Democracy Paradox

By Justin Kempf

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Subscribers: 243
Reviews: 7

Jim McAdams
 Dec 10, 2021
This is a terrific podcast. There are some people I know (including a few colleagues); even more people whom I would like to know; some books I've read, many more that I need to read. Democracy rules!

Regular Listener
 Dec 6, 2021
I look forward to listening to this podcast when it's released each Tuesday. The host Justin always knows how to ask critical questions and brings on thoughtful guests with niche focuses related to democracy in their academic/policy work.

Nick
 Dec 6, 2021
I love this podcast!

Rachel
 Dec 6, 2021
Thoughtful analysis and commentary about democratic issues. A lot of political commentary today is hyperpartisan and tends to repeat the same talking points, so it is nice to hear more nuanced discussion on this topic.

Avid Listener
 Dec 6, 2021
Been listening to the show for a while. Definitely my favorite podcast on democracy. With no political science background, I have a better understanding of American democracy because of Democracy Paradox's global conversations.

Description

Is it possible for a democracy to govern undemocratically? Can the people elect an undemocratic leader? Is it possible for democracy to bring about authoritarianism? And if so, what does this say about democracy? ​​My name is Justin Kempf. Every week I talk to the brightest minds on subjects like international relations, political theory, and history to explore democracy from every conceivable angle. Topics like civil resistance, authoritarian successor parties, and the autocratic middle class challenge our ideas about democracy. Join me as we unravel new topics every week.

Episode Date
Naunihal Singh on the Myth of the Coup Contagion
2423

Sometimes I found people who I was talking to and their coup happened after an elected leader became less democratic. They could very convincingly tell me that their coup was in response to those actions. Then I'd find out that they started plotting the coup years in advance or entertaining it when the situation was very different.

Naunihal Singh

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Naunihal Singh is associate professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and the author of Seizing Power: The Strategic Logic of Military Coups (2014). He recently wrote the article "The Myth of the Coup Contagion" in the Journal of Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:43
  • Brief History of Coups - 3:11
  • Anti-Coup Norm - 10:33
  • Conditions for a Coup - 18:33
  • Reinforcing the Anti-Coup Norm - 35:53


The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Navy, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government.


Key Links

"The Myth of the Coup Contagion" by Naunihal Singh in the Journal of Democracy

Seizing Power: The Strategic Logic of Military Coups by Naunihal Singh

Learn more about Naunihal Singh

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way on the Durable Authoritarianism of Revolutionary Regimes

Michael Miller on the Unexpected Paths to Democratization

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

Email the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com

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100 Books on Democracy

Democracy Paradox is part of the Amazon Affiliates Program and earns commissions on items purchased from links to the Amazon website. All links are to recommended books discussed in the podcast or referenced in the blog.

Support the show
Nov 29, 2022
Mohammed Ali Kadivar on Paths to Durable Democracy and Thoughts on the Protests in Iran
3541

It's been exciting and it's been overwhelming. It's exciting to see people are rising, to see the amount of bravery on the streets, how these young women and men will stand up against the armored police with bare hands. It's been inspiring.

Mohammad Ali Kadivar

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Mohammad Ali Kadivar is an assistant professor of sociology and international studies at Boston College. He is the author of the book Popular Politics and the Path to Durable Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:38
  • Democratization Examples: Egypt and South Africa - 3:20
  • Democratization and Durable Democracy - 11:12
  • Nonviolence and Democratization - 23:33
  • Part 2: The Iranian Protests - 38:49


Key Links

Popular Politics and the Path to Durable Democracy by Mohammed Ali Kadivar


"Sticks, Stones, and Molotov Cocktails: Unarmed Collective Violence and Democratization " by Mohammed Ali Kadivar and Neil Ketchley in Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World


Learn more about Mohammed Ali Kadivar


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Michael Coppedge on Why Democracies Emerge, Why They Decline, and Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem)


Mark Beissinger on Urban Civic Revolutions


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Democracy Group


Apes of the State created all Music


Email the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com


Follow on Twitter @DemParadox, Facebook, Instagram @democracyparadoxpodcast


100 Books on Democracy

Democracy Paradox is part of the Amazon Affiliates Program and earns commissions on items purchased from links to the Amazon website. All links are to recommended books discussed in the podcast or referenced in the blog.

Support the show
Nov 22, 2022
Michael Ignatieff Warns Against the Politics of Enemies
2285

Democracy is the stage in which we mount the battle for power and we fight out our competing visions of what would be good for a society. But at the same time, the most dangerous of all things we try to do in a democracy is argue about what is democratic and what is undemocratic.

Michael Ignatieff

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Michael Ignatieff is a historian and former Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. He has served as rector and president of Central European University, and is the author, most recently, of On Consolation: Finding Solace in Dark Times. He recently wrote, "The Politics of Enemies" in the Journal of Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction
  • What is democracy? 3:15
  • Role of Politicians - 18:05
  • January 6th - 21:06
  • The Politics of Enemies - 23:51
  • Consolation After Electoral Losses - 34:55


Key Links


"The Politics of Enemies" by Michael Ignatieff in the Journal of Democracy


On Consolation: Finding Solace in Dark Times by Michael Ignatieff


Learn more about Michael Ignatieff


Democracy Paradox Podcast


Jason Brownlee Believes We Underestimate Democratic Resilience


Jeremi Suri on America’s Unfinished Fight for Democracy


More Episodes from the Podcast


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Democracy Group


Apes of the State created all Music


Email the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com


Follow on Twitter @DemParadox, Facebook, Instagram @democracyparadoxpodcast


100 Books on Democracy

Democracy Paradox is part of the Amazon Affiliates Program and earns commissions on items purchased from links to the Amazon website. All links are to recommended books discussed in the podcast or referenced in the blog.

Support the show
Nov 15, 2022
Emilee Booth Chapman Has Ideas About Voting with Profound Implications
2733

There is this idea on the one hand of this mass collective participation, but on the other hand that there's a lot of attention being given to the sort of dignity of each individual contribution. So, I think the experience of voting that is most valuable is when you have these two experiences juxtapose with each other

Emilee Booth Chapman

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Emilee Booth Chapman is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. Her most recent book is Election Day: How We Vote and What It Means for Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:40
  • Common Perceptions of Elections - 3:17
  • Creative Work of Politics - 15:15
  • Thoughts on Voting Reforms - 29:49
  • A Model of Good Voting - 39:21


Key Links

Election Day: How We Vote and What It Means for Democracy by Emilee Booth Chapman

Learn more about Emilee Booth Chapman


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Jason Brownlee Believes We Underestimate Democratic Resilience

Miles Rapoport on How We Can Achieve Universal Voting

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

Email the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com

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100 Books on Democracy

Democracy Paradox is part of the Amazon Affiliates Program and earns commissions on items purchased from links to the Amazon website. All links are to recommended books discussed in the podcast or referenced in the blog.

Support the show
Nov 08, 2022
Jason Brownlee Believes We Underestimate Democratic Resilience
2413

71% of Americans are concerned about democracy. And apparently that number, roughly 71%, holds for both parties. So, if listeners are concerned about democracy, they can expect that there's someone from the other party who's also concerned about democracy from a different perspective.

Jason Brownlee

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Check out the podcast Entitled 

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Jason Brownlee is a professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. Along with Kenny Miao, he is the author of "Why Democracies Survive" and "A Quiet Consensus" in the Journal of Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:41
  • Democratic Decline and Resiliency - 3:40
  • National Income or Wealth and Democracy - 13:49
  • Democratic Backsliding - 21:53
  • More than Minimal Democracy - 32:02

Key Links

"Why Democracies Survive" by Jason Brownlee and Kenny Miao in the recent Journal of Democracy

"A Quiet Consensus" by Jason Brownlee and Kenny Miao in the recent Journal of Democracy

Learn more about Jason Brownlee

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Michael Coppedge on Why Democracies Emerge, Why They Decline, and Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem)

Sarah Repucci from Freedom House with an Update on Freedom in the World

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

Email the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com

Follow on Twitter @DemParadox, Facebook, Instagram @democracyparadoxpodcast

100 Books on Democracy

Democracy Paradox is part of the Amazon Affiliates Program and earns commissions on items purchased from links to the Amazon website. All links are to recommended books discussed in the podcast or referenced in the blog.

Support the show
Nov 01, 2022
Allie Funk of Freedom House Assesses Global Internet Freedom
2372

The Internet's a battle space. I think this year unfortunately we've seen that more than ever with Russia's brazen invasion of Ukraine about how the internet and digital platforms are used to pursue authoritarian ends or to promote democracy and freedom and help people stay safe during armed conflict.

Allie Funk

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.


Allie Funk is the Research Director for Technology and Democracy at Freedom House. She was deeply involved in this year's Freedom on the Net report and coauthored the executive summary "Countering an Authoritarian Overhaul of the Internet" along with Adrian Shahbaz and Kian Vesteinsson.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:42
  • The Importance of Internet Freedom - 2:42
  • Where Internet Freedom Improved - 6:34
  • Internet Freedom in the China - 18:25
  • Internet Freedom as Transnational - 25:11


Key Links

Freedom on the Net 2022: Countering an Authoritarian Overhaul of the Internet by Adrian Shahbaz, Allie Funk, and Kian Vesteinsson

Learn more about Allie Funk

Follow Allie Funk on Twitter @alfunk


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Sarah Cook on China’s Expanding Global Media Influence

Sarah Repucci from Freedom House with an Update on Freedom in the World

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

Email the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com

Follow on Twitter @DemParadox, Facebook, Instagram @democracyparadoxpodcast

100 Books on Democracy

Democracy Paradox is part of the Amazon Affiliates Program and earns commissions on items purchased from links to the Amazon website. All links are to recommended books discussed in the podcast or referenced in the blog.

Support the show
Oct 25, 2022
Jeremi Suri on America's Unfinished Fight for Democracy
2472

Our democracy is an evolving machine. The machine was built by a small group of people who were all men and looked the same. Over time the strength of American society is that it has grown and become more diverse and become very different. Our democracy has in an inefficient, episodic way been able to adjust and been able to at least account for some of that. But it hasn't done that in about a generation, and it's long time we do that.

Jeremi Suri

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Order Civil War By Other Means: America’s Long and Unfinished Fight for Democracy by Jeremi Suri

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Jeremi Suri is the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He cohosts the podcast This is Democracy with his son Zachary. His latest book is Civil War By Other Means: America’s Long and Unfinished Fight for Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:50
  • Reconstruction and American Democracy - 3:21
  • Contradictions in American Reconstruction - 15:25
  • How Reconstruction Era Issues Shape Democracy Today - 23:25
  • Democracy and Political Reform - 32:18


Key Links

This is Democracy a podcast from Jeremi and Zachary Suri

Follow Jeremi Suri on Twitter @JeremiSuri


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Lynn Vavreck on the 2020 Election and the Challenge to American Democracy

Can America Preserve Democracy without Retreating from it? Robert C. Lieberman on the Four Threats

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

Email the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com

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100 Books on Democracy

Democracy Paradox is part of the Amazon Affiliates Program and earns commissions on items purchased from links to the Amazon website. All links are to recommended books discussed in the podcast or referenced in the blog.

Support the show
Oct 18, 2022
Frank Dikötter on the History of China After Mao
2480

This is a party absolutely determined to maintain a monopoly of power and absolutely determined to crush any attempt by any group to suggest that there ought to be anything like separation of powers. No labor unions. No civil society. No freedom of press. No judicial independence. The mere suggestion of it seems to be so offensive that people end up in jail and that’s a constant theme that runs throughout this entire period.

Frank Dikötter

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Order China After Mao: The Rise of a Superpower by Frank Dikötter (Available in the UK now. Available in the US November 15th, 2022.)

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Frank Dikötter is the author of three books about China under Mao called the People’s Trilogy. He is currently the Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong. His latest book is China After Mao: The Rise of a Superpower.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:52
  • Life in China After Mao - 3:06
  • How much did China Reform After Mao - 13:20
  • What do the Chinese People Want from Reform - 25:38
  • Is Political Reform Necessary for Deeper Economic Reforms - 29:33
  • Why is China's Reform Overstated - 36:18

Key Links

Learn more about Frank Dikötter at Wikipedia

The People's Trilogy by Frank Dikötter

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Sarah Cook on China’s Expanding Global Media Influence

Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way on the Durable Authoritarianism of Revolutionary Regimes

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

Email the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com

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100 Books on Democracy

Democracy Paradox is part of the Amazon Affiliates Program and earns commissions on items purchased from links to the Amazon website. All links are to recommended books discussed in the podcast or referenced in the blog.

