Gender Politics in the DRC” published in a recent edition of Foreign Affairs by HKS student Tom O’Bryan. The Ash Center is supporting O’Bryan’s work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he is working with a group of partner nonprofits to launch the Congo Democracy Project: a series of interactive maps of the DRC, focused on elections and democratic governance in the country.

This article profiles the women leading the fight for gender equality in Congolese politics as the country approaches critical national elections later this year. From the streets to the Constitutional Court, DRC’s activists, advocates, and candidates are making important progress in the face of growing resistance.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Corruption, Elections, Participation, Students, Voting Rights

Revisiting the Global Prospects for Democracy and Democratization

RM1In this post, Ash Center Research Fellow Richa Mishra follows up on her February 2014 post, Reviewing the Global Prospects for Democracy and Democratization in 2014. In that widely-read review of recent articles and reports on democratic movements, public opinion and democracy promotion efforts, Mishra highlighted the importance of contextual nuance in understanding democratic twists and turns. Below, Mishra revisits her earlier post and offers a comprehensive update on the important themes of political freedom and civil liberties, electoral trends, government legitimacy, and citizen disenchantment. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under All Checks, No Balance, Corruption, Expansion of Presidential Power, Future of Social Movements, Participation, Political Polarization, Representation

Lessons on Good Governance from the World’s Youngest Democracy

lhakpa2This post from Ash Center research fellow Lhakpa Bhuti explores the origins and impact of the government’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) policy on social, political and economic development in her home country of Bhutan. Well-being and happiness as legitimate and useful measures of government performance have been gaining traction in cities across the US, from Seattle, Washington to Somerville, Massachusetts. With a focus on the natural environment, Bhutan’s GNH policy and its GNH accounting might also offer novel solutions for addressing global warming. Bhuti suggests that these and other efforts to improve governance and even increase public engagement might learn lessons from Bhutan’s long-running GNH approach to improving both its political systems and actual policy outcomes.
Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Corruption, In the News, Innovation, Representation

My Challenges: Oded Grajew, Founder of the World Social Forum and Sustainable Cities Program, Brazil

Asked to assess the health of democracy in the U.S. and compare it to his home country of Brazil, Oded Grajew comments on the power of business in a democracy to both negatively influence politics and to bring positive social change. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Corruption, Expansion of Presidential Power, My Challenges, Representation

In the News: What’s Gone Wrong with Democracy?

Check out this in-depth essay from The Economist on democracy across the globe. “Democracy was the most successful political idea of the 20th century,” they write. “Why has it run into trouble, and what can be done to revive it?” Below are a few excerpts. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Cities, Corruption, Future of Social Movements, In the News, Inequality vs Democracy, Media and Journalism, Participation, Political Polarization, Representation, Technology

In the News: Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index

Transparency International recently released its 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index.  Each year the Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 177 countries and territories. This year’s report confirms that corruption remains a global threat. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Corruption, In the News, Media and Journalism, Representation, Technology