Harvard Kennedy School's project for Making Democracy Count starts from the challenge that constructive participation in political systems is eroding and frustration with political systems is growing—in the United States and other countries. HKS wants to lead the way in diagnosing that challenge and in prescribing ways to address it.
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From Brexit to the election of President Trump to the rise of elected “strongmen”— feels strange all over. To make sense of it all, a panel of Harvard Kennedy School scholars gathered in late September to kick off the school’s 2017-2018 season of John F. Kennedy Jr. Forums to address the urgent question: Are democracies in peril?

A study of cities shows citizens can indeed be satisfied

Quinton Mayne has found that where local governments can shape welfare policies, such as in education or social services, citizens are much less likely to be politically disaffected. Cities can be engines of economic development, creativity, and innovation, but of human welfare, too. His in-depth study of cities, in particular Denmark’s urban centers, shows how proximity to government can have a positive impact on citizens’ view of their own well-being as well as of governance.

Quinton Mayne