MeWe Blog | July 8, 2014 | By Manik Suri

MeWeAt MeWe, we’re building lightweight, easy-to-use tools to help citizens and cities work together more effectively. We are a team of entrepreneurs and engineers passionate about improving how communities works — in order to make individuals’ lives better.

Food, housing, and building inspections are critical to public safety. Yet public and private sector inspectors struggle to enforce legal codes due to limited resources and inefficient paper-and-pencil workflow. Our product, “MeWe CoInspect,” is a workflow tool that leverages the power of mobile technologies and the crowd to make inspections easier, faster, and better. Read more about our work here.

MeWe Blog | July 1, 2014 | By Manik Suri

GovLab In early 2013, I joined former US Chief Technology Officer Beth Noveck to co-found a civic innovation platform called The Governance Lab (GovLab), aimed at using technology to transform governing institutions and improve individuals’ lives. Our motley crew of founders included a serial tech entrepreneur, a statistics professor, and a policy wonk. We envisioned the GovLab’s efforts spanning open government, open data, and civic technology. Over the next few months, we set up a center at New York University and recruited a rockstar team of thinker-doers to launch three initiatives: Research, Academy, and Living Labs. Read the full piece here.

India Abroad | August 23, 2013 | By Manik Suri

Indian independenceOn the occasion of India’s 66th anniversary, the world’s largest democracy has made significant strides in its economic, social, and political development. Notwithstanding serious governance challenges in the near term, there are fundamental reasons to remain optimistic about India’s long term prospects. Read the full piece here.

Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University | Interoperability Case Studies | August 15, 2013 | By Manik Suri

Open311Open311 is a state-of-the-art technology platform that provides a uniform base to expand existing “311” services, which provide information tracking and monitoring in cities around the world. Over the past decade, these 311 services have allowed cities to respond to millions of citizen-generated inputs, creating better and smarter governance. This paper applies “interoperability” theory to consider the promises and perils of Open311, explaining how we can unlock the full potential of this powerful civic technology platform in the future. Read the full piece here.

Harvard Law and Policy Review | Volume 7, No. 2: Summer 2013 | By Manik Suri

Presidential SealDebate over whether law can, and indeed should, constrain presidential power is as old as the Republic. This article claims that liberal legalists, who adopt a consequentialist “Holmesian” view of the law, ignore the possibility that law  as an internalized normative commitment or duty – can restrain the executive. This alternative “Hartian” view may help explain how laws constrain presidential power at key moments in history. Recognizing the difficulty in establishing causation, the article nonetheless concludes that much is at stake in how we frame the relationship between law and the executive. Read the full piece here.

Harvard National Security Journal | March 25, 2013 | By Gerard Kennedy, Innokenty Pyetranker, and Manik Suri

Courtroom Lawfare

American courtrooms are now one of the hottest battlefields in the ongoing Global War on Terrorism. In recent months, U.S. federal courts have issued several opinions that offer insights into one particularly significant area of terrorism-related jurisprudence: civil suits against financial institutions that allegedly support terrorist groups. Two such opinions issued by the Second Circuit, Linde v. Arab Bank, PLC and Rothstein v. UBS AG, merit special attention because of their far-reaching implications. Read the full piece here.

Harvard International Law Journal | Volume 54, Issue 1: Winter 2013 | By Manik Suri

Immanuel Kant’s 1795 essay, “Toward Perpetual Peace,” established a concept of cosmopolitan law as the nemesis of war, instilling in generations of liberal thinkers and practitioners a vision of a world without conflict. Kant’s paradigm posited that “republican constitutions, a commercial spirit of international trade, and a federation of interdependent republics” would provide the basis for a “perpetual peace” amongst states bound together under international law. Yet cultural relativists since the time of Kant have argued that only certain nations – namely those with a “Europeanized” culture – are capable of coming together to secure this lasting peace. This article challenges such claims and assesses the contemporary relevance of Kant’s ‘perpetual peace’ in light of one of the key geopolitical developments of our time: the rise of China. Read the full piece here.