Category Archives: democratic reform overseas

postcolonial reaction

Two recent articles by Pankaj Mishra put very different valences on the same fundamental story. In “Modi’s Idea of India” (The New York Times, Oct 24), Mishra decries the “intellectual insecurity, confusion and aggressiveness” of Hindu nationalists and links it … Continue reading

Posted in democratic reform overseas, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

the Communist Party battles against equality

The profound irony of this kind of story seems under-appreciated: The Beijing-appointed leader of Hong Kong, Leung Chun-ying, said Monday evening that it was unacceptable to allow his successors to be chosen in open elections, in part because doing so … Continue reading

Posted in democratic reform overseas | Leave a comment

propaganda in Russia and in the USA

(Washington, DC) Russian media serves a steady diet of stories about how the crashed Malaysian airplane was filled with already-dead bodies; definitive proof that Ukraine shot it down to frame the Russian separatists; and even evidence that it’s the same … Continue reading

Posted in democratic reform overseas | 3 Comments

Mike Edwards on civil society

The third edition of Michael Edwards’ invaluable book Civil Society is newly out, and Mike makes a strong argument on OpenDemocracy.net that draws from his book. He notes that nonprofit organizations are growing (by almost all measures) and offering significant benefits to the people … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory, democratic reform overseas, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

youth Participatory Budgeting in Boston

On Friday, I had the opportunity to observe about 50 Boston young people at work on the city’s youth Participatory Budgeting initiative. I will write the whole story for GOOD Magazine, so this is just a teaser. In essence, volunteer young … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation, democratic reform overseas | Leave a comment

what happens if EU members overturn their democracies?

I’ve had several moving conversations recently with democratic reformers from southeastern Europe. They are near despair about their respective countries. Instead of quoting their confidential assessments, I’ll cite this summary by Tamas Dezso Czigler of LSE: I have previously written … Continue reading

Posted in democratic reform overseas, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

keeping the state close or at a distance

(Salem, MA) This is a table from a chapter of mine entitled “Social Accountability as Public Work.”* (You can click to expand it.) The table refers to two examples from the same volume. In his chapter, Samuel Paul describes how … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory, democratic reform overseas | Leave a comment

Egypt and the model of the French Revolution

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. … Men make their own history, but they do not make … Continue reading

Posted in democratic reform overseas | Leave a comment

the Deliberative Democracy Handbook in Chinese

This is the cover of the Deliberative Democracy Handbook, edited by John Gastil and me, in Chinese. It was published in Taiwan, and the back cover says (according to Google’s translation, as edited by me): “Twenty years after the lifting … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation, democratic reform overseas | Leave a comment

foreign policy, ideology, and the election

At their final debate, the two major party candidates seemed to converge on a doctrine that might be called cautious amoralism. All that counts are the economic interests of the United States and the security interests of the US and … Continue reading

Posted in Barack Obama, democratic reform overseas | Leave a comment