THE DEMOCRACY LAB

Interdisciplinary Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities

University of California, Berkeley

Chochenyo Ohlone Land

About the democracy lab

The Democracy Lab is an interdisciplinary faculty initiative at the Latinx Research Center (formerly the Center for Latino Policy Research) of the University of California in Berkeley. As a “lab,” our work as scholars and community partners examines the problems and possibilities of democracy across various disciplines of the social sciences and the humanities from Latinx perspectives.

 

First, we examine the contradictions in how democracy as a set of beliefs upheld by particular institutions of power has been mobilized both domestically and in foreign policy in ways that expand hegemony and imperial aggression in the hemisphere. Second, we explore the conditions of how to genuinely democratize these and other systems across a spectrum of direct or participatory and representative forms. Throughout this initiative we hope to more fully recognize the issues that undergird factors of participation and legitimacy within the arts and sciences, as well as a broader exploration of how issues of democracy affect Latinx communities and our political struggles within and outside of the global north.

Methodologically we find it fruitful to further open the written record to lived experience, art, music, film, theatre, and other forms of cultural and political expression. Rather than a person, place, or thing, democracy is a doing, an action, and process. "Democratization," is thus useful in rethinking the Eurocentric assumptions of personhood and the public good. As we develop these ideas, we debate and advance our work in courses, in events, and in ongoing mentorship and exchange. 

Our aim is to thus create a space to examine the problems and contradictions of democracy next to alternative forms of political engagement for a more just and equitable society. To do this, we support collaboration and publications, teaching, and mentorship in order to expand our collective capacity to critically rethink democracy within our university community and across the American hemisphere.

The Democracy Lab is a team of scholars from various disciplines working on the common problem of how to make a more democratic society.

Mellon Strategic Initiatives in the Humanities

UC Berkeley Vice-Chancellor for Research

 

UC Berkeley Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program
 

Sponsors:

We take seriously the intergenerational mentorship and collaboration among community members, faculty, graduate students and undergraduates! 

The Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program... 

Click here to visit the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program at UC Berkeley now

Mellon Strategic Initiatives in the Humanities

UC Berkeley Vice-Chancellor for Research

 

UC Berkeley Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program
 

People

 
 

DEMOCRACY + MEDIA LAB

Interdisciplinary Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities

University of California, Berkeley

Chochenyo Ohlone Unceded Land

About the Democracy + Media Lab

The Democracy + Media Lab is an multidisciplinary faculty initiative at the Latinx Research Center (formerly the Center for Latino Policy Research) of the University of California in Berkeley. As a “lab,” our work as scholars and community partners examines the problems and possibilities of democracy across various disciplines of the social sciences and the humanities from Latinx perspectives.

 

First, we consider that the very terms of democracy from its inception have not been equal and differ greatly across cultural and geographic contexts. Multiple ways of democracy are often conflated into one or misunderstood, including parliamentary, representative, participatory, and direct democracy. Second, we consider democracy as policy and procedures as well as discursive, spatial, and embodied beliefs and experiences, all of which influence and make up the practice of political systems.

 

Given this approach, we hope to more fully recognize the contradictions that undergird factors of participation and legitimacy in democracy within the United States and in the American hemisphere. In publications, discussions, and events we focus on how issues of democracy affect Latinx communities and our political struggles within and outside of the global north.

Building from the Chancellor’s Signature Initiative on the Future of Democracy, the group is currently developing research in three focus areas of Citizenship and Migration, Democratic Speech Cultures, and Making Democracy Work, in particular, but not exclusively, through the lens of media and performance studies. Methodologically we organize readings and data analysis, and insist on further opening the written record to lived experience, art, music, film, theatre, and other media of cultural and political expression.

We are a team of scholars from various disciplines working on the common problem of how to make a more democratic society.

Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP). 

We take seriously the intergenerational mentorship and collaboration among community members, faculty, graduate students and undergraduates! 

Our aim is to create a space to examine the problems and contradictions of democracy next to alternative forms of political engagement for a more just and equitable society. To do this, we support collaboration and publications, teaching, and mentorship in order to expand our collective capacity to critically rethink democracy within our university community and across the American hemisphere.

The Latinx Research Center

The Latinx Research Center is the home of the Democracy Lab, where we hold space for events, meetings, and other forms of collaboration.

Come visit us at the Latinx Research Center, 

a faculty-led research center committed to building bridges and partnerships with researchers in our community.

lrc.berkeley.edu

2547 Channing Way (at Bowditch)

UC Berkeley Campus

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