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.

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Democracy Works Podcast

Chris Beem on the seven democratic virtues

This week, we bring you an episode from Future Hindsight. Our own Chris Beem talks with host Mila Atmos about his new book, The Seven Democratic Virtues: What You Can Do to Overcome Tribalism and Save Our Democracy.

In the book and in this conversation, Beem argues that American democracy is at a crisis point and to fix our politics, we have to change our culture first. We can all take part in creating a culture that cultivates democratic virtues. Humility, for example, recognizes that all of us are biased and that we will disagree. In fact, anger is an essential emotion in democracy. Hatred, however, is disastrous. When we hate, we cannot operate as a democracy.

The Seven Democratic Virtues: What You Can Do to Overcome Tribalism and Save Our Democracy

Future Hindsight

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