From exploring citizen participation in rural China to assessing how public deliberations in California can engage citizens, HKS’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation continues to be at the forefront of understanding democracy’s challenges.
In early February 2012, the Center announced a deepened commitment to studying democracy by devoting $350,000 each year to faculty and student research that aims to bridge the wide gulf that separates the ideal of democracy from its imperfect practice in the real world. Called the “Challenges to Democracy,” this grant program will fund HKS faculty-led research projects and seminars as well as post-doctoral and doctoral fellowships for students throughout the Harvard community.
“We are pleased to offer such a substantial amount of funding to support research on strengthening democratic practices and the institutional innovation that is necessary to maintain and expand democratic participation and engagement around the world” said Tony Saich, director of the Ash Center. “We hope that this support will engage Harvard’s vibrant intellectual community in the exploration of key challenges in these areas and that it will also push ahead not just our thinking, but also our curriculum design.”