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Latest News

Latest News

<p><a href="">Professor Scott Althaus</a>, Director of the Cline Center for Democracy, recently appeared on <a href="">The 21st</a>, a public radio talk show produced by <a href="">WILL</a>,&nbsp;the U of I's local <a href="">NPR</a> affiliate. He discussed public reaction to the state of Illinois' budget impasse with host Niala Boodhoo and <a href="">Kurt Gray</a>, Professor of Pyschology at the&nbsp;University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.</p> <p>They talked about&nbsp;the role of empathy and self-interest in driving public opinion about and engagement with state-level budgetary debates. They also addressed tools citizens can use to influence the process.&nbsp;</p> <p>You can listen to the episode via podcast <a href="">here</a>.</p>
<p>The Cline Center is pleased to announce that Political Science doctoral students Jason Renn and Julian Scheirer will be joining us as 2016 <a href="">Schroeder Fellows</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Jason will be working on two projects. First, in collaboration with Prof. Xinyuan Dai &mdash; one of our 2015-2016 <a href="">Linowes Faculty Fellows</a> &mdash; he will use the Cline Center&rsquo;s <a href="">Legal Infrastructures</a> dataset and data from our partners at the <a href="">Comparative Constitutions Project</a> to examine how countries'&nbsp;legal institutions affect their willingness to ratify&nbsp;human rights treaties. A second line of research &mdash; part of his dissertation &mdash; will use the Cline Center&rsquo;s <a href="">Global News Archive</a> to track the activities of rebel organizations and their political affiliates during post-war elections.</p> <p>Julian will be working to differentiate occurrences of civil unrest that escalate to warfare from those that do not by utilizing the Cline Center&rsquo;s <a href="">Social, Political, and Economic Event Database</a> (SPEED) and <a href="">Composition of Religious and Ethnic Groups</a> (CREG) data.&nbsp; Ultimately, his project aims to distinguish micro-level conflict processes that resolve themselves peacefully from those that risk large-scale organized violence.</p>
<p>The Cline Center for Democracy is very pleased to announce that <a href="">Prof. James A. Robinson</a> of the University of Chicago will deliver the <a href="">2016 Linowes Lecture on Public Policy</a> on April 18<sup>th</sup>. The event is open to the public &mdash; friends and colleagues are invited to attend. Logistical details are below.</p> <p>&nbsp;His talk, titled &ldquo;Living with Leviathan,&rdquo; will describe his work on socio-political institutions that enable nations to achieve peace and prosperity by balancing state strength with legal and political accountability. With the human costs of weak and failing governments and the brutality of autocratic &lsquo;strong-arm&rsquo; rule simultaneously making headlines every day, Prof. Robinson&rsquo;s decades of fieldwork and novel statistical analyses could not be more relevant.</p> <p>&nbsp;We hope that friends and colleagues will endeavor to attend as well as tell others about this wonderful opportunity to interact with one of the world&rsquo;s most prominent social scientists. Prof. Robinson is the author of the New York Times bestseller &ldquo;<a href="">Why Nations Fail</a>,&rdquo; as well as numerous award-winning academic publications. He previously held appointments at UC Berkeley and Harvard, and was named one of the world&rsquo;s &ldquo;Top Global Thinkers.&rdquo; Scholars have cited his work more than 25,000 times.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;&ldquo;<a href="">Living with Leviathan</a>&rdquo; will be presented at 3:30 PM on Monday April 18<sup>th</sup> at Lincoln Hall, Room 1000.</p> <p>Additional information can be found using this <a href="&nbsp;">link</a>. &nbsp;Questions can be relayed via comment on this page, or by email: <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><a href="">Today's edition of The Daily Illini covered </a>the Cline Center's support for the U of I's Civic Leadership Institute for young African leaders. The Institute will be hosted this summer by the <a href="">Department of African American Studies </a>and <a href="">Illinois International's Global Education and Training (GET)</a> program. We are proud to join an array of organizations and scholars across the campus contributing to the U.S. Department of State's <a href="">Mandela Washington Fellowship</a>&nbsp;program.&nbsp;<br /><br /></p>
<p>The <a title="Comparative Constitutions Project" href="">Comparative Constitutions Project</a>&nbsp;has recently launched a new and improved website. &nbsp;Visit <a href=""></a>&nbsp;to check it out.&nbsp;</p> <p>The CCP provides&nbsp;systematic data to comparative legal scholars and other social scientists investigating&nbsp;the origins and consequences of constitutional design choices. &nbsp;These research questions&nbsp;are also of direct relevance to those revising constitutions, who often lack even the most basic information about constitutional provisions in other countries, past and present. &nbsp;The Project hopes that analysis of - and insights from -&nbsp;its&nbsp;data will promote peace, justice, and human development.</p> <p>Since the project&rsquo;s launch in 2005, the CCP has collected and analyzed thousands of constitutional texts and made that data <a href="">publicly available</a>. In 2013, they&nbsp;partnered with <a href="" target="_blank">Google Ideas</a> to make those&nbsp;texts accessible. Together, they&nbsp;built and launched <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Constitute</em></a>, a website that contains a richly indexed set of texts for nearly every national constitution in the world.</p>
