How Civic Associations Can Encourage Committed Leaders and Active Members

Hahrie Han, University of California, Santa Barbara

Civic engagement is not just a matter of attracting the right people. Hahrie Han's research reveals how organizational strategies can create effective leadership teams and draw members into active commitment. 

See Han's key findings in her SSN brief on how associations can spur citizen engagement and in her brief on effective leadership development strategies co-authored with Kenneth Andrews and Matthew Baggetta.

Hahrie Han does research on political organizing and democratic leadership development, and she has had real world experience in such endeavors – working on the presidential campaign of Senator Bill Bradley in 1999-2000 and on the 2008 presidential campaign and subsequent transitional planning efforts for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Hahn has conducted training and research with a range of civic organizations, including the Sierra Club, the Center for Community Change, and Doctors for America. In addition to her work on citizen engagement, Han studies the causes and consequences of political polarization in the United States. Her work is regularly cited in the media and she consults with and speaks to citizens' associations in the United States and abroad.

With David Karpf of George Washington University, Hahrie Han is organizing a newly launched Scholars Strategy Network Working Group on Civic Engagement. This group will enable many SSN members doing research on democratic participation and organized civic engagement to diagnose the challenges facing social movements, coalitions, nonprofit organizations, and advocacy groups, and explore promising new approaches to engaging ordinary people in the work of democracy.

March 2014