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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Reconstructing American News: Investing In The Transformation Of Journalistic Processes And Power Relations To Strengthen Civil Society

July 1, 2020

At the time of this writing, early June 2020, COVID-19 cases are rising or holding steady in a majority of states, disproportionately killing Native Americans, Blacks, Latinos, and people with disabilities. The nation is roiled by civil unrest following the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers. In many ways, we have spiraled back to the trauma of the late '60s, with a pandemic added to the mix. Newsrooms across the nation are also having fierce internal debates about what constitutes good coverage and staffing. The degree to which they are prepared to have these conversations often relies on the level of transparency and openness to innovation, in a way that goes far beyond placing content on the tech platform du jour.

A Program Review of the Promoting Electoral Reform and Democratic Participation (PERDP) Initiative of the Ford Foundation

April 1, 2016

As part of its strategic redesign process in 2015, the Ford Foundation sought a systematic review of its Promoting Electoral Reform and Democratic Participation (PERDP) initiative in the United States. The overarching goal of the review was to understand the extent to which a clear theory of change existed in PERDP's work, and whether that theory of change matched broader understandings of what worked in strengthening civic engagement and democracy. Our goal was not to assess particular grants or funding choices. Instead we sought to synthesize learning about strategies for increasing civic participation and improving the functioning of American democracy by looking broadly at both scholarly research and the experiences of PERDP.

Civic Participation