Politics & Government Research

Big Tech and Democracy: The Critical Role of Congress

April 23, 2019, 11:24 am

In March 2019, two projects at Harvard Kennedy School—the Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project at the Belfer Center and the Platform Accountability Project at the Shorenstein Center—hosted a workshop for Congressional staff to identify and discuss policy approaches to the dilemmas of big tech platforms.

Platform Accountability: An Interim Measure

April 15, 2019, 10:02 am
Philip Verveer, Shorenstein Center Research Fellow

Download the PDF of this paper here. Introduction The major digital platform companies present a large, complicated array of benefits and problems for the country and the world. The companies increasingly have the attention of both average citizens and senior-most…

Can Cities Save the Census? A Local Framework for Our Nation’s First Digital Count

April 1, 2019, 9:41 am

With trust in federal government and institutions at historic lows, local governments, including cities and counties, must play a critical role in the 2020 Census. If we don’t get the census right, there is so much we are at risk of getting wrong – the implications of which will last for years.

Estimating the Effect of Asking About Citizenship on the U.S. Census

March 21, 2019, 1:21 pm

The 2020 U.S. Census will, for the first time since 1950, ask about residents’ citizenship status. The effect of doing so on census completion across different racial/ethnic groups is, however, unknown. Leveraging a survey experiment, we are the first to assess the causal effect of this question change.

Platform Accountability and Contemporary Competition Law: Practical Considerations

November 20, 2018, 4:03 pm
By Philip Verveer, Visiting Fellow, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy

Introduction “As you know, many people think it is a very antitrust situation, the three of them. But I just, I won’t comment on that.”  President Donald Trump with respect to Google, Facebook, and Amazon, interview with Bloomberg News, August 30,…

The Root of the Matter: Data and Duty

November 1, 2018, 5:28 pm
By Tom Wheeler, Senior Research Fellow, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School. 31st Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 2013-2017

Rules for the New Digital Economy Should Look to Old Common Law Traditions There are 39 million books in the Library of Congress. This impressive analog measurement pales in comparison, however, with the realities of the digital world. Every day…

Campaign 2018: Improving Cyber Literacy in Political Campaigns

May 7, 2018, 8:30 am
By Donna Brazile, Joan Shorenstein Fellow, Fall 2017
Former Democratic National Committee interim chair and adjunct professor at Georgetown University

A new paper by Donna Brazile, Joan Shorenstein Fellow (fall 2017) and former Democratic National Committee interim chair, examines whether political campaigns are up to the task of handling the threat of cyber attacks ahead of the 2018 midterm elections….

Transparency: What’s Gone Wrong with Social Media and What Can We Do About It?

March 27, 2018, 9:03 am
By Wael Ghonim, Entrepreneurship Fellow, Fall 2017, and author of Revolution 2.0, and Jake Rashbass, Knox Fellow and Master in Public Policy student, Harvard Kennedy School

Introduction: Social Media between Utopia and Dystopia “The Internet is the largest experimentation involving anarchy in history. […] Never before in history have so many people from so many places had so much power at their fingertips. And while this…

“Like They’ve Never, Ever Seen in This Country”? Political Interest and Voter Engagement in 2016

March 21, 2018, 9:47 am

A new paper by Markus Prior, fall 2016 Joan Shorenstein Fellow and Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and Lori D. Bougher of Princeton University, compares levels of political involvement in the 2016 presidential election to previous election…

First Draft Launches Free Course on Identifying Misinformation Online

March 19, 2018, 9:31 am

Cambridge, MA—First Draft, a project run by Shorenstein Center Fellow Claire Wardle, has launched a free one-hour online course to teach journalists, students, and members of the general public basic tools to verify the authenticity of content found online. Countless…