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Democracy is tested most at the edges – the space where those who are displaced and marginalized from the centers of power attempt to build collective campaigns for the recognition of their rights. As such, democracy depends on rhetorical practices steeped in local knowledges and mobilized through pragmatic actions. Today, however, the rhetorics and practices crafted to produce inclusive democratic rights within the United States and abroad have seemingly lost traction in the face of authoritarian leaders, economic disparities, and justice too-often denied. As a result, we believe that a new rhetoric and set of strategies for communal struggle must be generated to ensure democracy’s promise of political representation and collective rights.  


To that end, the Democratic Futures Project brings together academics, advocates, and policy makers to develop sustained engagement with local and international communities working to reinvigorate a democracy and citizenship premised on inclusive, tolerant, and equitable practices. As such, the DFP is committed to supporting research collaborations which join the rigor of scholarship to the needs of local communities actively working to expand democratic and human rights. To this end, the DFP has developed a model which creates partnerships between university professors and democratic advocates, where research questions emerge from questions emerging from advocacy work. Finally, the DFP recognizes our collective responsibility to the next generation of democratic advocates. To that end, DFP sponsors a series of robust undergraduate courses and internships that enable students to develop a theoretical framework on democracy, engage directly with our global advocacy partners, and publish work that will circulate globally.  

The Democratic Futures Project is funded by the Karsh Institute for Democracy and the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation

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