Support the show
Oct 11, 2022
Larry Diamond on Supporting Democracy in the World and at Home
2379

The world can't wait for us to counter Russian and Chinese disinformation, support democratic struggles abroad, help to stabilize and improve democratic institutions, forge partnerships between our democratic organizations and actors and parties and theirs, and otherwise promote democracy around the world. The world can't wait for us to do that.

Larry Diamond

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Larry Diamond is widely considered the leading scholar of democracy. He is a professor at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was a co-founder of the Journal of Democracy with Marc Plattner in 1990. His influence on the thought and practice of democracy is incalculable. His recent article in Foreign Affairs is titled "All Democracy is Global."

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:49
  • Importance of Democracy - 2:34
  • Strategies to Promote Democracy - 11:30
  • American Policies - 19:59
  • Using Democracy's Strengths - 30:32

Key Links

Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency by Larry Diamond

Follow Larry Diamond on Twitter @LarryDiamond

Check out Larry Diamond's Greatest Hits at the Journal of Democracy

"All Democracy is Global" by Larry Diamond

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Michael McFaul and Robert Person on Putin, Russia, and the War in Ukraine

Moisés Naím on the New Dynamics of Political Power

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

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100 Books on Democracy

Democracy Paradox is part of the Amazon Affiliates Program and earns commissions on items purchased from links to the Amazon website. All links are to recommended books discussed in the podcast or referenced in the blog.

Support the show
Oct 04, 2022
Lynn Vavreck on the 2020 Election and the Challenge to American Democracy
2142

The people who win get to enact policy and they get to change the world we live in. But we're at this moment where the candidates who lose, if they think that they don't have to abide by election outcomes, that's very important and that affects the kind of world we live in.

Lynn Vavreck

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Order The Bitter End: The 2020 Presidential Campaign and the Challenge to American Democracy by Chris Tausanovitch, John Sides, and Lynn Vavreck

Lynn Vavreck is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy at UCLA. She’s a contributor for The Upshot at The New York Times. She recently coauthored (with John Sides and Chris Tausanovitch) The Bitter End: The 2020 Presidential Campaign and the Challenge to American Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:39
  • Lessons from 2016 - 3:05
  • Political Calcification - 14:31
  • Why Did the Democrats Nominate Joe Biden? - 18:51
  • Forecasting the 2020 Election - 25:52
  • Implications for American Democracy - 29:39

Key Links

Follow Lynn Vavreck on Twitter @vavreck

Learn more about Lynn Vavreck

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Robert Lieberman, Kenneth Roberts, and David Bateman on Democratic Resilience and Political Polarization in the United States

Karen Greenberg on the War on Terror, Donald Trump, and American Democracy

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

Email the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com

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100 Books on Democracy

Democracy Paradox is part of the Amazon Affiliates Program and earns commissions on items purchased from links to the Amazon website. All links are to recommended books discussed in the podcast or referenced in the blog.













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Sep 27, 2022
Sarah Cook on China's Expanding Global Media Influence
2350

In country after country - we've counted over 130 news outlets of 30 countries that were republishing content that was produced by Chinese state media outlets or the Chinese embassy. So, these state media outlets are actually formally under the control of the Communist Party's propaganda department.

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Make a one-time Donation to Democracy Paradox.

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Sarah Cook is the Research Director for China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan at Freedom House. She also directs their China Media Bulletin and authored the executive summary of this latest report, "Beijing's Global Media Influence 2022: Authoritarian Expansion and the Power of Democratic Resilience."

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:38
  • China and its Media Influence - 2:58
  • Chinese Influence Tactics - 12:48
  • The Effectiveness of Chinese Influence - 18:30
  • Resiliency of Democracies - 27:47

Key Links

Read the report "Beijing's Global Media Influence 2022: Authoritarian Expansion and the Power of Democratic Resilience"

Follow Sarah Cook on Twitter @Sarah_G_Cook

Follow Freedom House on Twitter @freedomhouse

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Aynne Kokas on the Intersection Between Surveillance Capitalism and Chinese Sharp Power (or How Much Does the CCP Already Know About You?)

Sarah Repucci from Freedom House with an Update on Freedom in the World

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

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100 Books on Democracy

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Sep 20, 2022
Constitution Makers on Constitution Making: Hassen Ebrahim on South Africa's Constitution
3034

Back then as a child, when it was normal that we couldn't ride on all buses and sit on all park benches and be allowed to go and watch a movie in a cinema together. Today, our children simply don't know that we had those experiences. But in it lies the wonders of the successes of what we have achieved. And if we managed to change that, then I think we have the ability to change from where we are currently into the future.

Hassen Ebrahim

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Preorder the new book Constitution Makers on Constitution Making: New Cases here. 

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Hassen Ebrahim was Executive Director of the Constitutional Assembly of South Africa, and is an advisor on constitution building. He participated in the construction of South Africa's constitution. He is the author of the chapter "Decisions, Deadlocks and Deadlines in Making South Africa’s Constitution" in the forthcoming book Constitution Makers on Constitution Making.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:50
  • Meaning of a Constitution - 2:54
  • Hassen's Political Journey - 10:07
  • Constitutional Process - 20:22
  • Unifying Event - 29:15
  • Areas of Disagreement - 36:48
  • Future of South Africa's Democracy - 46:18

Key Links

Read the Constitution of South Africa

Constitution Makers on Constitution Making: New Cases edited by Tom Ginsburg and Sumit Bisarya

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Joseph Fishkin on the Constitution, American History, and Economic Inequality

Donald Horowitz on the Formation of Democratic Constitutions

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Apes of the State created all Music

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100 Books on Democracy

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Sep 19, 2022
Simon Usherwood on Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, and the Nested Games of British Politics
2740

Politics requires complex and ongoing engagement by all of us. There are lots of elements that hang together. The Brexit process has really highlighted that whatever we decide to do that has knock-on consequences and those knock-on consequences have knock-on consequences of their own which might come back and affect our original decision. Everything is connected and we are never going to have something that's going to make everybody happy.

Simon Usherwood

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Simon Usherwood is a Professor of Politics & International Studies at the Open University, Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Surrey's Centre for Britain & Europe and a National Teaching Fellow. Simon coauthored (along with John Pindar) The European Union: A Very Short Introduction. He recently coedited (along with Agnès Alexandre-Collier and Pauline Schnapper) The Nested Games of Brexit.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:48
  • The Rise of Boris Johnson - 3:44
  • Why Boris Johnson Resigned - 16:40
  • What are Nested Games - 23:48
  • Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak - 31:55
  • What Have we Learned about Democracy? 40:23

 Key Links

European Union: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by John Pindar and Simon Usherwood

Learn more about Simon Usherwood

Follow Simon Usherwood on Twitter @Usherwood

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Amory Gethin on Political Cleavages, Inequality, and Party Systems in 50 Democracies

Susan Rose-Ackerman on the Role of the Executive in Four Different Democracies

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

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100 Books on Democracy

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Sep 06, 2022
Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way on the Durable Authoritarianism of Revolutionary Regimes
2504

People like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, they basically lashed out at the entire capitalist world and that lashing out created a counterrevolutionary armed struggle, which in turn contributed to their durability. So, it's that reckless behavior in creating enemies that ultimately led to their creating very strong authoritarian institutions.

Lucan Way

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Preorder Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way's new book Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism here. 

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Lucan Way is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto and Co-Director of the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine. Steven Levitsky is the David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies, professor of government, and director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. They are also co-chairs of the editorial board at the Journal of Democracy. They are the authors of the forthcoming book Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:45
  • How Recklessness Leads to Authoritarian Durability - 3:17
  • Why Revolutions Abandon Pluralism - 16:53
  • Revolutions and Institution Building - 22:05
  • Why does Durable Authoritarianism Fail - 29:31
  • Is the Era of Revolutions Over - 38:01

Key Links

Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism by Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way

Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War by Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way

"The Durability of Revolutionary Regimes" by Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way in the Journal of Democracy

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Lucan Way on Ukraine. Democracy in Hard Places.

Mark Beissinger on Urban Civic Revolutions

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

Email the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com 

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100 Books on Democracy

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Aug 30, 2022
Laura Gamboa on Opposition Strategies to Resist Democratic Erosion
2391

There's always another set of elections. So, let's set up for elections. Let's figure out how to mobilize people. Let's figure out how to engage them and answer the question, ‘Why they elected this person? What did we miss? What do we need to build? Which kind of program.’ I think using the streets is great, but definitely you need training… A lot of training.This is a long-term effort. It's not about calling you on Facebook for a demonstration and that's it.

Laura Gamboa

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Preorder Laura Gamboa's new book Resisting Backsliding: Opposition Strategies against the Erosion of Democracy here. 

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Laura Gamboa is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah. She is the author of the forthcoming book Resisting Backsliding: Opposition Strategies against the Erosion of Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:47
  • Uribe was a Threat to Democracy - 3:11
  • Opposition Strategies in Colombia - 14:20
  • Opposition Strategies in Venezuela - 17:53
  • How Often do Aspiring Autocrats Get Elected - 27:03
  • Final Advice for Democratic Oppositions - 34:02


Key Links

Learn more about Laura Gamboa

"The Peace Process and Colombia’s Elections" by Laura Gambia in the Journal of Democracy

Resisting Backsliding: Opposition Strategies against the Erosion of Democracy by Laura Gamboa


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Kim Lane Scheppele on Hungary, Viktor Orbán, and its Democratic Decline

Caitlin Andrews-Lee on Charismatic Movements and Personalistic Leaders

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Aug 23, 2022
Kim Lane Scheppele on Hungary, Viktor Orbán, and its Democratic Decline
2929

So, I came back from that trip and said to one of my good friends back in Budapest, ‘I think I've met the most dangerous person I've ever met personally.’ And she said, ‘Oh Viktor, he's nothing. He's like a kid. He's in his thirties.’ I mean, he was an aspiring politician at this point. His party was at the bottom of the polls. It didn't look like he had any future. And I said, ‘No, this guy has something. It's hard to define what it is, but we're going to be hearing from him.’

Kim Lane Scheppele

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Kim Lane Scheppele is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:50
  • Kim Lane Scheppele meets Viktor Orbán - 2:45
  • Viktor Orbán as Prime Minister 1998-2002 - 9:21
  • Hungary Changes its Constitution 15:56
  • Orbán Undermines Democracy Legally - 26:32
  • Why do Voters Support Orbán and Fidesz - 41:48

Key Links

Learn more about Kim Lane Scheppele

"How Viktor Orbán Wins" by Kim Lane Scheppele in the Journal of Democracy

9/11 and the Rise of Global Anti-Terrorism Law: How the UN Security Council Rules the World edited by Kim Lane Scheppele and Arianna Vedaschi

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Moisés Naím on the New Dynamics of Political Power

Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman on Democratic Backsliding

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Aug 16, 2022
Jessica Pisano on How Zelenskyy Changed Ukraine
2087

There were lots of opportunities for a certain part of Ukrainian society to encounter Zelenskyy and to feel that they knew him. He was not an unknown quantity when he ran for president. So, I think that's important for us to keep in mind. I would say the so-called Western World is still discovering who he is, but his loyalty, his integrity, his ideas or his group's ideas about Ukrainian political nationhood have been in the works for a long time.

Jessica Pisano

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Jessica Pisano is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at the New School for Social Research. She is the author of "How Zelensky Changed Ukraine" in the Journal of Democracy and Staging Democracy: Political Performance in Ukraine, Russia, and Beyond.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:49
  • Early Career of Zelenskyy - 2:58
  • What is Political Theater? - 10:30
  • Zelenskyy Changes Politics in Ukraine - 17:26
  • Zelenskyy as President - 22:43
  • Future of Ukraine - 30:41


Key Links

Learn more about Jessica Pisano

"How Zelensky Changed Ukraine" by Jessica Pisano in the Journal of Democracy

Staging Democracy: Political Performance in Ukraine, Russia, and Beyond by Jessica Pisano


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Michael McFaul and Robert Person on Putin, Russia, and the War in Ukraine

Lucan Way on Ukraine. Democracy in Hard Places.

More Episodes from the Podcast


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Aug 09, 2022
Neil DeVotta on the Protests in Sri Lanka
2288

As long as people are able to cast their ballot, irrespective of the illiberalism, irrespective of all these other shortcomings, democracy, at least from a voting standpoint, has the capacity to surprise.

