Anxieties of Democracy

Electoral Anxieties: November 3rd and Its Aftermaths

In conversation with SSRC president Alondra Nelson and Anxieties of Democracy program Advisory Committee co-chairs John Ferejohn (New York University) and Deborah Yashar (Princeton University) Watch the Roundtable About the Roundtable The stresses and strains on US democracy, building over decades, have reached an apex with the upcoming presidential election in ways that are unprecedented and daunting. Real fears of voter suppression, unfounded suspicions of voter fraud, and the effects of disinformation hover over November 3, 2020. Genuine uncertainty characterizes what may follow. Will the results be accepted? Will a transition be orderly if the incumbent loses? In recent years, …

2019 Democratic Erosion Conference

To mark the conclusion of the second year of Democratic Erosion, a student conference will be held at American University on August 28, 2019. Democratic Erosion is a cross-institutional collaborative course that aims to help students critically and systematically evaluate the risks to democracy both in the US and abroad through the lens of theory, history, and social science. The syllabus project began in 2017, and the Anxieties of Democracy program is a proud co-sponsor. You may learn more about the initiative here.

The Ideational Approach to Populism: Consequences and Mitigation

“The Ideational Approach to Populism: Consequences and Mitigation” will be a three day conference held at the IE School for Global and Public Affairs in Segovia, Spain June 24-26, 2019. The conference is organized by Team Populism, a research group based at Brigham Young University. With populist forces gaining power in several countries for the first time in years, policymakers and citizens are more concerned than ever with populism’s consequences and how we should respond. In this conference, Team Populism will explore the consequences of populism and how they are mitigated. Participants will focus on different levels of analysis, including countries …

Immigration: The Politics of Inclusion and the Politics of Threat

Immigration: The Politics of Inclusion and the Politics of Threat was a one-day research workshop that took place at Social Science Research Council headquarters in Brooklyn, New York on March 29, 2019. The workshop gathered scholars to address the politics of immigration, with a particular focus on how and why Latin American immigration is politicized (sometimes as virtue and increasingly as threat) in the United States in the contemporary period. Scholars were organized into panels on three themes: Parties, Voter Linkages, and Immigration Politics; Framing Immigrants; and Policies of the State.   Panels and Participants  Parties, Voter Linkages, and Immigration Politics What …

Identity, Community, and Political Participation

Identity, Community, and Political Participation  was a two-day research design workshop that took place at Social Science Research Council headquarters in Brooklyn, New York on February 7 and 8, 2019. The workshop convened primarily younger scholars to develop in-progress or planned research projects on how political participation is fundamentally shaped by individual identity and/or community membership (and vice versa). The workshop was organized from an open call for proposals from the Anxieties of Democracy program’s Identity, Community, and Participation working group, whose members provided feedback and commentary on research design presentations. Working group member Adam Seth Levine also presented on how to build …

Political Institutions and Challenges to Democracy: America in Comparative Perspective

The “Political Institutions and Challenges to Democracy: America in Comparative Perspective” conference, co-organized by the Social Science Research Council’s Anxieties of Democracy program and Stanford University’s Global Populisms project, brought together scholars of comparative and American politics to present research on the role of parties, the legislature, the judiciary, the bureaucracy, and other institutions in moments that challenge democracy. The conference was held in New York City January 31-February 1, 2019. Questions addressed at the conference included: • What role, if any, do democratic institutions play in enabling or exacerbating the growth of antisystem sentiment and/or populist appeals? How do the responses of mainstream parties and politicians affect …

Politics of Distribution Conference

On November 30th, 2018, the Anxieties of Democracy program’s working group on the Politics of Distribution will convene at Yale University for the presentation of book chapters. The book chapters will explore many topics, including: the roots of urban-rural sectionalism, perceptions of wealth inequality, and the spatial geography of wealth and precarity in the United States.

SSRC-IFS Workshop: “The Will of the People”

This workshop, held at Columbia University, is the fourth in a series of convenings organized as part of a collaboration between the SSRC’s Anxieties of Democracy program and our namesake European partner program, Anxieties of Democracy, at the Swedish Institute for Futures Studies. The workshop explores the idea of popular sovereignty and how to define “the will of the people.” Questions addressed include: What does it mean for the people to be sovereign? What is “the will of the people”?  By what criteria and by whom should this will be ascertained, judged, and acted upon? What is a valid method …

“Democracy at a Crossroads” co-sponsored conference

The SSRC proudly co-sponsored the “Democracy at a Crossroads” conference, held in Mexico City, Mexico on October 30-31, 2018. The event was hosted by the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) with support from the SSRC’s Anxieties of Democracy program, Columbia University, and Universidad de Guadalaraja. The conference brought together scholars from Latin America, the United States, and Europe, to discuss popular legitimacy, drugs and security, inequality, populism, and neoliberalism, among other topics.

2018 Negotiating Agreement in Congress Grantees’ Workshop

On Thursday, October 25 and Friday, October 26, 2018 the second cohort of grantees in the Negotiating Agreement in Congress grants program gathered for a closed workshop at the SSRC headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. The Negotiating Agreement in Congress Research Grants are designed to open a robust field of research that explores various dimensions of political negotiation in the United States Congress. The grants seek to inspire a young cohort of researchers, with diverse backgrounds and expertise, to jointly address the challenges of political negotiation. At this workshop, the second cohort of grantees assembled to present and discuss interim findings. …

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