21st CENTURY DEMOCRACY

Governance
 

In this websection, MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences draws on the expertise of our faculty and colleagues across the Institute to provide research-based insights and resources for strengthening democracy at home and around the world.

Democracy Homepage
 


                                    
                                         Gallery of Publications

U.S. Flag with firework reflections

STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY

Charles Stewart III on administering elections in a hyper-partisan era
 

What can Americans do to protect our democracy? "The 2020 election showed the resilience of the fact-based part of the election administration system — election administrators, judges, and research institutions (including universities) — that have stood for the rule of law in the face of illiberal attacks on election administration. Opponents of fair elections recognize this and have attacked all parts of this fact-based bulwark."

Daron Acemoglu

POLITICAL SCIENCE

3 Questions: Daron Acemoglu on the “dangerous situation” still facing the U.S.
 

The author of “The Narrow Corridor,” about the battle to sustain democracy, weighs in on the country’s political condition.

Emilia Simison, PhD student

POLITICAL SCIENCE

New views of autocracy emerge from historic archives
 

Political science PhD student Emilia Simison has found that despotic regimes vary, and the move to democracy doesn’t necessarily guarantee policy change.

POLITICAL SCIENCE

How authoritarian leaders maintain support
 

Study finds public anticorruption campaigns bolster leaders, even when such measures lack tangible results.

Rt. Hon. David Miliband SM ’90

DEMOCRACY | HUMAN RIGHTS

Rt. Hon. David Miliband SM ’90 receives the 2021 Robert A. Muh Alumni Award
 

His award lecture proposes an "accountability agenda" to restore respect for human rights, democratic norms, and the rights of civilians in combat zones.

portrait of In Song Kim, MIT Political Scientist

HONORS AND AWARDS

In Song Kim receives the 2021 Levitan Prize
 

New project by the inventor of LobbyView.org will advance trade theory and the ability of citizens to influence public policy-making.

 

flag at a polling station

DEMOCRACY

What must the U.S. do now to sustain its democracy?
 

In the aftermath of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, MIT political scientists and historians discuss how to strengthen U.S. democracy.

US Constitution image

STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY

What’s Next? Challenges Ahead for the Biden Administration
 

A series of essays by MIT SHASS scholars, including: Melissa Nobles, Taylor Fravel, Vipin Narang, Dick Samuels, Elizabeth Wood, Barry Posen, Richard Samuels, and John Tirman.

Portrait of Nasir Almasri '21

MEET OUR STUDENTS

Profile | Nasir Almasri '21
 

Political science PhD candidate studies conflicts that emerge at the intersection of politics and religious traditions, with a focus on humanizing those involved.

detail, electoral map of counties in the U.S.

ELECTION 2020

3 Questions: Adam Berinsky on the responsibilities of political leadership and how to assess election polls
 

"It's the job of our leaders to stand up and challenge unsubstantiated rumors and outright falsehoods. Politicians have tremendous power to lead and to shape information, and voters need to remember this when they head to the polls — in this and every election."

photo of Adam Berinsky

ELECTION 2020

3Q with political scientist Adam Berinsky
Impact of the pandemic on U.S. political life
 

"As they do in wartime "people are willing to give the government broader latitude, even to curtail civil liberties, to address this pandemic crisis. But this effect is also short-lived. People are willing to give up some civil liberties for months, but not years."

STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY

3Q: In Song Kim’s LobbyView.org shines a bright light on Washington lobbying
 

LobbyView.org makes it simple to follow the path of money in politics.

We, the People document

ELECTION INSIGHTS 2018

Daron Acemoglu | On Civil Society and Democracy
 

"What is written in a constitution can take a nation only so far unless society is willing to act to protect it. We have to keep reminding ourselves that the future of our much-cherished institutions depends not on others but on ourselves, and that we are all individually responsible for our institutions."

WHY NATIONS FAIL

Economists Daron Acemoglu of MIT and James Robinson publish new thesis on the wealth of nations
 

A collection of the significant reviews, interviews, videos, broadcasts about the thesis on the origins of power, prosperity, and poverty