Neil Devotta

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Neil DeVotta is professor of politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University. His article "Sri Lanka's Agony" was published in this July's issue of Journal of Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:38
  • Overview of the Protests - 3:15
  • Protests After the Rajapaksas - 15:16
  • Background on the Rajapaksas - 24:58
  • Sri Lanka and Democracy - 30:31
  • Future of Sri Lanka - 34:11


Key Links

Learn more about Neil DeVotta

"Sri Lanka's Agony" by Neil DeVotta in the Journal of Democracy

"Sri Lanka: The Return to Ethnocracy" by Neil DeVotta in the Journal of Democracy


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Ashutosh Varshney on India. Democracy in Hard Places

Mark Beissinger on Urban Civic Revolutions

More Episodes from the Podcast


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Aug 02, 2022
Aynne Kokas on the Intersection Between Surveillance Capitalism and Chinese Sharp Power (or How Much Does the CCP Already Know About You?)
2638

The US consumer system is uniquely exploitative. US consumers are exploited by American companies, by French companies, by German companies, by Chinese companies, because there aren't laws protecting consumer data privacy that extend widely across the US consumer ecosystem. The main difference with Chinese companies is that the Chinese government has established an entire framework that pressures Chinese firms to share their data with Chinese government regulators.

Aynne Kokas

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Aynne Kokas is an associate professor of media studies and the C.K. Yen Chair at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. Her most recent book is Trafficking Data: How China Is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty. Her article "How Beijing Runs the Show in Hollywood" was published in this April's issue of Journal of Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction - 0:50
  • Video Games as Social Media - 3:02
  • Chinese Brands in the US Tech Market - 11:34
  • Party Control of China's Tech Industry - 19:40
  • America's Lack of Tech Regulations - 28:36
  • The Big Picture - 37:03


Key Links

Learn more about Aynne Kokas

Trafficking Data: How China Is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty by Aynne Kokas

"How Beijing Runs the Show in Hollywood" by Aynne Kokas in the Journal of Democracy

Visit the Miller Center at the University of Virginia


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Ronald Deibert from Citizen Lab on Cyber Surveillance, Digital Subversion, and Transnational Repression

Mareike Ohlberg on the Global Influence of the Chinese Communist Party

More Episodes from the Podcast


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Jul 26, 2022
Michael McFaul and Robert Person on Putin, Russia, and the War in Ukraine
2067

There are a lot of people quietly who are deeply frustrated with this war. Every rich person in Russia with one or two exceptions are frustrated with this war. I think many of the so-called liberal technocratic elites in the government are frustrated with this war. Lots of regional leaders are frustrated with this war. It's not just the vocal opposition. I think there's a quiet minority and maybe even majority that is exhausted with what Putin has done.

Michael McFaul

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information.

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, is professor of political science at Stanford University, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. His most recent book is From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia (2018). Robert Person is associate professor of international relations at the U.S. Military Academy, director of its international affairs curriculum, and faculty affiliate at its Modern War Institute. Their essay "What Putin Fears Most" was published as an online exclusive from the Journal of Democracy in February and was included in the April 2022 issue.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction 0:48
  • Personal Account from Michael McFaul 3:16
  • Putin's Objectives 7:44
  • What would Russia be like without Putin? 12:22
  • Challenges for democracy in Ukraine 20:10
  • Effectiveness of sanctions 24:15
  • Where is the Russian Revolution going? 27:11


Key Links

Learn more about Michael McFaul

"What Putin Fears Most" by Robert Person and Michael McFaul in the Journal of Democracy

From Cold War To Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia by Michael McFaul

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Kathryn Stoner on How Putin’s War has Ruined Russia

Marta Dyczok and Andriy Kulokov on the Media, Information Warriors, and the Future of Ukraine

More Episodes from the Podcast

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Jul 19, 2022
Scott Mainwaring on Argentina and a Final Reflection on Democracy in Hard Places
2583

I think they're really important. But I don't think that they are a complete safeguard. Certainly, when you create democracies in hard places, you want to think very carefully about what institutions you want in place and how you strengthen them. But if you get illiberal governing parties in democracies in hard places, they can run over institutions.

Scott Mainwaring

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Scott Mainwaring is the Eugene P. and Helen Conley Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a faculty fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, where he previously served as director for 13 years and is a current Advisory Board member. He is the coeditor (with Tarek Masoud) of Democracy in Hard Places.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction 0:47
  • Why is Argentina a hard place for democracy? 2:35
  • Are democracies in hard places the exception or the norm? 9:19
  • Is Peronism a threat to democracy? 12:01
  • How can democracies strengthen institutions? 19:32
  • What role do citizens play? 33:27


Key Links

Learn more about Scott Mainwaring

"The Fates Of Third-Wave Democracies" by Scott Mainwaring and Fernando Bizarro in the Journal of Democracy

Democracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek Masoud


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Lucan Way on Ukraine. Democracy in Hard Places.

Rachel Beatty Riedl on Benin. Democracy in Hard Places.

More Episodes from the Podcast


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Jul 12, 2022
Lucan Way on Ukraine. Democracy in Hard Places
2414

The war is never going to really end. Because even in the most optimistic scenario where Ukraine regains its territory and it goes back to the 1991 borders, Russia is almost certainly going to present a permanent threat to Ukrainian sovereignty. I think objectively it will. But even if objectively it wasn’t, after such an invasion, you can imagine the political environment's going to treat it as one.

Lucan Way

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information.

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Lucan Way is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He coauthored (along with Steven Levitsky) Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. He has a new book also coauthored with Steven Levitsky due this fall called Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism. He is the author of the chapter "Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine: Democratic Moments in the Former Soviet Union" in the book Democracy in Hard Places.

Key Highlights

  • What makes Zelensky such a special leader?
  • Why wasn't Ukraine considered more democratic before Russia's invasion?
  • How has the war impacted democracy in Ukraine?
  • What role did Ukraine's ethnic pluralism contribute to democratization?
  • What challenges will Ukrainian democracy face after its war with Russia?


Key Links

Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism by Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way

Follow the Lucan Way on Twitter @LucanWay

"The Rebirth of the Liberal World Order?" by Lucan Way in the Journal of Democracy

Democracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek Masoud


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Sarah Repucci from Freedom House with an Update on Freedom in the World

Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman on Democratic Backsliding

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Jul 05, 2022
Michael Coppedge on Why Democracies Emerge, Why They Decline, and Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem)
2084

Democracy is a complex concept. It has to do with elections. It has to do with legislatures. It has to do with civil society organizations and courts and political styles of politicians. There's a lot packed into the concept and it's multidimensional, because some of these components don't move together.

Michael Coppedge

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Michael Coppedge is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, a principal investigator of the Varieties of Democracy project, and a faculty fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. He is a coeditor (along with Amanda Edgell, Carl Henrik Knutsen, and Staffan Lindberg) of Why Democracies Develop and Decline.

Key Highlights

  • Democracy as a multidimensional concept
  • How the conditions for democratization differ from those for backsliding
  • Ways researchers use information from V-Dem to discover new insights about democracy
  • New findings from V-Dem research regarding presidentialism, party system institutionalization, and anti-system parties
  • How has V-Dem changed research about democracy


Key Links

Learn more about the Varieties of Democracy Project

Follow the V-Dem Institute on Twitter @vdeminstitute

Why Democracies Develop and Decline edited by Michael Coppedge, Amanda B. Edgell, Carl Henrik Knutsen and Staffan I. Lindberg


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Sarah Repucci from Freedom House with an Update on Freedom in the World

Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman on Democratic Backsliding

More Episodes from the Podcast


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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

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100 Books on Democracy

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Jun 28, 2022
Rachel Beatty Riedl on Benin. Democracy in Hard Places.
2764

So, at some level, a belief in democracy was necessary in Benin as in elsewhere. Support for it - Absolutely. But what's interesting in the Benin case is that you were lacking that level of political elite leadership that were committed democratic ideologues.

Rachel Beatty Riedl

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Rachel Beatty Riedl is the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies, Director of the Einaudi Center for International Studies, and professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University. She also cohosts the podcast Ufahamu Africa with Kim Yi Dionne. Her chapter "Africa’s Democratic Outliers Success amid Challenges in Benin and South Africa" appears in the forthcoming book Democracy in Hard Places.

Key Highlights

  • Details the story of Benin's democratization
  • How Benin has used consensus to govern
  • What makes Benin a democracy in a hard place
  • An overview of the current President Patrice Talon
  • Current threats to democracy in Benin


Key Links

Learn more about the Einaudi Center for International Studies

Listen to the Ufahamu Podcast

Follow Rachel Beatty Riedl on Twitter @BeattyRiedl

Democracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek Masoud


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Evan Lieberman on South Africa

Christophe Jaffrelot on Narendra Modi and Hindu Nationalism

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Jun 21, 2022
Ashutosh Varshney on India. Democracy in Hard Places
3210

Nehru is asked several times in those early years, ‘Aren’t you doing something which has never been done before? You are 17% literate. Half of your country is below the poverty line. Under such conditions no democracy has ever stabilize itself and perhaps has not emerged.’ And his argument repeatedly is that we shouldn't be constrained by the history of the West.

Ashutosh Varshney

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Ashutosh Varshney is the Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Brown University, where he also directs the Center for Contemporary South Asia. His chapter "India’s Democratic Longevity and Its Troubled Trajectory" appears in the forthcoming book Democracy in Hard Places.

Key Highlights

  • How India defied early theories of democratization
  • The role of leadership in India's early democracy
  • Why India returned to democracy after Indira Gandhi's emergency?
  • The eerie similarities between India's recent treatment of Muslims and the rise of the Jim Crow era in the American South
  • When will democratic backsliding in India become a democratic collapse


Key Links

"Modi Consolidates Power: Electoral Vibrancy, Mounting Liberal Deficits" by Ashutosh Varshney in Journal of Democracy

Learn more about Ashutosh Varshney at www.ashutoshvarshney.net

Follow Ashutosh Varshney on Twitter @ProfVarshney

Democracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek Masoud


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Dan Slater on Indonesia

Christophe Jaffrelot on Narendra Modi and Hindu Nationalism

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Jun 14, 2022
Evan Lieberman on South Africa. Democracy in Hard Places
2871

When you hear people talk in such disparaging tones, that everything is broken, that nothing is possible, you need to ask yourself, is that right? When you look around, the answer is no. There are these examples where things do go right, where people work together and create a neighborhood or a community for themselves in which they can be prosperous and build better lives. And that's really what the democratic project is all about.

Evan Lieberman

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A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Evan Lieberman is a Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Director of the MIT Global Diversity Lab, and the faculty director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI). He is the coauthor with Rorisang Lekalake of the recent article "South Africa's Resilient Democracy" in the Journal of Democracy and author of the forthcoming book Until We Have Won Our Liberty: South Africa after Apartheid.

Key Highlights

  • Why is Evan Lieberman optimistic about democracy in South Africa
  • Role of Nelson Mandela on South Africa's democracy
  • Importance of South Africa for democracy in the world
  • Account of the housing community Ethembalethu
  • What the 2019 election says about democracy in South Africa


Key Links

Until We Have Won Our Liberty: South Africa after Apartheid by Evan Lieberman

"South Africa’s Resilient Democracy" by Evan Lieberman and Rorisang Lekalake in Journal of Democracy

Learn more about Evan Lieberman at www.evanlieberman.org

Follow Evan Lieberman on Twitter @evlieb

Democracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek Masoud


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Dan Slater on Indonesia

Nic Cheeseman and Gabrielle Lynch on the Moral Economy of Elections in Africa

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Jun 07, 2022
Dan Slater on Indonesia. Democracy in Hard Places
3001

This might sound like a cliche, but in Indonesia it's really, really true. My hope rests in the Indonesian people and the voters. I mean, the voters, they show up. The voters have been the ones to defend democracy. They've been the ones to reject the most anti-pluralistic candidates, not all Indonesian voters, but a slim majority. They've been managing to do it.

Dan Slater

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information.

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Dan Slater is the Weiser Professor of Emerging Democracies in the Department of Political Science and director of the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies at the University of Michigan. Dan is also the coauthor of the forthcoming book From Development to Democracy: The Transformations of Modern Asia with Joseph Wong.

