April 15, 2021 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
There are more elections than ever before, and yet the world is becoming less democratic. This is the primary paradox presented by the authors of How to Rig an Election. Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas, two political scientists and preeminent experts on democracy and elections, examine how authoritarian leaders can gain and maintain political power by taking advantage of weaknesses in electoral systems. Using data collected from more than 500 interviews in 11 countries as well as a global data set of every elections held over the past 60 years, the authors lay out how gerrymandering, vote buying, repression, hacking, and ballot box stuffing are used by autocrats to ‘rig elections’ and what can be done to protect democracies.
This book discussion focuses primarily on the book and on the global state of democracy more generally. Leading the discussion is Justin Collier, PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware. His research includes public diplomacy, nationalism, national identity, and ethnic conflict.
This free, online discussion is hosted by the Dover Public Library. Registration required.
Did you know that in Norway non-citizens can vote after living in the country for three years? Or that in Switzerland all eligible voters are sent mail in ballots, which can be returned by the mail or dropped off at the polls? In a 2016 survey on global literacy conducted by National Geographic, only 14-29% of the general population could answer the survey questions correctly. When 1,203 recent college graduates were surveyed, the total percent of correct responses was just 55%. Citizens in the United States need to become more aware of the world around us and to perhaps look outward for some solutions to our internal issues.
“Why it Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” was a national initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,
and aiming to “explore civic participation as it relates to electoral engagement in a multivocal democracy”.
The Delaware Humanities project specifically to examined and elucidated systems in the United States by putting our democracy into a global context. We hosted two lectures, two panel discussions, and five book discussions throughout the state from January-April 2021.
Freedom Under Siege: The Global Retreat of Democracy
Lecture (January 7, 2021)
The Global State of Democracy
Panel Discussion (February 17, 2021)
Global Democracy and the Pandemic
Lecture (March 8, 2021)
Electoral Politics Around the World
Panel Discussion (April 20, 2021)