"Can representative democracies be strengthened to govern more effectively?" This is the question that the Social Science Research Council's (SSRC) Anxieties of Democracy program has been exploring. In the Democracy Papers, a series in the SSRC's digital publication Items, readers will find essays that "highlight and summarize new research presented at conferences and workshops related to the Anxieties of Democracy program." Written with general audiences in mind, these essays feature the work of experts such as professors and postdocs, as well as university students, and tend to focus on various aspects of democracy in North America and Europe. For example, one recent student contribution by Jenny W. Xiao of the University of Hong Kong examines Slovakia's 2019 presidential election and highlights three lessons from Zuzana Caputova's unexpected victory. Another recent article comes from Jason M. Roberts, a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who explains his data-driven research on measuring the effectiveness of party leadership within the US Congress. These and the numerous other essays in the Democracy Papers offer readers insights into current social science research on democratic institutions.
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