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Our blog serves as a hub for updates about McCourtney Institute initiatives, as well as posts about democracy-related topics from our faculty, staff, and students.

Evidence from Oregon shows that Citizens’ Initiative Reviews can improve voters’ decision-making about ballot measures

Citizens in many US states practice direct democracy through voting on statewide ballot measures. But do voters actually have all the information they need to make judgments about a measure’s likely effects? In 2011, Oregon adopted a Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) process, where randomly-selected citizen review boards evaluate ballot proposals to improve their fellow voters’ decision-making. In new research, our Senior Scholar John Gastil finds that reading one such statement on proposed criminal justice legislation increased voters’ opposition to the measure, though it did not prevent its passage.

Evidence from Oregon shows that Citizens’ Initiative Reviews can improve voters’ decision-making about ballot measures - Read More…

The Progressive As Patriot: What George Washington Can Teach Us About Reclaiming American Exceptionalism

Stephen Howard Browne is Liberal Arts Professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences. He is the author, most recently, of The Ides of War: George Washington and the Newburgh Crisis. His current work includes a project on Washington and America’s first presidential inauguration.

The Progressive As Patriot: What George Washington Can Teach Us About Reclaiming American Exceptionalism - Read More…

Donald Trump’s Frenetic, Exhausting Presidency

The McCourtney Institute is proud to present Dr. Mary Stuckey's latest piece. Professor Stuckey is new to Penn State this fall. She is an expert in presidential rhetoric. We hope to have more of her work to share with you.

Donald Trump’s Frenetic, Exhausting Presidency - Read More…

Donald Trump, the Presidency, and National Identity- Mary Stuckey

The McCourtney Institute is proud to present Dr. Mary Stuckey's latest piece concerning the relationship between National Identity and the rhetoric of Donald Trump. Professor Mary Stuckey is new to Penn State this fall. She is an expert in presidential rhetoric. We hope to have more of her work to share with you.

Donald Trump, the Presidency, and National Identity- Mary Stuckey - Read More…

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