Bass Connections accepting proposals for projects addressing issues related to democracy and the challenges of sustaining strong democratic institutions in a polarized world.
Bass Connections is now accepting proposals for new year-long projects addressing issues related to democracy and the challenges of sustaining strong democratic institutions in a polarized world. Faculty interested in proposing a project should read the full submission guidelines and submit a proposal by Thursday, March 31 at 5:00 p.m.
Proposed projects may begin in Summer or Fall 2022. Funding for project teams is between $5,000 and $25,000.
Please note: This RFP is only for 2022-2023 projects related to democracy. Our next general call for Bass Connections project proposals will be in August 2022.
This call is for project proposals related to a new pop-up theme around research related to democracy and governance in a polarized world.
By many measures – including freedom of the press, free and fair elections, and government transparency – democracy is declining in much of the world. Indeed, the nonprofit Freedom House’s 2021 report concludes that nearly 75 percent of the world’s population lived in a country that faced deteriorating conditions for democracy last year. Here in the U.S., 2021 began with an insurrection on the Capitol, to be followed by many states passing new laws restricting voting access and reconfiguring election oversight. A CNN poll from September 2021 found that 93% of Americans say that democracy is either under attack (56%) or being tested (37%). A November 2021 NPR poll found that just 62% of Americans say they will trust the 2024 election, regardless of who wins.
Bass Connections issues this special call for proposals for teams interested in tackling solutions aimed at strengthening democracy, at home or abroad, through a Bass Connections project in 2022-2023. Research questions may include, but are not limited to:
- Why is democracy worth defending?
- Where has democracy proven effective, and in what contexts has it failed?
- What reforms might help democratic institutions live up to their ideals?
- What has contributed to the increase in authoritarianism worldwide?
- What are the historical roots of these contemporary challenges, and how might the past offer critical perspective and lessons for the future of democratic ideals, institutions, and practices?
The deadline for proposals is Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.