District Of Columbia
United States


APSA Task Force on Democracy, Economic Security, and Social Justice

March 3, 2020 Ethan Way
July 17, 2018 Ethan Way
September 16, 2017 Paul Nollen
January 6, 2011 Paul Nollen
District Of Columbia
United States

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 Mission and Purpose

The objective of this American Political Science Association (APSA) Task Force was to interrogate assumptions and spark debate about the intersection of democracy, economic security, and social justice, through focusing on democratic innovations in three main areas: human rights-based approaches to democratization, welfare, and development, participatory governance, and economic citizenship (APSA Task Force Report, 2012). These areas were chosen due to APSA’s belief that they offered “a robust and compelling account of democracy” (Ibid). 

Origins and Development

The Task Force was initiated in 2011 by Carole Pateman, President of the APSA, in response to three major world developments which highlighted the relevance of democracy, economic security, and social justice (APSA Task Force Report, 2012). Firstly, the 2008 global economic crisis “brought economic insecurity home to developed countries and highlighted that increasing inequality coupled with decreasing regulation is unsustainable.” (University of Pittsburgh, 2018) Secondly, a history of failed development interventions based on neo-liberal market reforms signaled that they were not the correct remedy to reduce poverty or encourage economic growth (Ibid). Finally, “China's “success in achieving sustained growth and reducing poverty…revived the idea that authoritarian regimes can deliver greater economic security and social justice than their democratic rivals.” (Ibid) The Task Force viewed the above developments as an opportunity to re-open debates about democracy, economic security, and social justice by focusing on emerging democratic innovations.

Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding

Specializations, Methods and Tools

Major Projects and Events

Analysis and Lessons Learned


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