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American Democracy at a Crossroads: Proposals for Democratic Reform and Renewal, May 2022

During the Spring 2022 semester, Sanford Associate Professor of the Practice Asher D. Hildebrand led a new seminar that examined four major challenges facing American democracy today: (1) polarization and partisanship, (2) money and politics, (3) voting and civic participation, and (4) election integrity and subversion. The seminar challenged students to examine the causes and consequences of these challenges, debate alternative solutions, and then develop their own proposals for reform. The students’ proposals have been published in a new report, “American Democracy at a Crossroads: Proposals for Democratic Reform and Renewal.”

Hildebrand, who serves on the Polis Steering Committee, writes in the foreword to the report: “How can we defend the imperfect democracy we have against the very real threats it faces, while also rebuilding and renewing it to move it closer to perfection? This question became the defining charge for [the] seminar.” The foreword continues: “This report represents the culmination of the seminar’s work: fifteen unique proposals for democratic reform and renewal, developed by students whose generation’s commitment to democracy will determine our nation’s future…by viewing seemingly intractable challenges in a fresh light, we hope to contribute a new and valuable perspective to the public discourse over these vital issues.”

You can read the full report here.