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McCourtney Institute for Democracy Blog

Transforming the Youngstown Public Library

Nevins Fellow Jack Ouligan interned at the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, where he researched how the Harwood method was used to restore pride and engagement at the Youngstown Public Library.

Transforming the Youngstown Public Library - Read More…

Democratic Dissent and #psu2022

Jenna Spinelle on how Penn State is helping the next generation of democratic citizens.

Democratic Dissent and #psu2022 - Read More…

An 8th Grade Class Tackles Gerrymandering

Jon Kimmel's class at Westtown School near Philadelphia used voter data to create new versions of a Pennsylvania congressional map.

An 8th Grade Class Tackles Gerrymandering - Read More…

Gerrymandering Q&A with Lindsay Lazarski of WHYY and Keystone Crossroads

Gerrymandering Q&A with Lindsay Lazarski of WHYY and Keystone Crossroads

Lindsay has been covering the cases related to Pennsylvania's congressional map and helps make sense of what's happening and what it means for voters in the Keystone state.

Gerrymandering Q&A with Lindsay Lazarski of WHYY and Keystone Crossroads - Read More…

Here's What We're Watching in 2018

Michael Berkman and Chris Beem on events that may impact democracy this year.

Here's What We're Watching in 2018 - Read More…

The Road to Democracy (Literally)

Jenna Spinelle is the Communications Specialist for the McCourtney Institute for Democracy. She joined the team in October 2017. This is her first post for the blog.

The Road to Democracy (Literally) - Read More…

Evidence from Oregon shows that Citizens’ Initiative Reviews can improve voters’ decision-making about ballot measures

Citizens in many US states practice direct democracy through voting on statewide ballot measures. But do voters actually have all the information they need to make judgments about a measure’s likely effects? In 2011, Oregon adopted a Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) process, where randomly-selected citizen review boards evaluate ballot proposals to improve their fellow voters’ decision-making. In new research, our Senior Scholar John Gastil finds that reading one such statement on proposed criminal justice legislation increased voters’ opposition to the measure, though it did not prevent its passage.

Evidence from Oregon shows that Citizens’ Initiative Reviews can improve voters’ decision-making about ballot measures - Read More…

The Progressive As Patriot: What George Washington Can Teach Us About Reclaiming American Exceptionalism

Stephen Howard Browne is Liberal Arts Professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences. He is the author, most recently, of The Ides of War: George Washington and the Newburgh Crisis. His current work includes a project on Washington and America’s first presidential inauguration.

The Progressive As Patriot: What George Washington Can Teach Us About Reclaiming American Exceptionalism - Read More…

Donald Trump’s Frenetic, Exhausting Presidency

The McCourtney Institute is proud to present Dr. Mary Stuckey's latest piece. Professor Stuckey is new to Penn State this fall. She is an expert in presidential rhetoric. We hope to have more of her work to share with you.

Donald Trump’s Frenetic, Exhausting Presidency - Read More…

Donald Trump, the Presidency, and National Identity- Mary Stuckey

The McCourtney Institute is proud to present Dr. Mary Stuckey's latest piece concerning the relationship between National Identity and the rhetoric of Donald Trump. Professor Mary Stuckey is new to Penn State this fall. She is an expert in presidential rhetoric. We hope to have more of her work to share with you.

Donald Trump, the Presidency, and National Identity- Mary Stuckey - Read More…

Poll reveals 3 types of Independents

MID director Michael Berkman delves into McCourtney Poll data to describe three kinds of independents, and to outline the impact they are likely to make in the upcoming presidential election

Poll reveals 3 types of Independents - Read More…

Intrepid Undergraduate Ilayda Orankoy Blogs about the GOP Convention

Intrepid Undergraduate Ilayda Orankoy Blogs about the GOP Convention

With support from the MID, ten undergraduate students are attending the RNC Convention (under the able tutelage of Political Science chair Lee Ann Banaszak and doctoral student Kevin Reuning) to interview protesters. One of the students, Ilayda Orankoy reflected on the experience in this post. Good stuff!

Intrepid Undergraduate Ilayda Orankoy Blogs about the GOP Convention - Read More…

The Cure for Your #Regrexit Democratic Hangover

The Cure for Your #Regrexit Democratic Hangover

Departing Director and now Senior Scholar John Gastil wrote this piece on the Brexit and democratic practice

The Cure for Your #Regrexit Democratic Hangover - Read More…

Report from Nevins Fellow Ethan Paul

This summer, 11 Nevins Fellows are interning throughout the country at organizations that are dedicated to grass roots democracy. In this post, Ethan Paul reflects on his experiences at the Close-Up Foundation. MID is proud to be able to make these life-changing experiences available to these talented students.

Report from Nevins Fellow Ethan Paul - Read More…

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