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Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions

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Media and Democratic Systems of Governance

As an institution, the news media in the United States has undergone a major transformation over the last two decades.   Not only does the public now have a much wider range of choice of news outlets, but there has also been a shift from descriptive news to interpretative news.  This institutional shift has dramatic implications for the public, for politicians, and for policy.   CSDI’s research agenda involves examining the importance and influence of the news media in this new environment and our interest extends to the mass media in general, including political advertising, the World Wide Web, and the rise of social media.  We seek to explore the consequences of living in an information environment that runs 24 hours a day and 7 days a week on the conduct and performance of other political institutions, whether it be Congress, the Presidency or the Courts so as to better appreciate the workings of politics in the 21st Century. 

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Survey on the Future of Government

CSDI Media Spotlight

NYT - Larry Bartels has documented that the rich have about three times as much influence as the poor on votes in the United States Senate.

VoxWhy the Israel-Palestine conversation is so polarized -  A 2006 study by Larry Bartels and Chris Achen (Princeton) is referenced. 

Vanderbilt News In 2013, Seigenthaler and author David Maraniss co-led a conversation at the First Amendment Center about the Gettysburg Address to mark its 150th anniversary...

 Washington Post  - U.S. presidential election results, for example, can be remarkably and accurately predicted by economic growth preceding the election...

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The Center for the Study of
Democratic Institutions
Vanderbilt University
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