<p>The <a href="">Cline Center for Democracy </a>is pleased to announce our support for the Summer 2016 Civic Leadership Institute hosted by&nbsp;UIUC's <a href="">Department of African American Studies</a> and <a href="">Illinois International's Global Education and Training (GET)</a>. <a href="">The Institute</a> is a 6 week academic and leadership training program for 25 recipients of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program&nbsp;of the President's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Each year, the Mandela Fellowships&nbsp;will bring&nbsp;1,000 exceptional young people from Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States, including leaders&nbsp;in&nbsp;the fields of education, public service, civil society and community organization.</p> <p>Our Director, <a href="">Prof. Scott Althaus</a>, will be presenting the Keynote Address to kick off the Institute, and the Cline Center is working with the Department of African-American Studies to offer a program that will cover a range of issues including: democratic governance, civic engagement and education, peace-building, restorative justice, environmental sustainability, effective public communication and human rights issues including the rights of the&nbsp;differently-abled. For more information about this exciting new&nbsp;program, read the announcement <a href="">here</a>. To learn more about the Mandela Fellowship or the Young African Leaders Initiative, you can visit the <a href="">program webpage</a>, or join the conversation using the hashtag #YALI2016. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<p>We invite anyone interested in political communication, criminal justice, race, gender and inequality to explore some newly-published <a href="">student research</a> supported by the Cline Center. This past semester, we provided software and technical support to Prof. Scott Althaus' Junior Honors Seminar. Student researchers compared the text and imagery of crime coverage appearing in the Champaign <em>News-Gazette</em> to arrest and jail bookings data provided by local law enforcement.&nbsp; They found that relative to arrest and booking records, Champaign County crime coverage over-represented the proportion of Black and male suspects and under-represented Whites and women as crime suspects between June 1 and September 1, 2015.</p> <p>You can find a link to the study report, replication data and PowerPoint slides used in a recent presentation to the community <a href="">on our website</a>. As with all scientific research on complex social issues, this initial analysis is by no means the &lsquo;last word.&rsquo; We hope others will further elaborate on the work done by these highly-motivated and capable students.</p>
<p>Prof. Peter Nardulli, former Director of the Cline Center for Democracy and Professor Emeritus in Political Science, and a team of Cline Center researchers recently explored the relationship between climate change, natural disasters and civil unrest using Big Data tools and statistical techniques.&nbsp; This week&nbsp;Prof. Nardulli explored that work <a href="">in an interview</a> with the&nbsp;<a title="Illinois News Bureau" href="">Illinois News Bureau</a>.&nbsp; The Journal of Conflict Resolution article containing their&nbsp;findings can be found <a title="JCR - Climate Change and Civil Unrest The Impact of Rapid-onset Disasters" href="">here</a>.</p>
<p>As of today, anyone can explore constitutions by simply searching <a title="Google Search" href="">Google</a> for "constitution" and one of fourteen country names - thanks to the <a href="">Consitute</a>&nbsp;Onebox, a feature developed by <a title="Google" href="">Google</a>&nbsp;and the Cline Center supported <a title="Comparative Constitution Project" href="">Comparative Constitution Project</a>.&nbsp; Learn more at <a href="">Google's official blog</a> and this <a href=";d=AwMFaQ&amp;c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&amp;r=UCaQKENDExIdGKnSJ5DxBI-sThh9s9SQQxgkbro6kiQ&amp;m=ZHGyy3D4uofN-HEYlgIuU5d-nludIuC9QTxn229kLa4&amp;s=5C-jdC-69gFeR7cOr7tL4xn1O0f0y0slRVi9cL3s9ng&amp;e=">post by</a><a href=";d=AwMFaQ&amp;c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&amp;r=UCaQKENDExIdGKnSJ5DxBI-sThh9s9SQQxgkbro6kiQ&amp;m=ZHGyy3D4uofN-HEYlgIuU5d-nludIuC9QTxn229kLa4&amp;s=5C-jdC-69gFeR7cOr7tL4xn1O0f0y0slRVi9cL3s9ng&amp;e="> Prof. Zackary Elkins'</a>.</p>
<p>The <a href="">New York Times</a>&nbsp;features an op-ed piece by Tom Ginsburg, co-director of the <a title="Comparative Constitution Project | Cline Center for Democracy" href="">Comparative Constitutions Project</a>, on why the Magna Carta wasn't such a big deal after all. Please see <a title="Stop Revering Magna Carta | Tom Ginsburg" href="">link</a>.</p>
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Cline Center's Mission

Cline Center Mission

Transforming information into knowledge that

advances human flourishing

Staff Photo

The Richard G. and Carole J. Cline Center for Democracy is dedicated to advancing human flourishing around the world by using extreme-scale analysis of global news coverage to extract structured insight out of unstructured information, equip researchers with new tools for transforming that insight into deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of social conflict, and empower decision makers to apply this understanding in ways that promote societal well-being around the world.


The Center’s mission encompasses several research activities, including monitoring civil unrest around the world; tracking the over-time development of economic, political, and social indicators for 165 countries; and developing new machine algorithms and analysis tools for studying the tens of millions of articles in the Cline Center’s global news archive. The Center’s mission also supports a wide range of teaching and public engagement activities, from fellowship programs for faculty and graduate students to undergraduate research opportunities and topical symposia for the University of Illinois campus.


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