• Swiss Women and The Right to Vote

    Ruth Dreifuss was the first female president of the Swiss Federal Council. As a secretary of the Swiss Federation of the Trade Unions she campaigned for women’s rights, and later on as the head of the Department of Home Affairs she oversaw important changes to social insurance laws for women. On the 50th anniversary of Swiss women obtaining the right to vote she talks to Annabelle Lever (Sciences Po) about her life as a woman activist and politician.

  • Electoral Democracy and Beyond:
         A Philosopher's Plea for Realistic Utopias

    Phillipe Van Parijs is one of the most influential political philosophers working today. He is best known for his work on the maldistribution of work and leisure in contemporary capitalism, and its implications for freedom, equality and solidarity. In this interview, Lucille Lacroix from the Institut des Etudes Politiques Paris (‘Sciences Po’) asks Philippe Van Parijs to reflect on the tensions between idealism and realism in his work as a philosopher and activist, and what it can tell us about contemporary democratic politics.

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  • Voting Without Borders

    Voting Without Borders is a European Citizens' Initiative advocating full political rights for EU citizens living in a different EU country than that of their citizenship. The initiative is sponsored by the ECIT Foundation in Brussels and includes a coalition of over 40 organisations throughout Europe. Tony Venables who heads the ECIT Foundation talks about the political rights of EU citizen in their adoptive countries with REDEM's Marcus Häggrot.

  • today I vote: Reengaging Citizens with Democracy

    todayIvote is a start-up which describes itself as a ‘civic engagement platform about laws in the making’. todayIvote is about improving citizens' trust in democracy by using modern information technologies to bring citizens closer to the law-making process. The mobile platform for democratic engagement currently being developed by todayIvote will allow citizens to be aware, to be informed and to voice their opinions on bills being debated in their country’s legislative institutions.

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  • A Constructive Critique of Elections: Why We Need More

    Elections represent critical points in the democratic process, yet they are imperfect in that, without adequate supplementary mechanisms, the elected may consider themselves 'freed' from their voters until the next election. Gergana Dimova from the University of Winchester, UK, discusses with Élise Rouméas from the REDEM project the role that accountability can play, both as a control and an influencing mechanism, in shaping the actions of those that have been elected over the periods when they exercise the mandate that has been enthrusted to them.

  • Electoral Justice in Times of Crisis

    Dennis F. Thompson is Professor of Government and the Alfred North Whitehead Emeritus Professor of Political Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He is also a Emeritus Professor of Public Policy in the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the founding Director of the University Center for Ethics and the Professions (now the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics). In this conversation he discusses with Alexandru Volacu from the REDEM project the merits and challenges of the available options for holding elections in times of crisis.

  • To Vote by Post or To Postpone the Election?

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some European countries have decided to suspend their elections. France postponed the second tour of the local elections, the same happened in regional elections in Galicia and in the Basque Country and in 15 US state primaries. Are such steps necessary though, if it is possible to cast the ballot by mail? Lee Drutman, senior fellow at the Political Reform Program of the New America Foundation, discusses the merits and trade-offs of mail voting with Andrei Poama from the REDEM project.

  • Helping Disabled People Vote - A French Approach

    On March 23, 2019, France passed a law that prohibits judges to deprive people with disabilities of their right to vote. This will enfranchise around 300,000 French citizens living with a physical or mental disability. What does it take to help people with disabilities to vote? A profile of the Handéo association which has taken up on this challenge, and a conversation with its scientific director, the sociologist Cyril Desjeux.

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  • Four Prints of an Election

    William Hogarth's sharp political perception and rendering of the electoral scenery in Four Prints of an Election, enhanced by John Nichols' satyrical commentary, are a rare treat and an insight into the 18th century political landscape. Plate III The Polling will bring to mind many of the concerns of modern elections.

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