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This collection on American democracy challenges and complements blog posts and opinion pieces that are typical staples of the 24/7 news cycle in the lead up to US elections. You'll find reports about election and campaign administration, voting access and participation, government performance and perceptions, the role of the media in civil society, and more.

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"VOTE!" by Paul Sableman licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Task Force on Political Science, Electoral Rules, and Democratic Governance

October 1, 2013

Electoral rules help to make democracy work. Small variations in them influence the type of democracy that develops. The field of political science has defined the study of why and how this happens. Political scientists have contributed to the world of electoral systems as scientists and as engineers. Taking stock of recent scientific research, this report shows that context modifies the effects of electoral rules on political outcomes in specific and systematic ways. It explores how electoral rules shape party systems, the inclusion of women and minorities, the depth and nature of political competition, and patterns of redistribution and regulation. It considers institutional innovations that could promote political equality. Finally, the report describes the diverse ways that political scientists are producing an impact on the world by sharing and applying their knowledge of the consequences of electoral rules and global trends in reform.

Campaigns and Elections; Government

Democratic Imperatives: Innovations in Rights, Participation, and Economic Citizenship

April 1, 2012

This report seizes the present moment of social, economic, and political crisis to question and challenge some of the dominant narratives that shape current thinking about politics. Specifically, it focuses on promising democratic innovations in three arenas: human rights-based approaches to democratization, welfare, and development; participatory governance; and economic citizenship. We focus on developments in these fields to stress their shared objectives.

Civic Participation