Announcing the new Penn State Democracy Medal

Starting this year, Penn State University’s Democracy Institute will be awarding a Democracy Medal for exceptional innovations that advance the design and practice of democracy. The medal comes with a $5,000 award and tremendous publicity for the recipient, who will accept the medal and give a speech in the Fall of 2014. The medal celebrates the best work being done to advance democracy in the United States or around the globe. This year’s competition focuses on practical innovations, such as new institutions, laws, technologies, or movements that advance democracy.

The first medal will be given in 2014 for the best innovation in the practice of democracy. Nominations will be accepted through December 10, 2013, and the awardee will be announced in the spring of 2014. The winner will give a talk at Penn State in September, 2014, when they also receive their medal and $5,000 award. Between the spring announcement of the winner and the on-campus event in the fall, the Institute will provide the recipient with editorial assistance toward completing a short (20-25 page) essay describing the innovation for a general audience. The Institute will publish the essay electronically, possibly in collaboration with an independent press, and make it available to the general public at a very low price (e.g., $1-2), along with a similarly-affordable audio version. These print and audio distillations of the innovation are designed to aid its diffusion.

We encourage NCDD members to nominate themselves or others for this award!!!

It is important to act quickly, as the nomination period last just one month this year. Nomination letters must be emailed by December 10, 2013 to [email protected]. Initial nomination letters are simply that, a one-to-two page letter that describes how the nominee’s work meets the criteria for this award and what distinguishes it from other work on democracy. Both self-nominations and nominations of others are welcomed. The call for nominations is described in detail at

The Pennsylvania State University Democracy Institute promotes rigorous scholarship and practical innovations to advance the democratic process in the United States and abroad. The Institute pursues this mission, in part, through supporting the work of the Center for Democratic Deliberation (CDD) and the Center for American Political Responsiveness (CAPR). The CDD studies and advances public deliberation, whereas CAPR attends to the relationship between the public’s priorities and the actions of elected bodies.

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