Updates: Democracy

On June 23, 2007, the Institutions of Democracy working group met to chart a path forward for the initiative. Participants grounded their discussion with a collection of short, idea-generating pieces prepared by members of the group. Conversation transitioned to a focus on the main obstacles of reform of the election system and the types of policies and institutions that would enable the election system to run better.

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In the Spring of 2007, three new Tobin Project working groups came together to discuss fundamental unanswered questions in their field and set an agenda for future research and engagement. These early working group meetings included Macroeconomics (with Representative John Spratt, Chair of the House Budget Committee), Health, and Retirement Security.

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The Institutions of Democracy working group published a series of essays, "Six Ways to Reform Democracy" in the Boston Review’s September/October 2006 issue, “Seeds of Change.” With an introduction from Heather Gerken (Yale Law School), the essays offer six ideas to improve democratic governance in the United States.

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In June 2006, the Tobin Project piloted its working group model during two full-day sessions. Eleven scholars from the National Security working group met in Cambridge with Congressman Ike Skelton (Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee), Congresswoman Jane Harman (Ranking Member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence), and Rear Admiral Mark Ferguson (Chief of Legislative Affairs for the U.S. Navy). Ten members of the Institutions of Democracy working group met in Washington, D.C.

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