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12 2021

Data mountains and usable concepts: a lesson from Francis Bacon

Sandra Leonie Field
Scholars of democracy must look beyond received paradigms. With his democracy 'data mountain', Jean-Paul Gagnon is challenging us to do so. However, drawing on Francis Bacon's analogous project for natural science, Sandra Leonie Field wonders whether a database of adjectives is indeed the best method of reaching this goal
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11 2021

To understand democracy we need democratic theory

Tom Theuns
Tom Theuns argues Jean-Paul Gagnons data mountain project cannot achieve its goals because of fundamental problems of over-inclusion and under-inclusion, problems that can only be solved by recourse to democratic theory. But that is not to say that the project is without value
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11 2021

On different ways to intend democracy, and to study it

Andrea Felicetti
Andrea Felicetti writes that Gagnons data mountain is not a guarantee against biases and partiality. In addition to words, we must pay attention to people, their customs and practices, to better grasp what democracy entails
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11 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?
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11 2021

Lost in translation? Democracy and its non-English variants

Ryusaku Yamada
Based on English language terms, Jean-Paul Gagnons 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, taish贖, to reveal the potential comprehension gap in any translation exercise
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11 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
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11 2021

Wikis and music, not mountains and butterflies

Luke Temple
Wikis and music are better analogies for Jean-Paul Gagnons 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
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10 2021

What democracy should be for us

Agust穩n Goenaga
Jean-Paul Gagnons project to collect a lexicon of democracy is promising. But not for the reasons he himself states, writes Agust穩n 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
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10 2021

A night at the museum of democracy

Andr矇 B瓣chtiger
Adopting the perspective of a museum curator, we can spot the pitfalls of Jean-Paul Gagnons proposal to build a data mountain on democracy, argues Andr矇 B瓣chtiger. But this perspective also helps identify how we should construct the museum to further our understanding of the concept
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10 2021

Democracy what a lovely mess!

Taina Meriluoto
Taina Meriluoto welcomes Jean-Paul Gagnons project to build a democracy data mountain. But she remains troubled by methodological issues pertaining to context, values and the everyday world. If we want to advance towards the total texture of democracy, these are problems we have to resolve
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The Loop

Cutting-edge analysis showcasing the work of the political science discipline at its best.
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THE EUROPEAN CONSORTIUM FOR POLITICAL RESEARCH
Advancing Political Science
穢 2020 European Consortium for Political Research. The ECPR is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) number 1167403 ECPR, Harbour House, 6-8 Hythe Quay, Colchester, CO2 8JF, United Kingdom.
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