Key Highlights

  • A brief account of how Indonesia democratized
  • What is democratization through strength
  • How elites held onto power after democratization
  • What makes Indonesia a hard place for democracy
  • The current state of Indonesia's democracy


Key Links

From Development to Democracy: The Transformations of Modern Asia by Dan Slater and Joseph Wong

Democracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek Masoud

Follow Dan Slater on Twitter @SlaterPolitics


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Donald Horowitz on the Formation of Democratic Constitutions

Sebastian Strangio Explains the Relationship Between China and Southeast Asia

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May 31, 2022
Kathryn Stoner on How Putin's War has Ruined Russia
2377

Boeing is pulling out, DuPont, Erickson, Analog Devices, Bombardier. Eventually all of these things are going to cause supply and production chain issues and unemployment in Russia. So, Mr. Putin doesn't have an infinite amount of time before havoc is wrought.

Kathryn Stoner

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. 

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Kathryn Stoner is the Mosbacher Director at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, a professor of political science at Stanford University, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. She is also the author of the book Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order. Her article “How Putin’s War Has Ruined Russia” was recently published online at journalofdemocracy.org.

Key Highlights

  • How has Russia's invasion of Ukraine affected perceptions of Russia's military
  • How has it affected its economy both short-term and long-term
  • How has it affected Russia's international standing
  • The affects on Russia's citizens
  • What does Putin's unpredictability mean for peace in Ukraine


Key Links

"How Putin’s War in Ukraine Has Ruined Russia" by Kathryn Stoner in Journal of Democracy

Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order by Kathryn Stoner

Follow Kathryn Stoner on Twitter @kath_stoner


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Moisés Naím on the New Dynamics of Political Power

Kathryn Stoner on Russia’s Economy, Politics, and Foreign Policy

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May 24, 2022
Scott Radnitz on Why Conspiracy Theories Thrive in Both Democracies and Autocracies
3020

There's something natural and organic about perceiving that the people in power are out to advance their own interests. It's in part because it’s often true. Governments actually do keep secrets from the public. Politicians engage in scandals. There often is corruption at high levels. So, we don't want citizens in a democracy to be too trusting of their politicians. It's healthy to be skeptical of the state and its real abuses and tendencies towards secrecy. The danger is when this distrust gets redirected, not toward the state, but targets innocent people who are not actually responsible for people's problems.

Scott Radnitz

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information.

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

*Please note during the interview the host says "conspiracy" rather than "conspiracy theory." The transcript has been corrected.*

Scott Radnitz is an associate professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University of Washington and the director of the Ellison Center for Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies. He is the author of Revealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region and coeditor with Harris Mylonas of the forthcoming book Enemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns. His article “Why Democracy Fuels Conspiracy Theories” was recently published in the Journal of Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • Conspiracy theories Russia uses to justify their invasion of Ukraine
  • Why Russia relies on conspiracy theories in its political rhetoric
  • The use of conspiracy theories in democracies and autocracies
  • The recent proliferation of conspiracy theories in the United States
  • How to mitigate the harmful effects of conspiracy theories in politics


Key Links

"Why Democracy Fuels Conspiracy Theories" by Scott Radnitz in Journal of Democracy

Revealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region by Scott Radnitz

Enemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns edited by Harris Mylonas and Scott Radnitz


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Ronald Deibert from Citizen Lab on Cyber Surveillance, Digital Subversion, and Transnational Repression

Moisés Naím on the New Dynamics of Political Power

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May 17, 2022
Dan Banik is In Pursuit of Development
2156

This bonus episode is part of a series of interviews available for monthly supporters of Democracy Paradox at Patreon. Other interviews feature guests like Julia Azari, Mila Atmos, and Bob Shrum. But more importantly you'll help the podcast cover important expenses and continue to grow. Please consider becoming a monthly supporter by clicking on the link here.

If you want to help the podcast in other ways, please email the host, Justin Kempf, at jkempf@democracyparadox.com.

Dan Banik is a professor of political science at the University of Oslo and Director of the Oslo SDG Initiative. He also hosts the podcast In Pursuit of Development. His podcast is among the most insightful on topics of democracy, modernization, and sustainability. Past guests have included Francis Fukuyama and Daron Acemoglu. But it's Dan's ability to help listeners understand complex ideas and subjects that sets his podcast apart.

In Pursuit of Development 

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Follow Dan on Twitter @danbanik 

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May 13, 2022
Ronald Deibert from Citizen Lab on Cyber Surveillance, Digital Subversion, and Transnational Repression
3043

So, if your aim is to get inside someone's device without their permission and gather up information, you could do that using a very sophisticated commercial spyware technology like Pegasus. The latest iteration of it employs zero click technology meaning that it can target and insert itself on any device without the owner of that device even knowing or being tricked into clicking on a link. That's very powerful, because there is no defense against it.

Ronald Deibert

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Ronald Deibert is a professor of political science at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and the Director of the Citizen Lab. He recently gave the 18th annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture at the National Endowment for Democracy. Its title was “Digital Subversion: The Threat to Democracy.” His article, “Subversion Inc: The Age of Private Espionage” in the most recent Journal of Democracy is based on this lecture.

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. 

Key Highlights

  • How Black Cube tried to infiltrate Citizen Lab
  • How autocrats continue to repress political dissidents overseas
  • The privatization of espionage and spycraft
  • The link between surveillance capitalism and private espionage
  • What liberal democracies can do to defend civil society


Key Links

Citizen Lab

Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture "Digital Subversion: The Threat to Democracy" by Ronald Deibert

"Subversion Inc: The Age of Private Espionage" by Ronald Deibert in Journal of Democracy

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Can Democracy Survive the Internet? Nate Persily and Josh Tucker on Social Media and Democracy

Winston Mano on Social Media and Politics in Africa… And what America can Learn from Africa about Democracy

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May 10, 2022
Thomas Piketty on Equality
1820

Pure economic factors or technological factors or the level of economic development or level of technological development cannot explain the diversity of levels of inequality and structure of inequality that we observe throughout history.

Thomas Piketty

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Thomas Piketty is Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and the Paris School of Economics and Codirector of the World Inequality Lab. He is also the author of A Brief History of Equality.

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information.

Key Highlights

  • The Case for Reparations for Haiti
  • An Account of the Historical Movement Toward Greater Equality
  • Economic Inequality as a Political Construction
  • Should Economic Equality be the Goal of the State?
  • Is Thomas Piketty Optimistic for the Future?


Key Links

A Brief History of Equality by Thomas Piketty

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty

Follow Thomas Piketty on Twitter @PikettyLeMonde


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Joseph Fishkin on the Constitution, American History, and Economic Inequality

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party

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May 03, 2022
Marta Dyczok and Andriy Kulykov on the Media, Information Warriors, and the Future of Ukraine
3183

I heard a verified story of a person who made his way with his family from an occupied town listening to our broadcast, because we were telling them where it was dangerous for them to go and where it was more or less safe to go. So, radio actually saves lives. I probably cannot save lives otherwise. But I can with the help of radio.

Andriy Kulykov

Recorded on April 19th, 2022.

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Marta Dyczok is an Associate Professor at the Departments of History and Political Science, Western University, Canada. She was the host of the podcast Ukraine Calling. Andriy Kulykov is co-founder and Chairperson of Hromadske Radio.

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information.

Key Highlights

  • A Short History of Hromadske Radio
  • Do Journalists in Ukraine Consider Themselves Information Warriors
  • The Importance of Media Literacy in a War
  • How Radio Can Saved Lives in Ukraine
  • Andriy's Thoughts on Ukrainian Identity


Key Links

Ukraine Calling: A Kaleidoscope from Hromadske Radio 2016–2019 edited by Marta Dyczok

Listen to the Ukraine Calling Podcast

Learn more about Hromadske Radio


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Between Russia and China: Anja Mihr on Central Asia

Joshua Yaffa on Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin’s Russia

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Apr 26, 2022
Yascha Mounk on the Great Experiment of Diverse Democracies
3008

So, there's actually something about the basic mechanism of democracy that does make it harder to sustain diversity. In other ways, the principles of liberal democracy are the right solution. And so, obviously my vision for the future is that of a diverse democracy. But we shouldn't be at ease about the ways in which democracy can sometimes inflame ethnic and religious tensions as well.

Yascha Mounk

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Yascha Mounk is a Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University and the founder of Persuasion. Mounk is also a contributing editor at The Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure.

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. 

Key Highlights

  • Is a diverse democracy more democratic
  • Challenges for diverse democracies
  • Yascha's vision for diverse societies
  • The most dangerous idea in American Politics
  • Is it more difficult for diverse ideas to flourish?


Key Links

The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure by Yascha  Mounk

Read more from Yascha Mounk at Persuassion

Follow Yascha Mounk @Yascha_Mounk


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Elisabeth Ivarsflaten and Paul Sniderman on Inclusion and Respect of Muslim Minorities

Sara Wallace Goodman on Citizen Responses to Democratic Threats

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Democracy Group

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Apr 19, 2022
Mark Beissinger on Contemporary Urban Civic Revolutions
2964

I think the revolutionary process has become somewhat less consequential in some ways. The ability to bring about substantive change in the wake of revolution has deteriorated for one thing. We've gained certain things as well. I mean, revolutions are no longer as violent as they once were. They're more frequent than they once were, almost more normal in terms of being part of the political landscape in a way that they were not in the past.

Mark Beissinger

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Mark Beissinger is a professor of politics at Princeton University and the author of the new book The Revolutionary City: Urbanization and the Global Transformation of Rebellion.

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information.

Key Highlights

  • An Account of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine
  • Description of Urban Civic Revolutions
  • Why are Revolutions more Successful than in the Past?
  • Why are Revolutions Less Violent?
  • How do Revolutions Continue to Change?


Key Links

The Revolutionary City: Urbanization and the Global Transformation of Rebellion by Mark Beissinger

Learn more about Mark Beissinger at Princeton University

Learn more about Mark Beissinger at Wikipedia

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Erica Chenoweth on Civil Resistance

George Lawson on Revolution

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Apr 12, 2022
Craig Whitlock on the Lessons Learned in Afghanistan
3493

It's still shocking to me to read a lot of these documents and interviews in, The Afghanistan Papers, things that most people would think are obvious. What's the plan to end the war? What benchmarks do we have to achieve so that we know we can leave? You know, none of those things were thought out or articulated.

Craig Whitlock

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Craig Whitlock is an investigative reporter at The Washington Post and the author of The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War.

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. 

Key Highlights

  • When did the War in Afghanistan Go Wrong
  • The Lies and Deception in Communications on the War
  • Differences in the Approach to the War Between Bush and Obama
  • Failures to Provide a Long-Term Political Solution
  • Lessons for Involvement in Ukraine and Beyond

 
Key Links

The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War by Craig Whitlock

Afghanistan Papers Document Database at The Washington Post

"At War With Truth" by Craig Whitlock

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili and Ilia Murtazashvili on Afghanistan, Local Institutions, and Self-Governance

Karen Greenberg on the War on Terror, Donald Trump, and American Democracy

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Apr 05, 2022
Miles Rapoport on How We Can Achieve Universal Voting
2748

I have worked on voting issues for 35 years, for same-day registration and for opening up the process to younger people and preregistration, and, you know, nevertheless 35 years later we're still at 60 and 65%. 2020 was the highest turnout election ever and it was at 66%. So, I started to think what is it that could really, really move the needle and change the game.

Miles Rapoport

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of 100% Democracy: The Case for Universal Voting  here.

Miles Rapoport is also the Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. He formerly served as secretary of the state of Connecticut.  He is the coauthor of the book 100% Democracy: The Case for Universal Voting with E.J. Dionne.

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information.

Key Highlights

  • What is Civic Duty Voting?
  • Why Should We Require Citizens to Vote?
  • Is Voting a Right or a Duty?
  • Australia's System of Civic Duty Voting
  • How Would it Change How Citizens Think About Themselves?


Key Links

100% Democracy: The Case for Universal Voting by Miles Rapoport and E.J. Dionne

Learn about Miles Rapoport at Harvard University

Lift Every Voice: The Urgency of Universal Civic Duty Voting 

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Shari Davis Elevates Participatory Budgeting

Lee Drutman Makes the Case for Multiparty Democracy in America

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Mar 29, 2022
Between Russia and China: Anja Mihr on Central Asia
3122

Russia... will lose ground here in the region over the next decade and China will fill it, because the Europeans are not doing it. The United States is not doing it. Iran is not doing it and Turkey cannot do it either.

Anja Mihr

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Between Peace and Conflict in the East and the West Studies on Transformation and Development in the OSCE Region  here.

Anja Mihr is an associate professor of Political Science at the OSCE Academy at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and the founder and program director of the Center on Governance through Human Rights at the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform (gGmbH) in Berlin. Recently, she edited the volume Between Peace and Conflict in the East and the West Studies on Transformation and Development in the OSCE Region.

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. 

