Recent posts

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

A Deeper Democracy Begins with Proper Elections: Citizens United, the rise of the Super PAC and the loss of electoral integrity in the US

A Deeper Democracy Begins with Proper Elections: Citizens United, the rise of the Super PAC and the loss of electoral integrity in the US

It was a sunny day in March 2011 and Stephen Colbert was getting restless. Colbert had been working out a comedic sketch of a political ad by the former Governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, but he did not quite know how to end the parody. Then Colbert had an idea: […]

by × 20 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

In America, Corporations are People. But should they be?

In America, Corporations are People. But should they be?

Now that November 6th has passed, Americans will stop keeping up with politics and continue Keeping up with the Kardashians. Yet, several of the most crucial elements of American democracy still warrant close attention, including voter identification laws, the restrictions on early voting and, not least of all, the newest […]

by × 14 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Strengthening Democracy in Togo: How to Give women a greater voice

Strengthening Democracy in Togo: How to Give women a greater voice

The integrity of the March 2010 Togolese presidential election was formally challenged immediately following the announcement of incumbent Faure Gnassingbé’s victory. Fortunately, the violence and massive internal displacement that marred the 2005 race were not repeated, but the opposition alleged widespread irregularities and fraud. Ultimately the result was upheld, and […]

by × 11 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

The Uneven Playing Field: Political finance in post-Arab Spring countries

The Uneven Playing Field: Political finance in post-Arab Spring countries

Pro-democracy protesters in Yemen with an umbrella full of money. (Source: Al Jazeera English) “Our revolution was hijacked,” Mahmoud, a young protestor from Yemen, told me in one of our discussions. “We stand no chance against the established powers in any elections,” said Marwa, another young protestor from Egypt. Mahmoud […]

by × 07 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

In Timor-Leste, deepening democracy means ongoing international support for electoral authorities

In Timor-Leste, deepening democracy means ongoing international support for electoral authorities

Keeping a watchful eye (Credit: UNDP) The Report of the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security identified building professional, competent electoral management bodies (EMBs) as one of the five major challenges that must be overcome to conduct elections with integrity. There is more to it, though. East Timor, for […]

by × 04 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Democracy in Britain: Decline, reform, and a place called Bettws

Democracy in Britain: Decline, reform, and a place called Bettws

Political pundits in Britain often frame competition in elections as a fight for ‘middle England’. Each election, they invent names such as ‘Essex man’ or ‘Worcester woman’ to describe archetypal voters representative of marginal constituencies necessary to win a parliamentary majority. Bettws ward in Gwent, Wales, may not be the […]

by × 04 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Wales and Taxes: One small country, one big report, one great democratic idea

Wales and Taxes: One small country, one big report, one great democratic idea

Did you hear about the Silk Commission last week…? No? Let me explain: the Commission produced a report which threw its weight behind a key democratic idea which a country – any country – can adopt to deepen democracy. As the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy & Security noted, developing […]

by × 03 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Deepening Democracy in the United States: “Elections with integrity” require accurate information

Deepening Democracy in the United States: “Elections with integrity” require accurate information

Washington’s Bête Noire I think it’s fair to say that democracy in the United States is already pretty “deep”. As a US citizen, I feel incredibly lucky to live in a society whose history is rooted in democratic ideals—a society that continues to benefit from the types of “elections with […]

by × 03 December 2012 ×