Designing Democracy: Representation

Information Introduction

Section 1, Spring 24

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 7/8
Credits: 3
Days Time Room Start Date End Date




1410-1530 SL276

Course Description

American democracy is under considerable stress. Persistent and growing gaps in participation, representation, and accountability have contributed to political marginalization, non-responsive government, and democratic instability. The Designing Democracy Project’s mission is to train the next generation of democracy innovators. To do so, the project will put students into leadership positions for thinking about, and solving, democracy’s problems. In this, the second of three course laboratories, we will address problems of democratic representation. Studies have shown that marginalized groups and members of minority political parties are consistently under-represented in the democratic process. Our goal for this course is to develop model legislation that is responsive to the representation gap in the United States. We will start by examining data on democratic representation in the United States. As part of that examination, we will explore the historical bases and structural components of representation in the United States. We will then read studies on the sources of the representation gap and assess it from a comparative perspective. After the learning stage, we will work on advancing a novel remedy to the problem in the form of model legislation. After developing the remedial framework, we will examine relevant case law to assess any potential constitutional or legal limits to the proposed remedy. We will also examine relevant social science scholarship that might provide clues about the potential effectiveness of the proposed remedy. At the end of the semester, the group will produce a report to accompany the model legislation and present the report to state or federal legislators, their staffers, and/or policy makers focused on democracy. The model legislation will then be included in the Designing Democracy database.

Course Requirements

Exam Information

Final Type (if any): None

Description: None

Written Work Product

Final project in the form of a report and model legislation to be presented to legislators, staffers, and/or democracy advocates.

Other Course Details

Prerequisites: Because the credits in this course count toward the JD Program Professional Skills requirement, JD candidates will be given enrollment priority for this class. Concurrencies: None

Exclusive With: None

Laptops Allowed: Yes

First Day Attendance Required: Yes

Course Resources: To be announced.

Graduation Requirements

Satisfies Understanding Bias/Racism/Cross-Cultural Competency requirement: No

Satisfies Writing Requirement: No

Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes

Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

Additional Course Information

Schedule No.: 124218711

Modified Type: Simulation

Cross Listed: No

Concentrations: Constitutional Law , Democracy and Civil Rights , Race and Law

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Sunday, April 14, 12:01 AM

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Sunday, April 28, 11:59 PM

Information reflected on this page was last refreshed at: Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 7:17 AM *

*During open enrollment periods, live enrollment data may be found in SIS.