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The Largest Vote in the World

April 18, 2014
by Jeremy Loudenback

The dimensions of American myopia are well established. From climate change to health care, the American way of doing business is not always universal. Democracy—that great civic religion—is no different. India, not the United States, boasts the largest democracy in the world, and the nation of 1.2 billion is currently in midst of a mammoth general election. Starting April 7 and running until May 12, the staggered election process for the Lok Sabha (lower parliament) will feature an amazing 815 million registered voters heading to the polls with an expected budget of $5 billion dollars, second only to the 2012 U.S. presidential election. India hews to a Westminster system, meaning that after all the votes are tallied for the parliament, the party with the most seats will have the chance to form a government or direct a majority coalition and likely anoint a prime minister from within its ranks.

Queues of Indian voters 2009 elections (photo credit Al Jazeera English)

Queues of Indian voters. During the 2009 elections, seen here, about 714 million voters were eligible – the number is now around 815 million. (photo credit Al Jazeera English)

Yesterday, the largest round of voting in India’s elections took place, with 121 seats up for grabs across 12 states. The story thus far has been the rise of Narendra Modi, the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is widely expected to bounce incumbent Manmohan Singh and his Congress Party from rule. The BJP espouses a muscular brand of Hindu nationalism mixed with a strong economic platform, and combined with frustration with the Congress Party’s inept leadership and a slowed economy, Modi’s agile stewardship of the northwestern Gujarat state has won him popularity from the business sector as well as staunch Hindu nationalists. (more…)

Governance Trends to Watch

April 17, 2014
by Caroline Stevens

In an effort to gain perspective on 2013, and begin to conceptualize a governance vision for 2014; we asked our team at The Bedrosian Center to identify the most important patterns, factors and trends to watch in governance from their diverse research and practitioner perspectives. Here is the first installment of our thoughts on what to expect in the future . . . .


JeffeSherry Bebitch Jeffe 

One Party Rule in the Golden State

“California appears to be embarking on an era of one-party governance.

A critical mass of demographic change, the initiative process, and the increasing importance of independent, “no-party preference,” voters has pushed the Republican Party close to extinction in the Golden State.

It remains to be seen what the impact of this dynamic will be on public policy–and whether one-party rule can be sustained.”

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe is Senior Fellow, School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California and the political analyst for KNBC, Los Angeles. Dr. Jeffe regularly writes and comments on American and California government and politics in the state, national and international media.



David Sloane: New article in Journal of Crime and Justice

Karen M. Hennigan, Cheryl L. Maxson, David C. Sloane, Kathy A. Kolnick & Flor Vindel. Identifying high-risk youth for secondary gang prevention. Journal of Crime and Justice: Vol. 37, Issue 1, 2014, pp. 104-128.



Improving the method of identifying risk of joining a gang may lead to better prevention programs

Improving the method of identifying risk of joining a gang may lead to better prevention programs

Efforts to reduce gang violence by deterring youth from joining street gangs are of major interest in cities across the United States. Current thinking supports a comprehensive gang reduction approach that includes concurrent efforts that prevent joining, encourage leaving, and interrupt gang violence. This paper focuses on a method of strengthening the prevention component by improving the identification of youth at high risk for gang joining. The authors advocate a secondary prevention approach supported by an empirically based assessment of risk factors consistently associated with gang joining in rigorous studies across multiple locations in the United States, Canada, and Europe. 


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