Eva Krick is sympathetic to Gagnon’s collection of ‘democracies with adjectives’ but does not fully share his optimism that this will finally make us grasp democracy’s ‘total texture’. It is but one little building block of an infinite and eclectic science of democracy.
In the 🦋 Science of Democracy series, Jean-Paul Gagnon has started an intra-disciplinary debate between democratic theory and comparative politics. The reasons to overcome this disciplinary clash are better than the reasons to embrace it, writes Gergana Dimova
Jean-Paul Gagnon takes biology as a model but overlooks that it is driven by variation as well as selection. The study of it, therefore, is sensitive to both. The study of democracy and innovation must be too, asserts Frank Hendriks
Democracy is in danger, and autocrats are becoming bolder and bolder. Benjamin Abrams argues that our failure to understand democracy stops us from effectively defending it. To protect democracy, we need to understand what it means, what kind we have, and what it can become
Jean-Paul Gagnon has amassed over 4,000 ‘linguistic artefacts’ into a data mountain of descriptions of democracy. Yet, notes Rikki Dean, a sustained consideration of these linguistic artefacts as language is missing from his Science of Democracy and its responses. Words do not only describe, they also deceive and denounce
Ernesto Cruz Ruiz argues that a Jean-Paul Gagnon’s democracy ‘data mountain’ will be of limited value if democracy is not also understood as a living entity which has evolved over time according to the impact of different environmental factors. To do this, he proposes a 'specimen drawer’
Sor-hoon Tan explores the challenge that ‘Chinese democracy’ represents for Jean-Paul Gagnon’s democracy ‘data mountain’ project. She argues that exploring the Chinese case helps us establish the wide-ranging parameters to the project. It also identifies the theoretical issues we must confront for the project to succeed
Jean-Paul Gagnon’s proposal to study democracy as a stable object obscures one of the most important aspects of democracy: its normative character. Kyong-Min Son argues that democracy’s ‘spirit’ animates its perpetual reinvention in defiance of all empirical forms