Key Highlights

  • How do Central Asian countries feel about Russia's invasion of Ukraine?
  • Differences and similarities between Central Asian nations
  • Why has China become so influential in the region?
  • Sadyr Japarov and his rise to power
  • What is Glocalism?


Key Links

Between Peace and Conflict in the East and the West: Studies on Transformation and Development in the OSCE Region  edited by Anja Mihr

Learn more about Anja Mihr

Follow Anja Mihr on Twitter @AnjaMihr

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili and Ilia Murtazashvili on Afghanistan, Local Institutions, and Self-Governance

Timothy Frye Says Putin is a Weak Strongman

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Mar 22, 2022
Moisés Naím on the New Dynamics of Political Power
2194

But what we have now is something that has not been sufficiently discussed, sufficiently understood, which is a criminalized state of which Russia is an example, in the Balkans we have some examples, in Latin America Venezuela stands out as an example. And that is essentially that the state becomes an organized criminal organization. An organization that essentially uses the structure, strategies, tactics, modalities of organized crime.

Moisés Naím

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century  here.

Moisés Naím is a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an internationally syndicated columnist. He served as editor in chief of Foreign Policy, as Venezuela's trade minister, and as executive director of the World Bank. He is the author of The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be and most recently, The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century.

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. 

Key Highlights

  • How 3P Autocrats Use Polarization, Populism, and Post-Truth to Consolidate Power
  • Why Do People Elect Autocrats
  • Naím's Personal Evolution in his Ideas on Power
  • The Rise of the Criminal State
  • Naím discusses Putin, Russia, and the War in Ukraine


Key Links

The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century by Moisés Naím

Learn more about Moisés Naím

Follow Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili on Twitter @MoisesNaim


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Sarah Repucci from Freedom House with an Update on Freedom in the World

Caitlin Andrews-Lee on Charismatic Movements and Personalistic Leaders

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Mar 15, 2022
Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili and Ilia Murtazashvili on Afghanistan, Local Institutions, and Self-Governance
2861

It wasn't because Afghan social norms don’t support democracy. They do. And Afghans understood darn well what they were supposed to have. But they never even got the minimum of what they were promised in the constitution.

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Land, the State, and War: Property Institutions and Political Order in Afghanistan  here.

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili and Ilia Murtazashvili are associate professors at the University of Pittsburgh and the authors of the recent book Land, the State, and War: Property Institutions and Political Order in Afghanistan. Jen is also the founding director and Ilia is an associate director of the Center for Governance and Markets.

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information.

Key Highlights

  • Description of the role of shuras, maliks, and mullahs in local governance
  • How property rights help explain local governance
  • Why has the state always been ineffective in Afghanistan
  • A little history on Afghanistan
  • Are local, self-governing institutions in Afghanistan democratic?


Key Links

Land, the State, and War: Property Institutions and Political Order in Afghanistan by Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili and Ilia Murtazashvili

Learn more about the Center for Governance and Markets

Follow Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili on Twitter @jmurtazashvili

Follow Ilia Murtazashvili on Twitter @IMurtazashvili


Democracy Paradox Podcast

David Stasavage on Early Democracy and its Decline

Donald F. Kettl on Federalism

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Mar 08, 2022
Sarah Repucci from Freedom House with an Update on Freedom in the World
2419

You can't protect basic human rights if you don't have democracy. If you're going to protect basic human rights, you need to have things like credible institutions that hold abusers to account. You need to have opportunities for the least advantaged in a society. The people whose rights are most at risk to be able to choose their leaders and choose leaders who will represent them and serve their interests. You need leaders that serve for the common good, not for their own personal gain.

Sarah Repucci

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Freedom in the World 2022: The Global Expansion of Authoritarian Rule  here.

Sarah Repucci is the Vice President of Research and Analysis at Freedom House. She coauthored (along with Amy Slipowitz) Freedom in the World 2022: The Global Expansion of Authoritarian Rule.

Key Highlights

  • Global freedom has declined for 16 consecutive years
  • How Russia's invasion of Ukraine is part of a broader expansion of authoritarianism
  • Myanmar and other countries with major declines in freedom
  • Bright spots like Ecuador and Peru
  • How we can support democracy in the world


Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. 


Key Links

Freedom in the World 2022: The Global Expansion of Authoritarian Rule by Sarah Repucci and Amy Slipowitz

Learn more about Freedom House

Follow Freedom House on Twitter @freedomhouse


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Freedom House: Sarah Repucci Assesses Freedom in the World

Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman on Democratic Backsliding

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Mar 01, 2022
Elisabeth Ivarsflaten and Paul Sniderman on the Inclusion and Respect of Muslim Minorities
2707

If you're actually a real person and you're living your life and you're going into stores and you're riding on a bus or your kids are going to school, what matters is that you be treated with respect. That you have a dignity. And that, I think, at every point that matters most to us is what the book has wound up being about. It’s an essay on respect as a condition of a liberal democracy.

Paul Sniderman

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of The Struggle for Inclusion: Muslim Minorities and the Democratic Ethos  here.

Elisabeth Ivarsflaten is a professor of political science and scientific director of the Digital Social Science Core Facility at the University of Bergen, Norway. Paul Sniderman is the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr., Professor of Public Policy at Stanford University. They are the authors of The Struggle for Inclusion: Muslim Minorities and the Democratic Ethos.

Key Highlights

  • Western societies show greater openness towards Muslim immigrants than previously recognized
  • Where are there opportunities for real inclusion for Muslim immigrants
  • How innovative research designs led to unexpected results
  • The difference between recognition respect and appraisal respect
  • The limits to inclusion for liberal societies that remain today


Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information.

Key Links

The Struggle for Inclusion: Muslim Minorities and the Democratic Ethos by Elisabeth Ivarsflaten and Paul Sniderman

Learn more about the Digital Social Science Core Facility including The Norwegian Citizen Panel

Learn more about Paul Sniderman


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Sara Wallace Goodman on Citizen Responses to Democratic Threats

Mike Hoffman on How Religious Identities Influence Support for or Opposition to Democracy

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Feb 22, 2022
Debasish Roy Chowdhury and John Keane on the Decline of Indian Democracy
3208

You treat votes as equal. My vote is equal to your vote. But the state treats our bodies as unequal. That logically makes no sense and it is farcical to call it a democracy in the first place. Forget what implications this will have for democracy in the long-term, but to be called a democracy and to have your bodies treated differently is a farce in itself.

Debasish Roy Chowdhury

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of To Kill a Democracy: India's Passage to Despotism  here.

Deb Chowdhry is a journalist who has published in Time, South China Morning Post, and Washington Times. John Keane is a Professor of Politics at the University of Sydney. They are the authors of the recent book To Kill a Democracy: India's Passage to Despotism.

Key Highlights

  • Who is Mamata Banerjee?
  • How does political violence undermine democracy?
  • How does the failure to tackle social problems affect democracy?
  • Why is Indian democracy in decline?
  • What does India's experience teach other democracies?


Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for early access to new episodes and exclusive updates and information.


Key Links

To Kill A Democracy: India's Passage to Despotism by Debasish Roy Chowdhury and John Keane

Learn more about Debasish Roy Chowdhury

Learn more about John Keane


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Bilal Baloch on Indira Gandhi, India’s Emergency, and the Importance of Ideas in Politics

Christophe Jaffrelot on Narendra Modi and Hindu Nationalism

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Feb 15, 2022
Lisa Disch on Representation, Constituencies, and Political Leadership
2951

The tension in what we want from democratic representation is that we want control over our representatives and we want creativity from them. If we control them, they are delegates. They're not representatives. They do what we want. They act in our place instead of us. They act as we would in our place. If they give us creativity, they will bring things out of us and do things for us that we may not have imagined.

Lisa Disch

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Making Constituencies: Representation as Mobilization in Mass Democracy  here.

Lisa Disch is a professor of political science at the University of Michigan and an elected member of the Ann Arbor City Council. She is the author of the book Making Constituencies: Representation as Mobilization in Mass Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • Should elected officials serve as delegates or opinion shapers?
  • What is the line between leadership and manipulation?
  • What is the constituency paradox?
  • Does representation facilitate citizen mobilization?
  • Can realists be idealists?

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for early access to new episodes and exclusive updates and information. 


Key Links

Making Constituencies: Representation as Mobilization in Mass Democracy by Lisa Jane Disch

Learn about Lisa Disch at the University of Michigan

Lisa Disch for City Council


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Sara Wallace Goodman on Citizen Responses to Democratic Threats

Caitlin Andrews-Lee on Charismatic Movements and Personalistic Leaders

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Feb 08, 2022
Joseph Fishkin on the Constitution, American History, and Economic Inequality
2903

For many Americans, for the first many generations really up through the mid 20th century, the constitutional order seemed to rest on and depend on an economic order in which people had enough economic clout to be independent citizens and voters. Not serfs dependent on some kind of master.

Joseph Fishkin

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution: Reconstructing the Economic Foundations of American Democracy  here.

Joseph Fishkin is a Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. He is the coauthor (along with William E. Forbath) of The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution: Reconstructing the Economic Foundations of American Democracy.

Key Highlights

  • How did Montana reform its laws to limit the influence of Amalgamated Copper?
  • When do questions of inequality become constitutional questions?
  • How did the courts undermine labor laws in the early 20th century?
  • What are the affirmative obligations and duties in the constitution?
  • What is the proper role of the courts in American politics?

Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for early access to new episodes and exclusive updates and information.

Key Links

The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution: Reconstructing the Economic Foundations of American Democracy by Joseph Fishkin and William E. Forbath

Follow Joseph Fishkin on Twitter @joeyfishkin

Learn more about Joseph Fishkin at UCLA Law

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Donald Horowitz on the Formation of Democratic Constitutions

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party

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Feb 01, 2022
Bilal Baloch on Indira Gandhi, India's Emergency, and the Importance of Ideas in Politics
2708

We have core ideas that form a part of our worldview, but those core ideas are not fixed in the way in which we talk about rationality and interest in that they can evolve. And we have to, when we think about human behavior, political behavior, we have to give serious attention to those ideas and go beyond just fixed material interests.

Bilal Baloch

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of When Ideas Matter: Democracy and Corruption in India  here.

Bilal Baloch is the Co-Founder and COO of Enquire, formerly GlobalWonks. He is also a non-resident visiting scholar at the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of When Ideas Matter: Democracy and Corruption in India.

Key Highlights

  • What was the Jayaprakash Narayanan Movement?
  • Why did the State of Emergency happen in India?
  • How do ideas influence governance?
  • The differences between technocratic and political leadership
  • Is it more important to foster a diversity of ideas or support the best ideas?

 
Key Links

When Ideas Matter: Democracy and Corruption in India by Bilal Baloch

Follow Bilal Baloch on Twitter @bilalabaloch

Learn more about his company Enquire


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Christophe Jaffrelot on Narendra Modi and Hindu Nationalism

Kajri Jain Believes Democracy Unfolds through the Aesthetic

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Jan 25, 2022
Sara Wallace Goodman on Citizen Responses to Democratic Threats
2543

If I could say one thing to every citizen, it's to put country before party. Which is, you know, at this time it almost feels like a hollowed phrase, because we we've kind of heard it so often. But it's like actually true.

Sara Wallace Goodman

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Citizenship in Hard Times: How Ordinary People Respond to Democratic Threat  here.

Sara Wallace Goodman is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine and the author of Citizenship in Hard Times: How Ordinary People Respond to Democratic Threat.

Key Highlights

  • How much agency do citizens have in democracy?
  • The important differences between citizenship and partisanship and their implications
  • The role of both rights and duties for citizenship
  • Differences between citizenship in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany
  • What can citizens do to protect democracy?


Key Links

Citizenship in Hard Times: How Ordinary People Respond to Democratic Threat by Sara Wallace Goodman

Learn about Sara Wallace Goodman from Wikipedia

Follow Sara Wallace Goodman on Twitter @ThatSaraGoodman

 
Democracy Paradox Podcast

Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman on Democratic Backsliding

Jan-Werner Müller on Democracy Rules

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Jan 18, 2022
Joseph Wright and Abel Escribà-Folch on Migration's Potential to Topple Dictatorships
2731

This is money that flows between individuals and families and largely circumvents governments and that's a hugely important point, because the real take home of the book is that when these financial flows are controlled by citizens, it tips the balance of power in favor of citizens. When the international financial flow goes to governments, it tips the balance of power in terms of governments.

Joseph Wright

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Migration and Democracy: How Remittances Undermine Dictatorships  here.

