Penn State Democracy Institute seeks nominations for inaugural democracy prize

November 13, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Democracy Institute announces a call for nominations for the inaugural Penn State Democracy Medal to recognize exceptional innovations that advance the design and practice of democracy. The goal is to celebrate and publicize each year the best work being done by individuals or groups to advance democracy in the United States or throughout the world.

Medal recipients also will receive a $5,000 award. The first recipient will be selected and announced in spring 2014. The winning individual, or a representative of a winning organization, will receive the award and give a public talk at Penn State at a ceremony in September 2014. Nominations are being accepted now through Dec. 10, 2013.

There will be two categories: practical innovations, and democratic concepts and ideas, alternating the winner from one category each year. Starting in 2014, the Democracy Institute will select a medal recipient based on practical innovations, such as new institutions, laws, technologies or movements that advance democracy. Starting in 2015, the award will celebrate advances in democratic theory that provide richer philosophical or empirical conceptions of democracy.

The Penn State Democracy Institute promotes rigorous scholarship and practical innovations to advance the democratic process in the United States and abroad. The Institute examines the interplay of deliberative, electoral and institutional dynamics. It recognizes that effective deliberation among citizens has the potential to reshape both the character of public opinion and the dynamics of electoral politics, particularly in states and local communities. Likewise, political agendas and institutional processes can shape the ways people frame and discuss issues. The institute pursues this mission, in part, through supporting the work of the Center for Democratic Deliberation (CDD) and the Center for American Political Responsiveness (CAPR). 

Full details on the award criteria and review process are available here. Questions or requests for more information should be sent to

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 14, 2013