Jasper Johns, Flag (detail), 1954-55 (MoMA)

Photo courtesy Steven Zucker via flickr

About us

Who counts as a “real” American? What is required of a “good” citizen? Is American democracy flourishing or floundering? In today’s deeply polarized America, the answers to these questions depend on who you ask, but the ways that people answer them matter for us all. The Meanings of Democracy Lab, founded and directed by sociologist Dr. Ruth Braunstein, engages students and partners in collaborative research and discussion about the contested moral and cultural foundations of American democratic life. Current projects focus on the moral meanings of taxpaying and on battles over American identity and history.

Contact us

If you are interested in participating in or collaborating with the Meanings of Democracy Lab, please contact
Dr. Ruth Braunstein at ruth.braunstein@uconn.edu.

What’s New

  • News Weekly Round-Up, July 1st – 5th, 2024
    News Weekly Round-Up, July 1st – 5th, 2024. The Weekly Roundup is a student-led initiative of the Meanings of Democracy Lab highlighting the latest news about Christian Nationalism and resistance to it. CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM IN THE NEWS Media Matters for America: Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation, declared “We are in the process of […]
  • Profiles in Resistance: Vote Common Good
    Vote Common Good was founded by Doug Pagitt, a liberal evangelical Christian pastor, author, and religious activist. Pagitt and his organization are outspoken in their efforts to combat legislation that seeks to fundamentally change the landscape of our country and Christianity. They work to boost support among evangelical Christians for liberal policies and encourage the […]
  • News Weekly Round-Up, June 24th – 28th
    News Weekly Round-Up, June 24th – 28th, 2024. The Weekly Roundup is a student-led initiative of the Meanings of Democracy Lab highlighting the latest news about Christian Nationalism and resistance to it. CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM IN THE NEWS Northeastern Global News:  Jeremy Paul, a professor of law at Northeastern, deemed Louisiana’s Ten Commandments ‘intimidating and coercive’ […]

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