Category Archives: Democracy Program

What’s Your “Deep Story?”

When Professor Emerita at UC Berkeley Arlie Hochschild came to speak at the JFK Forum in March, she sparked a conversation around the idea of “deep stories” – the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and the values we share. In this post, Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow LaGina Gause offers a “deep story” that she feels might resonate with liberals more than the one described by Hochschild. If you have an alternate “deep story,” we invite you to share with us in the comments below.

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Filed under Democracy Program, Political Polarization

When Rebels Take Power: Q&A with Kai Thaler

This post is the second in our Democracy Fellows Spotlight series. Kai Thaler, one of the Ash Center’s Democracy Doctoral Fellows, is a fifth year graduate student and a PhD candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University. Thaler’s dissertation examines how rebel organizational characteristics affect the type and scope of state building and public service provision by rebel movements if they succeed in capturing the central state or seceding. Read other posts in this series here.

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Americas Watch as U.S. Democracy is Tested

On February 28th, 2017, Ash Center Non-resident Senior Fellow Peter Quilter testified before Congress on the state of the Western Hemisphere. Quilter warned that developments or attacks on U.S. democracy have a good chance of rippling through the Americas. This post is an excerpt from the testimony and shares Quilter’s thoughts on the state of Venezuela and what the U.S. should (or shouldn’t) do about it. Read the full testimony and watch the video online.

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Filed under Democracy in Hard Places, Democracy Program

Commentary from Democracy Fellow Kai Thaler on Tillerson Confirmation as U.S. Secretary of State

In this op-ed, originally published by the Maine Beacon, Ash Center Democracy Doctoral Fellow Kai Thaler entreats his Maine Senator, Angus King, to rethink his backing of Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State. Thaler argues that Tillerson’s actions as CEO of Exxon Mobil and his ties with Vladimir Putin and other autocratic leaders with questionable human rights records should preclude him from being confirmed.

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Filed under Democracy Program, Representation

Protest and Legislative Responsiveness: Q&A with LaGina Gause

gause_lagina_headshotThis post is the first in a series of Q&As introducing our new cohort of Democracy Fellows. LaGina Gause, the Ash Center’s new Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow, joins us from the University of Michigan where she received her PhD in Public Policy and Political Science. Gause’s research focuses on legislative response. Her dissertation book project specifically explores legislative behavior in response to protesters in their congressional districts. 

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Talking Politics Online: Why Not Everything Should Be Connected

Moore_AlfredIn advance of his talk on online deliberation this afternoon, former Ash Center Democracy Fellow Alfred Moore shares some preliminary results from a project on online commenting that he conducted with his colleagues John Naughton and Rolf Fredheim. Using data from Huffington Post comment sections over time, Moore and his colleagues uncover interesting trends that debunk the assumption that civility necessarily increases with the decline of anonymity in online commenting spaces.

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Filed under Democracy Program, Making Democracy Work, Technology

Democracy Fellowship Program: Shaping a New Field of Scholars

In 2008, the Ash Center reenvisioned its Democratic Governance Program as an active research community that would fill a void in current scholarship in democratic governance by fostering research that is not only normatively and empirically sophisticated but also problem-driven and actionable. The Ash Center’s Democracy Fellowship Program is the heart of the Democratic Governance Program’s efforts to build a new field of scholarship — and scholars — studying both the challenges to democratic governance and promising solutions.

For five years, the Democracy Fellowship Program has welcomed postdoctoral scholars as well as doctoral candidates, senior scholars, and practitioners from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. Ash Center Director Tony Saich and Academic Dean Archon Fung have just published a retrospective celebrating the Democracy Fellowship Program on the occasion of its fifth anniversary. This post shares highlights from the Five-Year Retrospective. Check out a multimedia version of the report here, and read the full report here.

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