The Strengthening American Democracy Initiative plans a workshop with scholars and practitioners to discuss an emerging school of thought it calls "political realism." The central thesis is that efforts to reduce corruption, improve transparency, and democratize political processes may have inadvertently undermined mechanisms that real-world political actors rely upon to govern and compromise. Co-led by Brookings scholars Elaine Kamarck and Jonathan Rauch, the convening will be an exploratory platform for addressing questions surrounding political realism. Its goals are: To identify and elaborate upon common elements of work of these scholars and practitioners; and to foster collaborative opportunities and informal networking.
About the Grantee
1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC, 20036-2103, United States
Grants to this Grantee
for the Opportunity after Neoliberalism Project
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Brookings’ mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level. This project — led by Richard Reeves, senior fellow at Brookings, and advised by Joshua Cohen— will break down the key philosophical, historical, theological, and anthropological foundations of neoliberalism, with the goal of considering what a post-neoliberal opportunity society might look like. The purpose of this project is to entice a leading, creative, and diverse set of thinkers to deconstruct neoliberal ideas of opportunity, meritocracy, and economic mobility; highlight both the positive and negative aspects of the neoliberal framing of opportunity; and where appropriate, propose alternative approaches.
for a research project to strengthen American democracy
The U.S. political system has become increasingly dysfunctional. Public trust in government has reached an all-time low and legislative leaders appear increasingly incapable of cohesive action. These problems are compounded by the growth in unlimited and often undisclosed campaign expenditures, a new media environment that exacerbates existing divisions, and an established media that does little to hold elected officials accountable. To help better understand and address these challenges, the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program is proposing a multi-year effort to undertake new and much-needed research, and develop a "Democracy Hub" that will connect academics, practitioners, and policymakers working to address these problems.
for support of the Voting Rights Act Conference
This February the Supreme Court heard a challenge, Shelby Co. v. Holder, to Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Right Acts. This Section requires Department of Justice "preclearance" before any changes can be made to voting practices or procedures in a set of jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination. It is widely expected that the Supreme Court will overturn this provision, making it far easier for local voter suppression tactics to become law. A decision is expected by the end of June, 2013. With this grant, Brookings’ Governance Studies initiative would host a day-long conference bringing together parties in the case, election law experts, voting rights and reform advocates, and members of the media for a series of on-the-record discussions on the Court’s ruling and its impact on voting rights and election administration.