Politics, Democracy, and Civil Society

As the site of early presidential primaries and the home state of a number of influential (and overwhelmingly Republican) Representatives and Senators, South Carolina is a key player on the national political stage. Charleston's identity as a blue dot in a decidedly red sea places it at the center of local, state, and national political debate. CCIV is an experienced host for projects focused on civic participation, political activism, and democracy.

Recent Visits

AfghanistanGovernment Communication
East Asia & the PacificHuman Rights, Civic Empowerment, and Minority Communities
MalaysiaSchool Management & Pedagogy
The United KingdomU.S. Elections

Focus Areas

Youth Engagement

A number of Charleston-area community development corporations and other organizations are focused on increasing youth engagement in society, particularly in historically-underserved areas of the Lowcountry. Many of those organizations are familiar with and welcoming of international guests who would like to learn from the Lowcountry's approach to youth engagement.

Civic Empowerment

The Charleston area encompasses a wide variety of income levels, schools, and neighborhoods. With that diversity comes a substantial civic empowerment gap between the most and least privileged in the Lowcountry. Various local and state government programs and nonprofit organizations work to reduce that gap and make civic life accessible to more residents.


Local, state, and national elections and voter registration are under the purview of the Charleston Board of Elections, and CCIV is capable of developing programming focused on the United States' decentralized elections system.

Visit Spotlight

Africa | Race and Social Justice

Visitors from multiple African countries met with leadership from the North Charleston Police Department to discuss law enforcement's role in efforts to further social justice.

The meeting included discussion of training programs, community outreach, community policing strategies, and day-to-day challenges faced by local law enforcement.