We need to democratize AI

The drama of the last week at OpenAI has been entertaining, to say the least. But it also signals that it is high time to have a conversation about AI politics and, specifically, the governance of AI companies, perhaps as distinct from any other type of corporate governance or perhaps as an inspiration for all […]

Can Citizens’ Assemblies Help Restore Trust in Government?

About half of Americans believe democracy is not working well, according to an Associated Press poll from June. Only 10% said it is working well or extremely well. The Institution for Social and Policy Studies launched its Democratic Innovations program in part to counteract such pessimism. Because democracy needs the public’s trust for it to work. […]

Ask What Randomness Can Do for You

Deliberative mini-publics convene a panel of randomly selected constituents to deeply engage with complex policy issues. This essay considers the process of selecting the members of this panel, with a particular focus on the central role of randomness in this process. Among other benefits, this random- ness confers legitimacy by affording all members of society […]

How Jury Duty–Yes, Jury Duty–Changed My Life

Someone asked me recently, “What is the most profound civic experience you’ve had?” Believe it or not, it was when I served on jury duty: The thing that many people really try to get out of, but it is arguably our most foundational civic duty. I served on jury duty back in 2011 and it […]

Citizens’ Assemblies and Beyond

As the Middle East war rages and democracies reel from populist and illiberal movements, I spent Friday and Saturday at the Hannah Arendt Center’s Democracy Innovation Workshop: Citizens’ Assemblies and Beyond. Organized by the Arendt Center’s Democracy Innovation Hub, the workshop gathered scholars, organizers, and government officials in New York City to learn about, explore and plan […]

Lottery-Selected Democracy: Redesigning Governance from the Ground Up

Another round of divisive national elections is hurtling too-quickly towards us, and it is more evident than ever that our democracy is in a crisis of imagination. Many of us are craving the kinds of stories that show a different path forward. Not a new candidate or plea for “civility” in national politics – but […]

How Government By Assembly Could Save Our Democracy

Around the world, democracy is seen as a system in which the public, through elections, chooses its representatives. But the People’s Assembly wouldn’t consist of elected politicians. Instead, it would be composed of everyday people, chosen by lottery processes that ensure that the body is a demographic mirror of the people it represents. Read More: […]

The best books on Citizens’ Assemblies

Around the world, democracies are struggling with angry populations who are fed up with politicians who don’t seem to represent them effectively. Fortunately, there’s an alternative. Hugh Pope—a veteran reporter on the Middle East who also spent 15 years working for International Crisis Group—introduces us to the growing movement for ‘citizens’ assemblies’, where ordinary people get […]

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