Joe Wright is a professor of political science at Pennsylvania State University. Abel Escribà-Folch is an associate professor of political science at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. They cowrote the book Migration and Democracy: How Remittances Undermine Dictatorships along with Covadonga Meseguer.

Key Highlights

  • How Remittances Break Clientelistic Relationships
  • The Size and Importance of Remittances in Developing Economies
  • Why Financial Remittances Facilitate Protest Movements
  • Can Remittances Really Contribute to Democratization
  • Implications for Immigration Policies

Key Links

Migration and Democracy: How Remittances Undermine Dictatorships by Abel Escribà-Folch, Joseph Wright, and Covadonga Meseguer

Learn more about Joseph Wright

Learn more about Abel Escribà-Folch


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Michael Miller on the Unexpected Paths to Democratization

Bryn Rosenfeld on Middle Class Support for Dictators in Autocratic Regimes

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Jan 11, 2022
Robert Lieberman, Kenneth Roberts, and David Bateman on Democratic Resilience and Political Polarization in the United States
3429

So, the question is how do you respond to that? If you are the party that sees itself as being on the side of democracy and on the side of maintaining democratic norms and procedures and maintaining this kind of democratic accountability, how do you respond? Do you respond in kind? Do you respond with hardball tactics of your own?

Robert Lieberman

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Democratic Resilience: Can the United States Withstand Rising Polarization?  here.

Robert C. Lieberman is the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. Kenneth M. Roberts is the Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government and Binenkorb Director of Latin American Studies at Cornell University. David A. Bateman is an associate professor in the Government Department at Cornell University. Robert and Kenneth (along with Suzanne Mettler) coedited the book Democratic Resilience: Can the United States Withstand Rising Polarization?  David is a contributor to the volume. His chapter is "Elections, Polarization, and Democratic Resilience."

Key Highlights

  • Why did polarization become so severe in the United States?
  • When did pernicious polarization start in America?
  • Is polarization the fault of just one party or both?
  • Discussion on possible judicial reforms as a solution
  • Can America overcome this episode of severe polarization?


Key Links

Democratic Resilience: Can the United States Withstand Rising Polarization? by Suzanne Mettler, Robert C. Lieberman, and Kenneth M. Roberts

Follow Robert C. Lieberman on Twitter @r_lieberman

Follow David Bateman on Twitter @DavidAlexBatema


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Can America Preserve Democracy without Retreating from it? Robert C. Lieberman on the Four Threats

Thomas Carothers and Andrew O’Donohue are Worried About Severe Polarization

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Jan 04, 2022
Angus Deaton on Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism
2776

It's this sort of persistent loss of wages, which causes things like loss of marriage, people not living with their kids anymore, disintegration of communities with all of the things in those communities whether it's churches or union halls or society, just friendship that used to be there. And those are the things that cause people to lose meaning or, if you like, lose hope in their lives.

Angus Deaton

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism  here.

Angus Deaton is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics, and the coauthor (with Anne Case) of Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism.

Key Hightlights

  • What are deaths of despair and what causes them
  • How did the Pandemic and the Great Recession affect deaths of despair
  • Why does a four year college degree affect life expectancy in the United States
  • How has health care policy in the United States contributed to deaths of despair
  • Are deaths of despair an inevitable consequence of capitalism


Key Links

Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism by Angus Deaton and Anne Case

Nobel Prize

National Bureau of Economic Research


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Sheryl WuDunn Paints a Picture of Poverty in America and Offers Hope for Solutions

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party

More Episodes from the Podcast


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Apes of the State created all Music

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Dec 28, 2021
Zeynep Pamuk on the Role of Science and Expertise in a Democracy
3162

Science is never offering the whole truth. It may be offering us something accurate. Scientific findings may be reliable for now, but they are always incomplete.

Zeynep Pamuk

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Politics and Expertise: How to Use Science in a Democratic Society  here.

Zeynep Pamuk is an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego and the author of the book Politics and Expertise: How to Use Science in a Democratic Society.

Key Highlights

  • Why is there a tension between science and democracy
  • The limits of science for public policy
  • The Proposal for a Science Court
  • Ways to provide greater democratic involvement in scientific funding
  • How have experts performed in the pandemic


Key Links

Politics and Expertise: How to Use Science in a Democratic Society by Zeynep Pamuk

Learn more about Zeynep Pamuk at scholar.harvard.edu/zpamuk

Read Zeynep Pamuk's article "The Contours of Ignorance," in Boston Review


Related Content

Susan Rose-Ackerman on the Role of the Executive in Four Different Democracies

Chris Bickerton Defines Technopopulism

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Dec 21, 2021
Caitlin Andrews-Lee on Charismatic Movements and Personalist Leaders
2993

Charismatic leaders who are intent on governing solely using their charismatic authority and subverting other things to their personal power are inherently bad for democracy and inherently illiberal. They're anti-pluralist. They don't want to share their power with others even within their own movement or their own party. They don't tolerate dissent.

Caitlin Andrews-Lee

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of The Emergence and Revival of Charismatic Movements: Argentine Peronism and Venezuelan Chavismo  here.

Caitlin Andrews-Lee is an Assistant Professor in Ryerson University’s Department of Politics and Public Administration. She is the author of the book, The Emergence and Revival of Charismatic Movements: Argentine Peronism and Venezuelan Chavismo.

Key Highlights

  • A profile on Juan Perón, the prototypical charismatic leader
  • Why has Peronism survived its founder?
  • Why do the anointed successors of charismatic leaders fail?
  • How do new personalist leaders arise out of charismatic movements?
  • Is Donald Trump a harbinger of future charismatic leaders or was he an historical aberration?


Key Links

The Emergence and Revival of Charismatic Movements: Argentine Peronism and Venezuelan Chavismo by Caitlin Andrews-Lee

Learn more about Caitlin Andrews-Lee at www.caitlinandrewslee.com

Follow Caitlin Andrews-Lee on Twitter @caitlineandrews


Related Content

Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman on Democratic Backsliding

James Loxton Explains Why Authoritarian Successor Parties Succeed in Democracies

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Apes of the State created all Music

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Dec 14, 2021
Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman on Democratic Backsliding
2668

The way we conceive of democracy is being challenged by these regimes and, by that I mean, because the process of backsliding is so incremental, it's difficult to see where these boundaries are.

Stephan Haggard

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Backsliding: Democratic Regress in the Contemporary World  here.

Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman are the authors of the new book, Backsliding: Democratic Regress in the Contemporary World. Stephan is the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Distinguished Professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. Robert Kaufman is a distinguished professor of political science at Rutgers University.

Key Highlights

  • Describes democratic backsliding
  • How polarization contributes to backsliding
  • The role of legislatures in backsliding episodes
  • What it means when authoritarians "reform" judiciaries
  • How can citizens reverse democratic backsliding?


Key Links

Backsliding: Democratic Regress in the Contemporary World by Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman

Learn more about Stephan Haggard at www.stephanhaggard.com

Learn more about Robert Kaufman at https://fas-polisci.rutgers.edu/kaufman/

 

Related Content

Freedom House: Sarah Repucci Assesses Freedom in the World

Thomas Carothers and Andrew O’Donohue are Worried About Severe Polarization

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Dec 07, 2021
Joshua Yaffa on Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin's Russia
2923

‘What would you prefer? Would you prefer that this boy, Vasya, die because he couldn't get dialysis? Would you prefer that this girl, Katya, die from her shrapnel wounds that she suffered during the war that was obviously not her fault? Right? Like would it be better if I held my nose and refuse to engage in these compromises so these kids died? Would you be sort of happier, so you could write about how awful the bloody Putin regime is?’

Joshua Yaffa explaining the perspective of Russian humanitarian Elizaveta Glinka

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin's Russia here.

Joshua Yaffa joins the podcast to discuss his new book Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin's Russia. He is a correspondent for The New Yorker based primarily in Moscow, Russia.

Key Highlights

  • Who was Dr. Liza?
  • The types of compromises must Russians make with the state to pursue their dreams
  • The role of the Russian state in the arts through the story of theater director Kirill Serebrennikov
  • Legal challenges for business owners in Russia through the experience of zookeeper Oleg Zubkov
  • The limited space for human rights activism in Chechnya through the experience of Heda Saratova


Key Links

Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin's Russia by Joshua Yaffa

Learn more about Joshua Yaffa at www.joshuayaffa.com.

Follow Joshua Yaffa on Twitter @yaffaesque

Related Content

Timothy Frye Says Putin is a Weak Strongman

Bryn Rosenfeld on Middle Class Support for Dictators in Autocratic Regimes

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Nov 30, 2021
Zoltan Barany on the Ineffectiveness of the Gulf Militaries
3093

The last time, and luckily this hasn't really happened since 1990, there was minimal resistance from the Kuwaiti and the Saudi forces. So, this obviously is 30 years ago, but there is little reason to believe that in spite of the hundreds of billions of dollars that is spent on armaments, this state of affairs has changed. Let me just put it this way. Nobody in Tehran is losing any sleep over the prowess of any of the Gulf militaries.

Zoltan Barany

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Armies of Arabia: Military Politics and Effectiveness in the Gulf here.

Zoltan Barany is the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Armies of Arabia: Military Politics and Effectiveness in the Gulf.

Key Highlights

  • What should be expected of the militaries of the Gulf countries?
  • Would the Gulf countries be threatened without the American security guarantee?
  • What types of military investments do the Gulf countries make?
  • What has the Yemeni War taught us about armies of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries?
  • How does the leadership of MBS differ from MBZ?


Key Links

Armies of Arabia: Military Politics and Effectiveness in the Gulf by Zoltan Barany

Robert Strauss Center For International Security and Law

Center for Strategic & International Studies


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Daniel Brinks on the Politics of Institutional Weakness

Elizabeth Nugent on Polarization, Democratization and the Arab Spring

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Nov 23, 2021
Amory Gethin on Political Cleavages, Inequality, and Party Systems in 50 Democracies
3149

Indeed, the moderation of left-wing party’s economic policy proposals in the eighties and in the nineties and the decision to promote an unregulated capitalism with no kind of proper compensation and no tax harmonization leading to greater offshore wealth and rising inequality. All these decisions have played a role in leading the working class to take distance from these parties and, at the same time, enabling these new issues to take a growing importance.

Amory Gethin

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Political Cleavages and Social Inequalities: A Study of 50 Democracies, 1948-2020 here.

Amory Gethin is a PhD candidate at the Paris School of Economics and a research fellow at the world Inequality Lab. He is a coeditor (along with Clara Martinez-Toledano and Thomas Piketty) of Political Cleavages and Social Inequalities: A Study of 50 Democracies, 1948-2020.

Key Highlights Include

  • Why have multi-elite party systems emerged in Western democracies?
  • Describes the divide between the "Brahmin Left" and "Merchant Right"
  • How do party systems differ between Western and Non-Western democracies?
  • Descriptions of party systems in India, Eastern Europe, and Brazil
  • Why have party systems changed?


Key Links

Political Cleavages and Social Inequalities. A Study of 50 Democracies, 1948-2020 edited by Amory Gethin, Clara Martinez-Toledano and Thomas Piketty

Follow Amory Gethin on Twitter @amorygethin

Learn more about Amory Gethin at his personal website


Democracy Paradox Podcast

James Loxton Explains Why Authoritarian Successor Parties Succeed in Democracies

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party

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Nov 16, 2021
Daniel Brinks on the Politics of Institutional Weakness
3157

We don't think about institutions until they fail and we think of institutions as being really strong when maybe they've never been challenged. They've never really tried to do anything.

Daniel Brinks

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of The Politics of Institutional Weakness in Latin America here.

Daniel Brinks joins the podcast to discuss his new book The Politics of Institutional Weakness in Latin America. He is the coeditor along with Steven Levitsky and María Victoria Murillo. Dan is a professor of Government and of Law at the University of Texas at Austin and a Senior Researcher & Global Scholar of the Centre on Law and Social Transformation.

Key Highlights

  • What is institutional weakness?
  • How does it differ from state capacity?
  • How does civil society affect political institutions?
  • What is the role of constitutions?
  • How do Presidential systems affect other political institutions?

Key Links

The Politics of Institutional Weakness in Latin America edited by Daniel M. Brinks, Steven Levitsky, and María Victoria Murillo

Department of Government at The University of Texas at Austin where Daniel Brinks teaches

Centre of Law and Social Transformation at the Christian Michelsen Institute in Norway where Daniel Brinks is a Senior Researcher & Global Scholar

Related Content

Donald Horowitz on the Formation of Democratic Constitutions

William G. Howell and Terry M. Moe on the Presidency

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100 Books on Democracy

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Nov 09, 2021
Elizabeth Perry and Grzegorz Ekiert on State-Mobilized Movements
3009

What we are doing in this volume is blurring the boundaries between this older conception of top-down mobilized movements and this newer conception of bottom-up organic, spontaneous civil society propelled movements and discovering that there's an awful lot in the middle there.

