• 101.Working Group on Participation

    What are the obstacles to effective citizenship? How do these condition the representation of citizen preferences and the legitimacy of the political system? Co-chaired by Professors Larry Bartels (Vanderbilt University) and Claudine Gay (Harvard University), this working group focuses on the capacity of citizens in democratic polities to equally and impartially access and influence political life. It also explores how these obstacles are likely to evolve over time and what might be done to strengthen the connection of citizens and civil society to the state. The ambition is to stimulate new scholarship and to introduce social science research into public conversations about citizen participation. The organizing mandate for this working group was designed broadly in order to provide ample opportunities for working group members to shape the group’s direction. We have invited colleagues with the proclivity to contribute effectively to this wide-ranging enterprise; the disciplines of law, government, political science, history, economics, and sociology are represented, as are practitioners in politics and the media. For news and announcements about this working group and other Anxieties of Democracy program activities, please click here: @SSRCdemocracy.   Co-Chairs Larry Bartels May Werthan Shayne Chair of Public Policy and Social Science, Vanderbilt University Claudine Gay Wilbur A. Cowett Professor of Government and of African and African American Studies and Dean of Social Science, Harvard University   Members Elisabeth Clemens William Rainey Harper Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago Cathy Cohen David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago Katherine J. Cramer Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison Mickey Edwards Vice President, Aspen Institute Archon Fung Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship, Harvard University Hahrie Han Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Environmental Politics, University of California, Santa Barbara Marc J. Hetherington Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University Alexander Keyssar Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy, Harvard University Amy Lerman Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley Dara Strolovitch Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies and Affiliated Faculty, Department of Politics, Princeton University Richard Yeselson Contributing Editor, Dissent Magazine   Image credit: “Vote” by Kodak Views [CC BY 2.0].

    Programs & Projects
  • 102.Working Group on Politics of Distribution

    This working group on the politics of distribution will address issues of inequality within the purview of fiscal policy. For news and announcements about this working group and other Anxieties of Democracy program activities, please click here: @SSRCdemocracy.   Co-Chairs Stephen Ansolabehere Professor of Government, Harvard University Margaret Weir Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs, Brown University   Image credit: “Not Equal” by holeymoon [CC BY 2.0].

    Programs & Projects
  • 103.Working Group on Security

    Established democracies face recurring problems of 'Security and Democratic Exceptions' that raise hard questions about whether it is possible to proceed within the ambit of democratic norms and institutions. This new working group will probe not only the capacities but the repertoire of institutions and ideas which established democracies utilize to deal with actual and perceived 'predators,' external and internal. In examining these strains, the group will take up a range of issues that include population movements, war, terror, and tensions of security and privacy. For news and announcements about this working group and other Anxieties of Democracy program activities, please click here: @SSRCdemocracy.   Co-Chairs Samuel Issacharoff Bonnie and Richard Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law, New York UniversityKiron K. Skinner Associate Professor of International Relations and Political Science, Carnegie Mellon University, and W. Glenn Campbell Research Fellow, Hoover Institution   Image credit: “One Nation Under CCTV” by ogglog [CC BY 2.0] Co-Chairs Stephen Ansolabehere Professor of Government, Harvard University Margaret Weir Professor of Political Science and Sociology and Avice Saint Chair in Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley Co-Chairs Stephen Ansolabehere Professor of Government, Harvard University Margaret Weir Professor of Political Science and Sociology and Avice Saint Chair in Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley.

    Programs & Projects
  • 104.Working Group: Curating Knowledge

    Curating Knowledge Under Digital Conditions Transformations associated with digitization are causing significant shifts in the “scholarly ecosystem” of universities, book and journal publishers, and libraries that have historically served to set standards for the judgment of scholarly quality and impact.  In light of the increased access to knowledge that digitization allows, maintaining and enhancing standards of quality while democratizing access. Key questions addressed by this working group include: What is the role of the traditional “gatekeepers” of scholarly knowledge in this context? When are more open forms of curation compelling, and when are more traditional and demanding approaches appropriate? How can core values and practices of scholarship (e.g. peer review) be preserved under changing conditions, and how should scholarly practices and institutions be modified and adapted in light of these transformations? By what criteria should libraries, archives, and other curatorial institutions make choices in regard to what they collect and preserve? This working group brings together representatives from these different realms in order to discuss the principles, standards, and practices that should govern editorial curation. Co-chairs: Mary Lee KennedyChief Library Officer, New York Public Library Michael SchudsonProfessor of Journalism and Sociology, Columbia University.

    Programs & Projects
  • 105.Working Group: Digital Social Science

    Digital Social Science This working group will engage how social scientists use digital tools, methods, and data sources in their research. This includes “big data” (whether from the internet, social media, geo-spatial techniques, or more traditional quantitative and textual sources); the use of visualization tools for the collection, organization and analysis of data; and other ways in which data and information science is intersecting or could intersect with the social sciences. Along with these opportunities come serious challenges—scientific, practical and ethical—that may result from the expanding use of these forms of knowledge. Key questions addressed by the working group include: What can “big data” tell us about our social world and how it works—and what can’t we learn from it?  How can social science shape the norms and rules for how “big data” is collected and made available? How can we establish partnerships between social scientists and the businesses that own proprietary data, as well as the algorithms that organize their collection and use, for scientific and public benefit—while at the same time protecting privacy of research subjects when “informed consent” is neither required nor expected? How will new tools like information visualization, increasingly being used in fields like history, shape how social scientists are trained, and how they collaborate with each other? The group brings together a range of interested scholars and constituencies—social scientists, data scientists, legal scholars, digital humanists, and relevant actors in the private and public sector—to more deeply understand the ramifications of these innovations in the study of society, and to discover and shape how they might be used in ethical and public-minded ways. Co-chairs: Victoria StoddenAssociate Professor of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Duncan WattsPrincipal Researcher, Microsoft Research.

    Programs & Projects
  • 106.Working Group: Transparency and Reliability in the Social Sciences

    Reliability and Transparency in the Social Sciences Enabled by advances in digital technology, the availability of social science research has increased exponentially, and the stakes of making it so have increased with it. Recent high-profile media coverage concerning the practices and reliability of the social sciences has brought it much attention, and not all of which is positive. More accessible data can deepen the reliability of social science, and is called for by funders and an increasing number of journals in a range of fields.  Digital technology also allows for scholars to provide access to the analytical process they use to connect evidence to interpretative and theoretical claims in ways not possible within the space constraints of a journal article.  Making this process “transparent” is central to sustaining a broader scholarly conversation. While the benefits of access to knowledge for use by the broader research community are many and varied, research transparency as a scholarly value is at times in tension with other values. These include the protection and privacy of human subjects as well as the safeguarding of intellectual property, not trivial for scholars who seek “first use” of the knowledge they produce.  Concerns have also arisen that the emphasis on transparency privileges some methodological and epistemological commitments over others.   This working group convenes a cross-disciplinary group of scholars to consider the current state of social science reliability and transparency across a variety of approaches, and explores whether and how principles of transparency and data access can be articulated to encompass different fields and ways of producing knowledge on and understanding the social world. .

    Programs & Projects
  • 107.Youth Disconnection

    Research on youth disconnection in America.

    Programs & Projects