Democracy and Development

Democracy and Development

The bulk of the research done involving Democracy and Development revolved around the Societal Infrastructures and Development Project (SID). This project examines one of the most sobering problems of contemporary life: How can we enhance the well-being of people throughout the world? Despite the high standard of living currently enjoyed by many, billions of others live in abject poverty, hundreds of millions live in nations that systematically deny them basic human rights, and many more live in environments that have poor air, water, and soil that are needed to sustain future generations. The lives of millions of others are routinely destabilized by civil strife, terrorist activities and/or international conflict. Addressing the challenges of global development in a sustainable manner is a daunting challenge requiring informed efforts by a range of actors. One way to address these issues is to produce knowledge and analytic tools that can assist researchers and decision makers that will be useful in directing and evaluating their efforts. Because of the importance of global development, and cognizant of the contributions that universities can play in this area, the Cline Center initiated the SID project in 2004. The Cline Center conceived the SID project as a long-term, institutionalized program of research and public engagement that focused on 175 countries in the post-WW II era. It is a project that has benefited from an investment of over $3M between 2004 and 2010 and has had contributions from a score of faculty from a variety of disciplines and over 300 students.