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“Urban” Projects Receive Awards from SGS

The Mapping Cairo Team (L to R): Alexandra Blackman, Caroline Abadeer, and Scott Williamson
Feb 11 2015

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Stanford Global Studies (SGS) in cooperation with the Department of Anthropology and the Vice Provost of Research recently awarded funding to two faculty research efforts under the “Urban Beyond Measure: New Urban Forms for the 21st Century” initiative to focus greater attention on the social realities of daily life within cities.

With these awards, the Center for Deliberative Democracy (CDD) will hold a series of workshops for undergraduate and graduate students in Fall 2015, while the Mapping Cairo project will use the funds to develop a multi-layered, interactive map of Cairo.

“We chose these ambitious projects because they capture the spirit of the initiative,” said Fisher Family Director of SGS Norman Naimark.  “Both projects delve into the diverse informal urban systems of knowledge, seeking to understand how governance and social responsibility actually work within cities.”

Democracy and Public Opinion in Africa, Asia and Latin America

CDD will use the award to hold several workshops for undergraduate and graduate students to discuss recent Deliberative Polling projects in Africa (Uganda and Ghana), Asia (China and Japan), and possibly Latin America (focusing on Argentina and Brazil).

Developed by CDD Director and Janet M. Peck Professor of International Communication James S. Fishkin, the Deliberative Polling method uses television and public opinion research to help people become more informed and more engaged by political issues.  The trademarked methodology is a process of public consultation in which a scientifically representative sample of people are polled before and after they have discussed key questions related to their region.

 “We hope these workshops will enable students to engage in deep discussions with our international collaborators and truly understand the growing problems faced by each country and region,” said Alice Siu, Associate Director of the Center for Deliberative Democracy.

Mapping Greater Cairo

Members of the team that comprise "Mapping Cairo: A Socio-Political Map of Greater Cairo" plan to illustrate important aspects of the socio-political experience for citizens living in a city that is the largest metropolitan area in Africa and the third largest in the Islamic world.

The project team consists of Associate Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute Lisa Blaydes along with three PhD candidates in political science: Caroline Abadeer, Alexandra Blackman, and Scott Williamson.  The team hopes that by incorporating demographic and electoral data—as well as data on sites of violence and collective action—into one online map, they will discover previously opaque geographic trends.

Begun with a seed grant from the “Urban Beyond Measure” initiative in 2013, the project team has already translated and merged census data with electoral data, developed databases of police stations and militant attacks, and begun work on an online interactive map.  This award will support future efforts to add more data on militant attacks, police violence against protesters, and sectarian attacks against religious minorities. The team will also begin data collection in Baghdad, Tunis, and Casablanca.

“Once completed, we plan to hold a public event to introduce the resource to the Stanford community,” said Caroline Abadeer, graduate student in Political Science and Co-Principal Investigator. “The event will use the new map to visually explore non-obvious geographical correlations as well as discuss some of the political events in Egypt and the broader Middle East.”

The public event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20, at 11:30pm,  Building 200, Room 303.

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