Past Events

Canada’s Democracy Week event – Sept 17th

Missed this event? See details here.

Audio: Behind & Beyond the Reform Act

Listen to the audio: A conversation with MP Michael Chong, The Honourable Anne McLellan, Alison Loat (Samara), and Stewart Prest (UBC Poli).

2013 Provincial General Election Conference

Presentations from the conference are now posted here!

Jan 29th: Is There Rape Culture in Politics?

This panel discussion will question whether rape culture is contributing to gender imbalances in Canada’s democratic institutions.

Adrian Gurza Lavalle: Participatory Governance in Brazil

Join us! January 13th for Adrian Gurza Lavalle’s talk on participatory governance in Brazil.

APSA task force report: Negotiating Agreement in Politics

Click here to read the executive summary of the APSA report on Negotiating Agreement in Politics.

Rt. Hon. Joe Clark: “How We Lead: Canada in a Century of Change”

Join us on November 25th!

CTV W5 doc: Summer Institute for Future Legislators

Watch it here!

Democracy in the Age of Digital Media – Sept. 16

Follow along with our live-blog here on Sept. 16th!     Find out more about the National Democracy Challenge and all the fabulous prizes to be won! 

Listen: Interviews with Summer Institute participants

Participants of CSDI’s Summer Institute for Future Legislators are interviewed about the program during its Parliamentary Simulation at the Legislature in Victoria, August 8th –11th 2013. Listen to the CFAX podcast  (starts at 04:30) with CSDI Director Max Cameron, practitioner Mike Harcourt, and participant Quinn Runkle. August 9, 2013. CFAX 1070. CKNW interview with Max Cameron and […]

What makes a better politician: summer school at UBC

by SHANNON GORMLEY Special to The Globe and Mail Published Wednesday, Jul. 03 2013, 7:00 AM EDT Read full article here. This spring witnessed a rare phenomenon in Canadian politics, a rebellion by backbench MPs against the Prime Minister’s Office. Conservative MPs argued that Prime Minister Stephen Harper does not allow them to voice their constituents’ […]

Summer Institute for Future Legislators

See recent coverage of the SIFL 2013 and sign up to receive updates on the next intake!

The Model Parliament of Canada: Pilot Project Proposal

(Photo: Chris Wattie/Reuters). The Model Parliament of Canada would help individuals develop the skills and training that they need to become effective elected officials at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government. The purpose of the project is to encourage more Canadians of all ages, and from all regions and backgrounds, to seriously consider entering public life. This includes aspiring politicians as well as those who have never before considered running for public office. The Model Parliament of Canada would also function as a laboratory for experiments in parliamentary procedure and reform.

BC Election 2013

A few media highlights on the BC Election: May 15, 2013, Typer Orton, “BC polls dead wrong in election leadup”. Sun News Network. May 15, 2013. “Greens not to blame for NDP loss, says leader Sterk”. CBC News. May 13, 2013, Dene Moore. “The B.C. election campaign trail and the art of political prevarication”. The Canadian Press. See […]

Whipped: The Secret World of Party Discipline

RSVP here!  Watch the preview and read The Tyee article by David Beers here. 

Vote Compass: Explore the political landscape

Vote Compass is an educational tool developed by political scientists. Answer a short series of questions to discover how you fit in the British Columbian political landscape. Go to CBC to try out the vote compass:

Strong Democracies, Smart Cities? Swiss & Canadian experiences

RSVP here!

Audio available: Can Democracies Get Anything Done?

How do institutions encourage or undermine deliberation, negotiation, and compromise?

Indigenous Peoples & Democratic Politics Conference

Why has so little changed in Indigenous-State Relationships since the Royal Commission? Join us for a one-day public event with community and academic experts.

Audio available: Citizenship & Democratic Participation: Book Launch

Join us on March 6th! Copies of the books will be available.

Public Participation in Local Democracy

November 28th, 2012. 6-8pm @Buchanan Seminar Room C403

US Elections 2012

A panel of UBC experts on politics and policy in the US will discuss the presidential campaign and voting results, the congressional elections, and their implications for  government, the economy, trade, energy, the environment, and foreign policy.  Panelists will examine the significance of the election for Canada.

