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Democracy

November 19, 2021

🦋 Democracy: not just what but also why

Martyn Hammersley Martyn Hammersley argues that, since there is no essence of democracy, clarification is always required when this word is used. And any assumption that what it refers to is always desirable must be questioned: in each context, we should ask ‘Why democracy?’ as well as ‘What is democracy?’ Read more
November 16, 2021

Deliberating online in a crisis: yes we can (and why we should)

Rachel Thompson Can we trust the public to have constructive conversations to inform decision-making in a national crisis? Based on two online, public deliberation forums that they ran and analysed during lockdown, Rachel Thompson, Anna McKeon, Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar argue that public deliberation should be a critical element in any crisis response Read more
November 11, 2021

🦋 Lost in translation? Democracy and its non-English variants

Ryusaku Yamada Based on English language terms, Jean-Paul Gagnon’s democracy data mountain faces considerable problems in translating non-English words which have no exact equivalents. Ryusaku Yamada uses the example of ‘mass’ (as in ‘mass democracy’), and a Japanese word, ‘taishū’, to reveal the potential comprehension gap in any translation exercise Read more
November 5, 2021

🦋 Democracy is an essentially contested concept

Norma Osterberg-Kaufmann To strengthen democracy, we need new, innovative thinking, write Norma Osterberg-Kaufmann, Toralf Stark and Christoph Mohamad-Klotzbach. They propose to identify the core norms underlying a universally valid concept of democracy, opening up dialogue between empirical and theoretical approaches, and linking inductive and deductive methods Read more
November 1, 2021

🦋 Wikis and music, not mountains and butterflies

Luke Temple Wikis and music are better analogies for Jean-Paul Gagnon’s data mountain than butterflies, writes Luke Temple. Our reflections on how to use his database, not the database in itself, will contribute to democratic innovation Read more
October 29, 2021

In a democracy, does every vote count?

Costas Panayotakis Costas Panayotakis analyses the popular claim that 'every vote counts' in a democracy. He finds it is based on false assumptions and a misunderstanding of statistical probability. Voting and democratic participation, he concludes, are not based on individualistic self-interest but on some degree of idealism and solidarity Read more
October 27, 2021

🦋 What democracy should be for us

Agustín Goenaga Jean-Paul Gagnon’s project to collect a lexicon of ‘democracy’ is promising. But not for the reasons he himself states, writes Agustín Goenaga. His database documents how thousands of people have thought about democracy. We can use those insights to reconsider what democracy should be for us Read more
October 26, 2021

Democratic regimes influence income inequality – but not necessarily how we expect

Mathew Wong Mathew Wong revisits the relationship between democracy and income inequality by focusing on popular preferences. He argues that whether people view redistribution to be a central democratic characteristic is not inevitable but conditional. And that, paradoxically, democracy is associated with less inequality only if fewer people hold this idea Read more

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Advancing Political Science
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