Category Archives: democratic reform overseas

the Kenya Youth Manifesto

The Kenya Youth Manifesto is great. It’s the product of an elaborate deliberative process involving Kenyans between the ages of 18 and 35 (a cohort that represents 57 percent of the electorate). The Manifesto offers 52 pages of detailed recommendations. I’m … Continue reading

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what does it mean to say democracy is in retreat?

According to Freedom House, “Democracy faced its most serious crisis in decades in 2017 as its basic tenets—including guarantees of free and fair elections, the rights of minorities, freedom of the press, and the rule of law—came under attack around … Continue reading

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watching democratic cultures decline

Yesterday, I offered some evidence that broad public deliberation declines when authoritarianism rises. I used data Varieties of Democracy, which asks 2,800 experts questions about specific countries in specific years. For this purpose, I’ll define “authoritarianism” as a system that … Continue reading

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authoritarianism and deliberative democracy

The Varieties of Democracy project asks 2,800 experts many questions about specific countries in specific years. One question is “When important policy changes are being considered, how wide and how independent are public deliberations?” The scale ranges from zero (“Public … Continue reading

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republican values in Uganda

Twice in 2017 (for family reasons), we visited Uganda with stops in Dubai. I posted a longer reflection on the two societies last February and would stand by those observations after a second visit. Having just returned, I would like … Continue reading

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people trust authoritarian governments most

(Philadelphia) This Edelman international poll shows that trust in government is low in most countries and declining almost everywhere. But five important countries stand out as exceptions. People trust the world’s largest single-party state, an absolute monarchy, a country in … Continue reading

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the public supports women’s rights in US foreign policy

We released a new survey today that finds strong support for gender equity as a foreign policy goal. For instance, 85% rated the rights of women and girls as a very high priority. 74% agreed that the U.S. government should … Continue reading

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working on civic education in Ukraine

(Kyiv, Ukraine) I am here for just a few days, working with Ukrainian civic educators and my American colleagues at Street Law, Inc. I’ve served on Street Law’s board for more than a decade, but this is my first time … Continue reading

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“Leadership is Female, Is African, Is Muslim Women”

Tisch College is thrilled to host a special event on Wednesday, October 25, entitled “Leadership is Female, Is African, Is Muslim Women” in honor of Saïda Oumulkhairy Niasse, the inaugural recipient of Tisch College’s Global Humanitarian Citizen Award. Please join … Continue reading

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religion and politics in the US versus many other countries

Here is a thesis that experts can evaluate better than I: The issue of religion in politics is fundamentally different in the US from many other countries. In the US, it is mainly about majority opinions versus minority rights. In … Continue reading

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