David Hopper Lecture: Helen Mack Chang

Listen to the podcast!

Current Affairs in Peru: Commodities, Conflict and Democracy

Join us for this special event at MOA entitled, Current Affairs in Peru: Commodities, Conflict and Democracy. When: October 30th, 6-8pm Where: Museum of Anthropology, 6393 NW Marine Drive. As part of the current exhibit, “Luminescence: the Silver of Peru” program, come join the conversation with Ronald Wright (Historian, novelist, essayist) and Jonathan Manthrope (International […]

E-volving Democracy Dialogue: Saturday, October 27

On Saturday, October 27, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. Fair Voting BC and Party X will host a public dialogue to discuss questions about citizen participation, engagement, and apathy in contemporary democracies. The panelists will be UBC’s Prof. Max Cameron, Director of the UBC Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions; Geoff Campbell, from the […]

Post-game: Canada’s Democracy Week and the CSDI

On September 17th the CSDI partnered with Elections Canada and Elections BC to organize a Democracy Day event at UBC, emceed by the CBC’s Stephen Quinn. Six speakers each gave a 10 minute ‘Ted-Talk style’ presentation in which they laid out their one big idea for democratic renewal. The talk was followed by a Q&A […]

Canada’s Democracy Week Event

Engage, discuss, tweet about and even challenge some of Canada’s leaders in democratic engagement as they prpose their “one great idea” about Canada’s democratic culture. September 17, 2012– 11am-1pm. Freddy Wood Theatre, UBC, 6354 Crescent Road.

Practical Wisdom Series: Video & Audio Podcasts–Spring 2012

In case you missed the talks, audio and/or video of our Practical Wisdom Colloquium Series are now available.

Video: CPAC coverage of North American Futures conference

Find links to video of sessions & scheduled air times on CPAC here.

Results of conference: “Why Don’t (More) Good People Enter Politics?”

Max Cameron will report on the results of this conference, and use the AKBLG Convention and Annual General Meeting to integrate the perspectives of rural communities into an ongoing public conversation about how we might overcome the cynicism about politics…

North American Futures Symposium: March 16-17, 2012

Is North America dead? Or is it an essential platform upon which Canada, the
United States and Mexico, can confront the challenges of the 21st Century?

Campaign 2012: UBC Perspectives on the US Election

Professors Paul Quirk and Andrew Owen of our Department of Political Science participated in the event held at UBC Robson Square. A short description of the event, held March 4, 2012. If you missed it, here is a live-blog of the event.

Practical Wisdom Colloquium Series: Frans de Waal, March 8th 2012

Practical Wisdom Series-Term 2 Events

Patricia Churchland (UCSD), Kenneth Sharpe (Swarthmore), Maxwell Cameron (UBC), Barry Schwartz (Swarthmore), Frans de Waal (Emory). Jan 24–March 8, 2012.

“Why Don’t More Good People Enter Politics?”

(And what can be done about it…)

Public Salon: Ideas That Move The City

Sam Sullivan’s Public Salon on November 9th, 7:30-9pm

Practical Wisdom Speaker Series: Video & Podcasts Fall 2011

Between Rules and Practice: Why We Need Practical Wisdom in Politics.

David Olson: The Search for the Beginnings of Wisdom

David Olson: The Search for the Beginnings of Wisdom


Jane Jaquette: Machiavelli & Practical Wisdom

Jane Jaquette: Machiavelli & Practical Wisdom

Sylvia Berryman “Aristotle’s Ethics & Obedience to Authority”

Listen to talk with our audio link!

Parties as Organizations and Parties as Systems, May 19-21, 2011

Deepening our understanding of parties and party systems in Canada

UBC 2011 Election Panel

Federal Elections 2011: What happened, why and what it means for Canada

Democracy Network’s book launch events in Lima, Peru

The Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP) hosted an event to promote the ADRN’s new book, Democracia en la Región Andina, on December 21st, 2010, in Lima, Peru.

“Participation and Representation in Latin America” workshop in Buenos Aires

“Participation and Representation in Latin America” workshop in Buenos Aires

CSDI’s Democracy Research Network held a workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec 9-11th, 2010, on “Participation and Representation in Latin America”. The network’s findings are being prepared for publication in English and Spanish.

