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A New Draft for America? A Service Year by Young Americans Would Protect America and Maybe Heal It Along the Way


The idea of a service year for young Americans has been floated around for decades but with no substantive action. A definitive first step to push young Americans in a year of service starts with encouraging colleges to require them before matriculation or to weigh the experience heavily in admissions decisions.

Democracy and Governance

Gender Quotas: For Parliament, From Parliament


  Dedicated to honor the memory of our dear friend and co-author, Rodrigo Ventocilla. He will always be remembered for his intellectual motivation, passion for activism, kind friendship and invaluable contributions to the class of 2023.   The world has taken great strides toward gender equality in recent years, and this is apparent in many […]

The Saudi Form of Democracy: How Women Got to Drive


Introduction  To what extent are state-led social interventions for women authoritarian? Western literature on the Middle East, and in particular on Saudi Arabia, suggests decision-making is centralized and a result of enlightened despots such Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). But this approach misses upward dialogue initiated by citizenry to communicate desired rights for women to leaderships. […]

Singapore’s omission from “Summit for Democracy” is a blessing in disguise


Ng Qi Siang argues that it was ultimately beneficial for Singapore to be omitted from the US-organized Summit for Democracy in December last year. By highlighting key characteristics of the summit, he shows how Singapore’s participation is likely to signal a weakened commitment to its foreign policy principles, which includes the city-state’s commitment to non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and the pursuit of good relations with all who wish to work with it. He then discusses great-power tensions between the US and China, and how Singapore’s non-participation in the summit aligns with its strategy to navigate a more polarised world order.

International Relations and Security

You Can’t Fix What You Don’t Understand: The First Step in Democratic Reform


Democratic reform requires robust civic education first.

In Guarding Democracy, Hindsight Really Will be 2020: The Tabletop Exercise as a Model for Securing American Elections


When it comes to securing US elections against foreign interference, training humans may be the best investment.

Coercion and Enticement: How the Indian Media Lost Its Soul to the BJP


Since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the general elections in 2014, India’s media has precipitously fallen from grace. The media’s depreciation is intertwined with the rise of the BJP’s controversial Hindutva agenda. Hindutva, an ideology of the BJP and other right-wing groups in India, aims to establish Hindu hegemony in India. Under BJP rule, […]

When the Dictator Wins: How Assad Is Using Reconstruction to Strengthen His Grip on Syria


BY ANNA MYSLIWIEC   After nearly eight years and immense human suffering, the Bashar al-Assad regime is nearing victory in Syria. Aleppo City, Homs, and Rif Damascus—once strongholds of the opposition—have fallen to government forces. President Assad, who in the course of the conflict has employed chemical weapons and indiscriminate violence against Syrians, has now […]

Vermont’s Chief Export Isn’t Maple Syrup, It’s Civic Engagement


BY KEVIN FRAZIER Before my first visit to Vermont last month, I assumed the state’s main exports were Ben & Jerry’s and beer. And though it’s true that I’ll be bringing a pint (or two) of each back home, I’m most excited to be leaving with renewed civic optimism. Vermonters have created a governing climate […]

Overriding the Constitution: Populism, the Notwithstanding Clause, and its implications for Canada’s rights framework


  BY ZACHARY SMITH On March 26, 2019, Quebec Premier François Legault confirmed that his government intended to preemptively override Canadian constitutional rights when passing Bill 21, An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State. While political taboos have historically prevented governments from using such overrides, normalization and changing political rhetoric have removed the restraints […]

Autopsy: Nigeria’s 2019 Presidential Election


How did Buhari win? Or, as the opposing camp have asked, how did Atiku lose? This article considers pertinent forces that shaped the election outcome, and argues that technological infrastructure already found in Nigeria holds promising solutions for future elections. Africa’s largest democracy went to the polls to elect a president on the last Saturday […]

How SFFA Teaches Us to Achieve a Healthier Democracy


BY CIAN SAUNDERS In 2014, Congressman Ed Chau climbed onto a podium in front of hundreds of Chinese American protestors and democratic advocates. Facing signs that read “Ed Chau must represent his voters, not his party,” he declared he would not support SCA5, proposed legislation to overturn California’s race-blind admission policies at public universities. In […]

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