2.8 Pragmatic democracy and saving democracy with Professor Archon Fung

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Today I'm speaking with Professor Archon Fung. Professor Fung is the Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

His research explores policies, practices, and institutional designs that deepen the quality of democratic governance. He focuses upon public participation, deliberation, and transparency. He co-directs the Transparency Policy Project and leads democratic governance programs of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School. I talk to Professor Fung about the concept of ‘pragmatic democracy’ which he describes as being focused on outcomes and then looking at different approaches to democracy to determine which ones will get us closer to those outcomes. In some ways, this approach is similar to the problem-based approach described by Professor Warren in the last episode. He also expands on his article Our desperate need to save US democracy from ourselves from December 2016. We’ll be hearing from Professor Fung later in this season when I pull together different perspectives on democracy and capitalism, as well as in Season 4 Between Election Democracy where his work on empowered participation is particularly relevant. In next week’s episode, I speak with Associate Professor Sofia Nasstrom about her theoretical work developing the concept of ‘the spirit of democracy’. I hope you’ll join me then.

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