BC Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform: Reinhard Mohn Prize 2011 Finalist

The 2011 Reinhard Mohn Prize has nominated the projects most worthy of receiving the prize. Seven finalists have been chosen.

“Participation and Representation in Latin America” workshop at American University

Washington D.C. at American University, June 22 & 23rd, 2010

The Challenges of Democracy in Latin America Seminar

CSDI’s Democracy Network co-hosted a seminar with the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos in Lima, Peru, on June 17-18th 2010, entitled “The Challenges of Democracy in Latin America”.

“North American Futures: Canadian & U.S. Perspectives” Conference

The “North American Futures: Canadian & U.S. Perspectives” Conference took place on March 12th &13th, 2010 at The University of California, Berkeley. You may now view the conference video here, and find more information on the event here. North American Futures (Conference Poster).

“A Coup is a Coup is a Coup”

Justifications for the removal of the Honduran president ignore one crucial fact: there’s no such thing as a constitutional coup.

Who Killed BC-STV? UBC Study Explains.

Professors Fred Cutler and Ken Carty, along with Patrick Fournier of the Universite of Montreal, have published a piece in the Tyee explaining why BC-STV went down to defeat.

When Citizens Decide, May 1-2 2008

When Citizens Decide When Citizens Decide: the Challenges of Large Scale Public Engagement Conference 1-2 May 2008 British Columbia was the home tothe first Citizens’ Assembly designed to fully engage individual citizens indiscussing and making significant public policy decisions. The success of the BritishColumbia Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform led both the Netherlands andthen the […]

North American Issues: Designing Institutions, Choosing Policies, March 13-15, 2008

NORTH AMERICAN ISSUES: DESIGNING INSTITUTIONS, CHOOSING POLICIES March 13-15, 2008 CONFERENCE AGENDA: ‘North American Issues: Designing Institutions, Choosing Policies’ consists of a number of plenary sessions, along with two concurrent discussion sessions.  Session A consists of presentations from leading scholars, as well as government and NGO representatives, on current public policy issues.  They will be leading an open discussion […]

Japanese Democracy, August 28-29 2007

Japanese Democracy Modeling Power Relationship in Japanese Democracy, Conference 28-29 August 2007 On 28-29 August 2007, UBC’s Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI) and Center for Japanese Research (CJR) hosted a conference titled Modeling Power Relationships in Japanese Democracy coordinated by Yves Tiberghien (Political Science Department, UBC). The main funding was provided by the […]

Corruption and Democracy, June 8-9 2007

Corruption and Democracy Workshop on Corruption and Democracy, 8-9 June 2007 Workshop organizers: Michael Johnston, Colgate University Mark E Warren, University of British Columbia Benjamin Nyblade, University of British Columbia Over the last decade and a half, political corruption has come to be recognized as a central problem in political and economic development. As a consequence […]

Canadian Senate Reform, April 18-19 2007

Canadian Senate Reform Transforming Canadian Governance Through Senate Reform, Conference 18-19 April 2007 Harmonizing bicameralism with the idea of democratic representation has always raised awkward questions in parliamentary systems.  If a parliamentary executive is accountable to a majority in a freely elected representative assembly, what is the role and legitimacy of a second chamber?  The […]

Rethinking Democratic Representation

Rethinking Democratic Representation Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Conference Workshop 18-19 May 2006 Theories of democratic representation have been developing rapidly over the last few years, focused on a set of interrelated questions: What is the relationship between political representation and democracy? How does a commitment to democratic self rule translate into the […]

Governance-Driven Democratization: Exploring the Theoretical Terrain and Recent Developments in China

Governance-Driven Democratization: Exploring the Theoretical Terrain and Recent Developments in China Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Workshop 10-11 May 2006 For twenty-five years, China’s leaders have pursued economic transformation while eschewing any real moves towards political liberalization and democratization. Yet in recent years, even as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has moved to […]

Theorizing Democratic Renewal: The British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly and Beyond, June 10-11, 2005

Theorizing Democratic Renewal: The British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly and Beyond Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Interdisciplinary Workshop 10-11 June 2005 Although electoral democracies have been spreading across the globe, democratic development in those countries where electoral institutions have been long established appears to have stagnated, their citizens beset by a democratic malaise with […]

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