Elizabeth Perry

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Ruling by Other Means: State-Mobilized Movements here.

Elizabeth Perry and Grzegorz Ekiert join the podcast to discuss their new book Ruling by Other Means: State-Mobilized Movements (coedited with Xiaojun Yan). Elizabeth is the Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government at Harvard University and Director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute. Grzegorz is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Government at Harvard University and Director of Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies.

Key Highlights

  • What are state-mobilized movements?
  • Why do authoritarian regimes mobilize supporters?
  • The role of violence in state-mobilized movements
  • Why do people mobilize to support dictators?
  • What does it teach us about civil society?

 
Key Links

Ruling by Other Means: State-Mobilized Movements edited by Grzegorz Ekiert, Elizabeth J. Perry, and Yan Xiaojun

Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies 

Harvard-Yenching Institute 


Related Content

Erica Chenoweth on Civil Resistance

Jonathan Pinckney on Civil Resistance Transitions

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Nov 02, 2021
Susan Rose-Ackerman on the Role of the Executive in Four Different Democracies
2620

Many of these things that you and I are talking about are simply initiatives put forward by the chief executive or maybe by a cabinet minister. Something they want to do and rather than something that they're required to do. And it seems to me that that's a rather fragile base on which to build a more effective participatory process, which doesn't give up on the role of technocracy and expertise.

Susan Rose-Ackerman

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Democracy and Executive Power: Policymaking Accountability in the US, the UK, Germany, and France here.

Susan Rose-Ackerman joins the podcast to discuss her new book Democracy and Executive Power: Policymaking Accountability in the US, the UK, Germany, and France. Susan is the Henry R. Luce Professor Emeritus of Law and Political Science at Yale University.

Key Highlights Include

  • How have executives handled the pandemic
  • Differences between the executives of Germany, France, UK and US
  • How different executives make rules to implement public statutes
  • Description of deliberative democracy used in France to create environmental policies
  • Is the administrative state democratic


 Key Links

Democracy and Executive Power: Policymaking Accountability in the US, the UK, Germany, and France by Susan Rose-Ackerman

Susan Rose-Ackerman on Wikipedia

EPuM Interview with Susan Rose-Ackerman on YouTube


Related Content

Lee Drutman Makes the Case for Multiparty Democracy in America

William G. Howell and Terry M. Moe on the Presidency

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Oct 26, 2021
Tom Ginsburg Shares his Thoughts on Democracy and International Law
3079

At the end of the day, I am optimistic despite all the evidence. First of all, I think there are a lot of resources that democracies can use. A lot of areas of law, where as long as we recognize what it is we're fighting for, democracy is worth fighting for and have a common view as to what that means that we can advance it in many places, not just here but abroad. And this might sound a little hokey, but there really is a genuine human demand for freedom and that's not going away.

Tom Ginsburg

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Democracies and International Law here.

Tom Ginsburg is a professor of international law and political science at the University of Chicago. He is the coauthor of How to Save a Constitutional Democracy with Aziz Huq and the author of Democracies and International Law.

Key Highlights Include

  • How is international law made and enforced?
  • How do democracies approach international law differently than authoritarian regimes?
  • Is there a right to democracy?
  • Differences and similarities between the approach of China and the United States towards international law.
  • How do regional organizations support democratic norms?


Key Links

Democracies and International Law by Tom Ginsburg

Follow Tom Ginsburg on Twitter @tomginsburg

How to Save a Constitutional Democracy by Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Huq


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Charles Kupchan on America's Tradition of Isolationism

John Ikenberry on Liberal Internationalism

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100 Books on Democracy

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Oct 19, 2021
Robert Meister Believes Justice is an Option
3003

So, now I've developed a way of talking about revolution as an option that can't be exercised, but that still has present value and I've set up a mechanism for saying what that present value is. Namely the value of the liquidity premium that a democracy that consents to maintaining accumulated wealth can extract for guaranteeing that the wealth continues to accumulate.

Robert Meister

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Justice is an Option: A Democratic Theory of Finance for the Twenty-First Century  here.

Robert Meister is the author of the new book Justice is an Option: A Democratic Theory of Finance for the Twenty-First Century and a Professor of Social and Political Thought in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California Santa Cruz.

Key Highlights Include

  • What is historical justice?
  • An overview of financial terms
  • How is justice an option?
  • Is capitalism compatible with justice?
  • Will historical justice happen or is it just an option?


Key Links

Justice Is an Option: A Democratic Theory of Finance for the Twenty-First Century by Robert Meister

A Theory of Justice by John Rawls

Spheres of Justice by Michael Walzer

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Sheryl WuDunn Paints a Picture of Poverty in America and Offers Hope for Solutions

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party

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Democracy Group

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Oct 12, 2021
Martin Conway Believes "Democracy Owes its Durability Not to its Principles but to its Flexibility." Democracy in Western Europe from 1945 to 1968
3200

Where you and I and, I think, many others start from an assumption that somehow there is a thing called democracy and we sort of know what it is. But the diversity within democracy is far larger than that. You know, there's clear big institutional temperamental differences between visions of representatives ruling, people ruling, and so on. All these sorts of things are different models of democracy and therefore the word democracy in some respects becomes rather meaningless.

Martin Conway

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Western Europe’s Democratic Age: 1945—1968  here.

Martin Conway is the author of the new book Western Europe’s Democratic Age: 1945—1968 and a Professor of Contemporary European History at the University of Oxford.

Key Highlights Include

  • Why Democracy Became Part of Western Europe's Identity
  • How Democracy was a Process of Continual Negotiation
  • The Distinct Characteristics of Democracy in Western Europe
  • An Account of the Transition from the Fourth to the Fifth Republic in France
  • Lessons for Democracy Today from Western Europe's Past


Key Links

Western Europe's Democratic Age: 1945-1968  by Martin Conway

Learn more about Martin Conway at Balliol College at the University of Oxford

Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe  by Sheri Berman

Democracy Paradox Podcast

Kurt Weyland Distinguishes Between Fascism and Authoritarianism

Michael Hughes on the History of Democracy in Germany

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Oct 05, 2021
Donald Horowitz on the Formation of Democratic Constitutions
2966

The most beautiful thing that happened in Indonesia, by the way, which was a polarized society along religious lines more than anything else, was that by the end of the proceedings, everybody knew what everybody else's problems were, what everyone else's constituencies wanted. They knew if X noticed that Y was making a demand, before long X figured out what was behind the demand and why Y had to make it and whether it was a real demand or whether it was made just for the sake of being on record.

Donald Horowitz

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a short review of Constitutional Processes and Democratic Commitment here.

Donald Horowitz is the James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science Emeritus at Duke University.

Key Highlights Include

  • Accounts of constitutional formation in Tunisia, Indonesia, and Malaysia
  • The role of consensus
  • The challenges of negotiated constitutions
  • The need for an inclusive process
  • Why citizen participation is not always beneficial


Key Links

Constitutional Processes and Democratic Commitment  by Donald Horowitz

"Ethnic Power Sharing: Three Big Problems"  by Donald Horowitz in the Journal of Democracy

Reconsidering Democratic Transitions Francis Fukuyama, Donald Horowitz, Larry Diamond on YouTube


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Aldo Madariaga on Neoliberalism, Democratic Deficits, and Chile

Hélène Landemore on Democracy without Elections

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Sep 28, 2021
Guillermo Trejo and Sandra Ley on the Political Logic of Criminal Wars in Mexico
3201

Up to today, since the Mexican government deployed the military in 2006 up to the present, Mexico has experienced close to 200,000 battle deaths. That's roughly the number of battle deaths that took place in the civil war in Guatemala. So, the 36 year old civil war in Guatemala that produced approximately 200,000 battle deaths. That's where Mexico is right now.

Guillermo Trejo

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a brief primer on Mexican politics here.

Guillermo Trejo is an Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame. Sandra Ley is an Assistant Professor at CIDE’s Political Studies Division in Mexico City. They are the authors of Votes, Drugs, and Violence: The Political Logic of Criminal Wars in Mexico. 


Key Highlights Include

  • A vivid description of the effects of the criminal wars in Mexico
  • How autocracy allows for the proliferation of organized crime
  • Why Mexico remains an 'illiberal democracy'
  • How polarization exacerbated criminal violence in Mexico
  • The importance of deeper degrees of democratization


Key Links

Votes, Drugs, and Violence: The Political Logic of Criminal Wars in Mexico by Guillermo Trejo and Sandra Ley

Follow Guillermo Trejo on Twitter @Gtrejo29

Follow Sandra Ley on Twitter @sjleyg


Democracy Paradox Podcast

Michael Miller on the Unexpected Paths to Democratization

James Loxton Explains Why Authoritarian Successor Parties Succeed in Democracies

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100 Books on Democracy

 

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Sep 21, 2021
Rana Siu Inboden on China and the International Human Rights Regime
2970

Chinese participation in the human rights regime probably was never really intended to alter human rights so much in China that it would jeopardize the Chinese Communist Party’s hold on power. I think China, even if it may have been open to some areas of human rights, I think that we have to keep in mind that the full implementation of human rights including all of the elements of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would mean that political competition is allowed. And that's just not something I see the current Chinese regime allowing.

Rana Siu Inboden

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a brief primer on the human rights regime here.

Rana Siu Inboden  is a senior fellow with the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas–Austin. Her new book is China and the International Human Rights Regime: 1982-2017.

Key Highlights Include

  • What is the Human Rights Regime
  • China's Participation in the Human Rights Regime
  • How Tiananmen Changed China's View on Human Rights
  • What is the Like Minded Group
  • How China Views Human Rights


Key Links

China and the International Human Rights Regime: 1982-2017 by Rana Siu Inboden

China at the UN: Choking Civil Society by Rana Siu Inboden in Journal of Democracy

United Nations Human Rights Council

Related Content

Mareike Ohlberg on the Global Influence of the Chinese Communist Party

Xiaoyu Pu on China's Global Identities

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Sep 14, 2021
Timothy Frye Says Putin is a Weak Strongman
2885

Putin in the past could claim to have won at least an honest plurality, if not an honest majority of votes given his approval. However, in the upcoming election this fall, in September, it looks like the Kremlin has so restricted political competition that it's going to be a difficult sell to the Russian public to show that these elections are even as legitimate as the elections held in 2016 or in 2011.

Timothy Frye

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a brief primer on personalism here.

Timothy Frye is a Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy at Columbia University and a research director at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.

Key Highlights Include

  • Is Putin's popularity real?
  • Why Russia holds elections at all
  • Description of Russia as a personalist autocracy
  • How autocracy shapes Russia's foreign policy
  • What are the prospects for democratization in Russia



Key Links

Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin's Russia by Timothy Frye

Russia's Weak Strongman: The Perilous Bargains That Keep Putin in Power by Timothy Frye in Foreign Affairs

Follow Timothy Frye on Twitter @timothymfrye


Related Content

Kathryn Stoner on Russia's Economy, Politics, and Foreign Policy

Freedom House: Sarah Repucci Assesses Freedom in the World

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Sep 07, 2021
Kathryn Stoner on Russia's Economy, Politics, and Foreign Policy
2294

Biden's current policy is, you know, we want Putin to calm down, be stable for awhile and turn our focus to restraining China. I don't think that's going to happen. That's not in his interest to do that. So, I think taking our eye off Russia, underestimating it, is the biggest concern for the U.S. currently.

Kathryn Stoner

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a brief primer on Russia here.

Kathryn Stoner is a professor of political science at Stanford University. Her new book is Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order.

Key Highlights Include

  • A description of Russia's economy
  • An account of Russia's military reforms
  • Why Russia is in the Middle East
  • Explanation of Russia's foreign policy
  • Is a resurrected Russia a danger to the West?


Key Links

Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order by Kathryn Stoner

The Freeman Spogli Institute For International Studies

Follow Kathryn Stoner on Twitter @kath_stoner

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Timothy Frye Says Putin is a Weak Strongman

Bryn Rosenfeld on Middle Class Support for Dictators in Autocratic Regimes

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Aug 31, 2021
Karen Greenberg on the War on Terror, Donald Trump, and American Democracy
2689

It was an era in which lawmakers and office holders learned that imprecision could actually work to their benefit to allow them to do what they wanted to because there was unclear codification in the law. And so yes, everybody talks about, we have to revise this law or get rid of this law or replace this law. But I want to say, it's not about that. It's about what constitutes a legitimately written, voted upon law. And I think that's something we still haven't countered since 9/11.

