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political theory

August 13, 2021

🦋 On not rescuing an abandoned science of democracy

Matthew Flinders Launching this series, Jean-Paul Gagnon made the case for ‘a database of democracy’ to grasp the conceptual complexity that other theorists have, he suggests, generally skirted around. Matthew Flinders disputes whether a taxonomical approach really is the answer to the question ‘What is democracy?’ Read more
August 5, 2021

🦋 Democracy: what's in a word?

Laurence Whitehead Democracy may have different meanings in different cultures. Yet, writes Laurence Whitehead, the concept of democracy also operates at a universal level where users can communicate with each other across time and space Read more
July 29, 2021

Political institutions in authoritarian regimes may look democratic, but they reinforce the rulers’ power base

Zeynep Menteşoğlu Tardivo Zeynep Mentesoglu Tardivo analyses the role played by nominally democratic political institutions in authoritarian regimes. She argues that rulers design such institutions to consolidate their power base, even at the cost of economic and political development Read more
July 28, 2021

🦋 Making sense of democracy – not without the demos!

Hans Asenbaum How can we capture the many meanings of democracy? We need to critically reflect on who produces knowledge about democracy, argues Hans Asenbaum. People outside academia must play a central role in democratic theorising Read more
July 23, 2021

🦋 If democracy is hard to love, how can we teach it?

Kei Nishiyama Teaching democracy is hard work, precisely because we are living in a time when democracy is in crisis. So what should we teach, and how? Kei Nishiyama suggests that a grassroots, bottom-up approach involving teachers and learners alike will help us gain ownership of democracy – and fall back in love with it Read more
July 13, 2021

🦋 Rescuing an abandoned science: the lexicon of democracy

Jean-Paul Gagnon For centuries democracy has had many meanings. But they have not been collected and studied as a whole. This leaves us, Jean-Paul Gagnon argues, with only a partial knowledge of democracy. It's one that limits our options for democratisation in an increasingly authoritarian world Read more
June 30, 2021

Playing the long game: why democracy is good for business

Carl Henrik Knutsen Even today, there is no consensus on whether democracies or autocracies are better at generating economic development. Yet, writes Carl Henrik Knutsen, the best recent evidence indicates that democracies do, on average, promote higher growth Read more
June 10, 2021

Dictators beware! Creating nominally democratic institutions won’t prevent your overthrow

Jun Koga Sudduth Does the creation of nominally democratic institutions help dictators stay in power by reducing the risk of coups d’etat? Jun Koga Sudduth analyses and categorises different types of coup, and their effects. In so doing, she confounds the conventional wisdom that democratic institutions reduce the likelihood of dictators being overthrown Read more

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Advancing Political Science
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