How Political Institutions Shape Outcomes and How We Might Reform Them

Apr 15, 2021 |
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Part of the Kluge Prize Series from the Library of Congress, this event will examine how U.S. political institutions are often seen as neutral, but in fact reflect choices and compromises about how we balance between majority and minority interests. The Kluge Prize was awarded to Danielle Allen (Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University) who cochaired the Academy's bipartisan Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship that produced the report Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century

On April 15th, panelists investigated the way different systems of electoral decision-making in a democracy can, by themselves, lead to very different outcomes, and what can be done to reform them in ways that result in more responsive and deliberative legislative bodies.


  • Lee Drutman (New America) a thought leader and prolific author on reforming political parties, electoral systems, and Congress.
  • Katie Fahey (Of The People) a leader of an organization dedicated to pursuing reforms to empower individuals in the political system.
  • Cara McCormick (National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers) an activist and leader of organizations dedicated to electoral reforms at all levels, from the local to the presidential. 

This event is the second of three in the Kluge series, entitled “Our Common Purpose—A Campaign for Civic Strength at the Library of Congress.” Each event will examine the implications and implementation of recommendations from Our Common Purpose. Events also include Using Civic Media to Build A Better Society on March 11th and Finding a Shared Historical Narrative on May 13th. 

Image is from "Our Common Purpose” featuring the Juneteenth flag with one star. Artist: Rodrigo Corral.