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Research Centers & Programs

Jaeckle Center for Law, Democracy, and Governance

Signing of the Constitution by Thomas P. Rossiter

The Jaeckle Center focuses on the ways in which law, politics and the principles of democratic self-governance intersect.

The Center's activities focus on issues of political practice and governmental structure, with a special emphasis on questions of public participation, power distribution, democratic responsiveness and decentralization.

Specific topics of interest include:

  • The structure and operation of democratic institutions and processes, especially  at the subnational level
  • The distribution of authority, autonomy and popular self-rule among different groups and levels of government
  • The nature and function of organic charters, including national and subnational constitutions and local government charters
  • The distribution of power between public and private stakeholders
  • The relationships among place, citizenship and identity
  • Regional questions of distributional justice

The Center pursues these interests through research and action.  Its research is multidisciplinary in that it draws not only on law, but also on democratic theory, political science, history, philosophy and sociology.  

The Center’s projects include a wide range of activities, from data collection, to advising and consulting, to direct representation of clients in appropriate cases.  Its blog, The New York Elections News: Legislation, Elections and Litigation Covering the Empire State, provides real-time news, information and commentary about current issues and developments in New York State election law and democratic practice.