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These faculty essays examine the nature and scale of the threat and weigh potential avenues for protecting and nurturing democracy. 

Should the United States make people vote?

Voter turnout in the United States tends to hover around 60 percent in presidential election years, and 40 percent in midterm election years. But in other countries like Australia, Belgium and Argentina, voter turnout routinely exceeds 85%. The reason is that these countries require their citizens to participate in elections, levying a small fine if they do not. Should the United States adopt such a policy?

Harvard Kennedy School faculty explore aspects of democracy in their own words—from increasing civic participation and decreasing extreme partisanship to strengthening democratic institutions and making them more fair.

HKS faculty share insights about successes—and failures—from their own experiences to examine what role government can play in achieving social change.  

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