Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy

We are partisans for democracy

What does it mean to be a partisan for democracy? We don’t take sides on the political spectrum, but we do defend the rights everyone has as a democratic citizen — from voting to protesting to consuming information from a free press that serves as a check on political leaders.

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy draws from the humanities and social sciences to examine democracy from multiple angles. This cross-discipline collaboration is evident in our research, education, and outreach efforts.

We educate the next generation of democratic citizens through our Nevins Fellows program, monitor attitudes toward democracy with the Mood of the Nation poll, and host speakers and events that bring people from diverse backgrounds and points of view together to discuss the role of democracy in our society.

We make all of this happen in partnership with our centers of excellence, the Center for American Political Responsiveness and the Center for Democratic Deliberation, and many other organizations throughout the College of the Liberal Arts and the broader Penn State community.

Stay Informed:

Democracy Works Podcast

July 8, 2024 - 9:00 am

While Democracy Works is on summer break, we bring you an episode from our friends at Making Peace Visible, a podcast that ignites powerful conversations all over the world about how the media covers peace and conflict. This episode features journalist and author Amanda Ripley. We’ve wanted to have Amanda on the show for a long time and are grateful to the Making Peace Visible team for sharing this conversation with us!

After over two decades as a journalist, including ten years covering terrorism and disasters for TIME Magazine, Amanda Ripley thought she understood conflict. But when momentum started to build around the candidacy of Donald Trump, she questioned what she thought she knew. Ripley interviewed psychologists, mediators, and people who had made it out of seemingly intractable conflicts for her book, High Conflict: Why We Get Stuck and How We Get Out.  

In this conversation with host Making Peace visible host Jamil Simon, she shares insights about how people in conflict can move forward, and how journalists can get at the “understory” of what’s beneath any conflict. 

Order Amanda Ripley’s book, High Conflict: Why We Get Stuck and How We Get Out. Watch Amanada’s talk on High Conflict for The Alliance for Peacebuilding. Follow her column in the Washington Post.

Upcoming Events

There are currently no upcoming events. Here are some of our past events:
April 23, 2024
10:30 a.m.–noon
133 Sparks Building
April 19, 2024
2:00 p.m.–3:20 p.m.
130 Moore Building
April 18, 2024
7:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
158 Willard Building
April 17, 2024
4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library
April 10, 2024
4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library
April 9, 2024
10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library
April 1, 2024
7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
March 28, 2024
6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Freeman Auditorium, 117 HUB-Robeson Center
March 20, 2024
noon–1:30 p.m.
Grucci Room, 102 Burrowes Building
March 14, 2024
4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Freeman Auditorium, HUB-Robeson Center
February 7, 2024
4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
HUB-Robeson Center Flex Theater
January 23, 2024
5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library

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