Karen Greenberg

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a brief primer on the War on Terror here.

Karen Greenberg is the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law, a fellow at New America, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her new book is Subtle Tools: The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Donald Trump.

Key Highlights Include

  • The origin of the AUMF and the Department of Homeland Security
  • Karen Greenberg describes the subtle tools
  • The link between the War on Terror and President Trump
  • How will history view the 2020 election
  • Is the United States an illiberal democracy?


Key Links

Subtle Tools: The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Donald Trump by Karen Greenberg

Vital Interests Podcast with Karen Greenberg

Follow Karen Greenberg on Twitter @KarenGreenberg3

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Charles Kupchan on America's Tradition of Isolationism

Can America Preserve Democracy without Retreating from it? Robert C. Lieberman on the Four Threats

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Aug 24, 2021
Charles Kupchan on America's Tradition of Isolationism
3049

Beginning in the 1990s, and then really picking up after 9/11, the United States overreached ideologically by thinking it could turn Iraq and Afghanistan into Ohio. It overreached economically by throwing open the nation's doors and saying the more trade, the better. And suddenly, I think, Americans said to themselves and to their leaders, ‘Wait a minute. Too much world, not enough America.'

Charles Kupchan

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a brief primer on Isolationism here.

Charles Kupchan is a professor of international relations at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also the author of Isolationism: A History of America's Efforts to Shield Itself from the World.

Key Highlights Include

  • Isolationism's Place in America's National Identity
  • The Relationship Between Isolationism and American Exceptionalism
  • A Brief History of Isolationism in the United States
  • Similarities Between the Rise of China and the Early United States
  • Donald Trump and the Reemergence of Isolationism


Key Links

Isolationism: A History of America's Efforts to Shield Itself from the World by Charles Kupchan

Learn more about Charles Kupchan

"The Home Front: Why an Internationalist Foreign Policy Needs a Stronger Domestic Foundation" an article by Charles Kupchan in Foreign Affairs

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John Ikenberry on Liberal Internationalism

Alexander Cooley and Daniel Nexon on the End of American Hegemony

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Aug 17, 2021
Aldo Madariaga on Neoliberalism, Democratic Deficits, and Chile
2687

It's not just inequality of wealth. It is not just inequality of income, which is big. It's also inequality in terms of the geographical clustering of different strata of the population, of different people. It's inequality in life experiences. It's inequality in treatment. People felt mistreated by those in the upper echelons of society. So, it's not just money. It's also access to public goods, to certain spaces in the city, to education, unemployment benefits, and all sorts of things. But also, treatment.

Aldo Madariaga

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a brief primer on Neoliberalism here.

Aldo Madariaga is a Professor of Political Science at Universidad Diego Portales, and Associate Researcher at Center for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies (COES). He is also the author of Neoliberal Resilience: Lessons in Democracy and Development from Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Key Highlights Include

  • An Account of the Chilean Protests in 2019
  • Description of Neoliberalism as a Political Project
  • The Role of the State in Neoliberalism
  • How does Neoliberalism Shield its Policies from Democracy
  • Are Neoliberal Policies Fundamentally Undemocratic?


Key Links

Neoliberal Resilience: Lessons in Democracy and Development from Latin America and Eastern Europe by Aldo Madariaga

Learn more about Aldo Madariaga

Follow on Twitter @AldoMadariaga


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James Loxton Explains Why Authoritarian Successor Parties Succeed in Democracies

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party

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Democracy Group

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Aug 10, 2021
Roger Lee Huang on Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Tatmadaw
2824

I think this actually reflects why we've seen a coup now. Clearly, the coup has really brought serious economic devastation for the entire country and the military itself will also not benefit from this. And that to me is the key, because they're not primarily motivated just by economic incentives and spoils. As a systematic military institution, it is driven by their own identity. Their own perception of what the Myanmar modern nation state should look like.

Roger Lee Huang

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com or a brief primer on Myanmar here.

Roger Lee Huang is a lecturer in terrorism studies and political violence at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and the author of The Paradox of Myanmar’s Regime Change.

Key Highlights Include

  • A brief history of modern Myanmar (Burma)
  • Description of the Tatmadaw
  • A portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi
  • Why is the National League for Democracy (NLD) so popular
  • What are the prospects for democracy in Myanmar


Key Links

The Paradox of Myanmar's Regime Change by Roger Lee Huang

Myanmar’s Way to Genocide: The Rohingya Crisis in a Disciplined Democracy - Video Lecture by Roger Lee Huang

"The Generals Strike Back" by Zoltan Barany from Journal of Democracy


Related Content

Michael Miller on the Unexpected Paths to Democratization

Sebastian Strangio Explains the Relationship Between China and Southeast Asia

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Myanmar: A Podcast Primer

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Aug 03, 2021
Mallory SoRelle on the Politics of Consumer Credit
3027

Americans are expected to take on debt, because that's how we're expected to finance everything from basic needs to a college education. And that's a function of economic policy making. That doesn't happen by accident.

Mallory SoRelle

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Mallory SoRelle is an assistant professor of public policy at Duke University and the author of Democracy Declined: The Failed Politics of Consumer Financial Protection.

Key Highlights Include

  • How the American economy depends on credit
  • A brief history of consumer credit in America
  • Details why consumer debt is a systemic problem
  • Why financial consumers do not politically mobilize 
  • Explains how public policy shapes political behavior


Key Links

Democracy Declined: The Failed Politics of Consumer Financial Protection by Mallory SoRelle

Learn more about Mallory SoRelle

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


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Sheryl WuDunn Paints a Picture of Poverty in America and Offers Hope for Solutions

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

Email the show at democracyparadoxblog@gmail.com

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100 Books on Democracy

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Jul 27, 2021
David Stasavage on Early Democracy and its Decline
2737

This was not a phenomenon to one specific region. This was nothing that got invented in one place and at one time. It seems to have emerged independently in a wide, wide variety of human societies at different points in time. And to me, that sounds like something that occurs naturally.

David Stasavage

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

David Stasavage is the Dean of Social Sciences and a Professor of Politics at New York University. His latest book is called The Decline and Rise of Democracy.

Key Highlights Include

  • A description of early democracy with an example of the Huron people
  • Why autocracy arose through the example of Ancient China
  • How bureaucracy and the state changed governance
  • How English history shaped modern democracy
  • What modern democracy can learn from early forms of democracy


Key Links

The Decline and Rise of Democracy by David Stasavage

Learn more about David Stasavage

Follow David on Twitter @stasavage


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Daniel Carpenter Revisits the Petition in 19th Century America

Michael Hughes on the History of Democracy in Germany

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

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Jul 20, 2021
Christophe Jaffrelot on Narendra Modi and Hindu Nationalism
2988

The police is even acting directly against the minorities and the Delhi riots of 2020 showed that the police could be on their side in the street in their rioting activities. This is exactly the same in other BGP ruled states like Uttar Pradesh. Now you have indeed a kind of new shift, if you want. It's not only with the blessing of the state. It’s also with the active participation of the state.

Christophe Jaffrelot

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Christophe Jaffrelot is a director of research at Sciences Po and a professor of Indian politics and sociology at King’s College. His latest book is Modi's India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy.

Key Highlights Include

  • Description of Hindutva or Hindu Nationalism
  • A brief account of the RSS
  • An account of the Ayodhya Temple Controversy
  • Explains how Narendra Modi came to power
  • Prospects for the future of Indian democracy


Key Links

Modi's India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy by Christophe Jaffrelot

"Toward a Hindu State" by Christophe Jaffrelot in the Journal of Democracy

Follow Christophe on Twitter @jaffrelotc


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Freedom House: Sarah Repucci Assesses Freedom in the World

Kajri Jain Believes Democracy Unfolds through the Aesthetic

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Apes of the State created all Music

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Jul 13, 2021
Jan-Werner Müller on Democracy Rules
2891

It really matters how you set up conflict and how you talk about the issue and above all how you talk about your adversary. That's where I see the decisive difference between those who tend to invoke the people, the common good and et cetera, in a way that is compatible with democracy and then those who talk in a way that, ultimately, is bound to be dangerous for democracy.

Jan-Werner Müller

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Jan is a professor of Social Sciences at Princeton University. He is the author of the books What is Populism? and Democracy Rules.

Key Highlights Include

  • What does it mean to be undemocratic in a democracy
  • Why populism threatens democracy
  • Role of conflict in democracy
  • What is militant democracy and is it democratic
  • Role of the majority and opposition in democracy


 Key Links

Democracy Rules by Jan-Werner Müller

What is Populism? by Jan-Werner Müller

"False Flags" from Foreign Affairs by Jan-Werner Müller


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Chris Bickerton Defines Technopopulism

Zizi Papacharissi Dreams of What Comes After Democracy

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Jul 06, 2021
Dorothy Sue Cobble on the Full Rights Feminists
3042

They wanted the full array of rights. Political rights, yes, they were active in the suffrage movement, but they also wanted economic rights and social rights. They wanted to lessen inequalities. They also wanted the rights of mothers and of children advanced.

Dorothy Sue Cobble

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Dorothy Sue Cobble is the Distinguished Professor of History and Labor Studies Emerita at Rutgers University and the author of For the Many: American Feminists and the Global Fight for Democratic Equality.

Key Highlights Include

  • Dorothy explains who the full rights feminists were and what they advocated for
  • Profiles of full rights feminists like Frances Perkins
  • How full rights feminism influenced the New Deal
  • A brief history of the conflicts between full rights feminists and equal rights feminists over the Equal Rights Amendment
  • A profile of early Japanese feminist Tanaka Taka


Key Links

For the Many: American Feminists and the Global Fight for Democratic Equality by Dorothy Sue Cobble

Visit Dorothy at www.dorothysuecobble.com

Learn about the Triangle Shirtwaist Workers Strike

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Derek W. Black Says Public Education Represents the Idea of America... Not its Reality

Barbara Freese on Corporate Denial

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Jun 29, 2021
Freedom House: Sarah Repucci Assesses Freedom in the World
2609

Democracy is about more than elections. Election day is very important, but what is happening in the country every other day is an integral part to what a democracy is and if you think about the fundamental freedoms that we think of in our own democracy: free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association and assembly, also things like the independence of the judiciary, these are all things that are on the civil liberties side.

Sarah Repucci

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Sarah Repucci is the Vice President of Research and Analysis at Freedom House and coauthor (alongside  Amy Slipowitz) of the executive summary of the report Freedom in the World 2021: Democracy Under Siege.

* Note * Sarah's mic died early in the interview. The audio quality is not bad, but will sound different. Hopefully it does not take away from the quality of the interview.

Key Highlights Include

  • Why democracy continues its steady decline
  • The influence of China and the U.S. on global democracy
  • The role of civil liberties in democracy
  • Impact of the pandemic on democracy
  • Discussion of democracy in India, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, and the United States


Key Links

Read the landmark report from Freedom House Freedom in the World 2021: Democracy Under Siege

Visit Freedom House online at www.freedomhouse.org

Follow Freedom House on Twitter @freedomhouse


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Michael Miller on the Unexpected Paths to Democratization

Thomas Carothers and Andrew O'Donohue are Worried About Severe Polarization

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Jun 22, 2021
Michael Miller on the Unexpected Paths to Democratization
2734

So many cases of democratization start with these episodes and this period of elite political violence where the initial stages of it have nothing to do with democratization. People are not aiming for that. People are barely even thinking about it. It's all about this elite political struggle and out of that chaos a bit later you get democracy.

Michael Miller

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Michael Miller is a professor of political science and international relations at George Washington University and the author of the forthcoming book Shock to the System: Coups, Elections, and War on the Road to Democratization.

Key Highlights Include

  • How violent shocks like coups and civil wars create openings for democratization
  • Why autocratic ruling parties continue to win elections in democracies
  • The role for democratic activists in the democratization process
  • Discussions on possibilities for democracy in China, Belarus, and Myanmar.
  • Mike offers a blueprint for an unconventional approach for democracy promotion

 Key Links

Shock to the System: Coups, Elections, and War on the Road to Democratization by Michael K. Miller

Follow Michael on Twitter @mkmdem

Learn more about Michael's work

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James Loxton Explains Why Authoritarian Successor Parties Succeed in Democracies

Elizabeth Nugent on Polarization, Democratization and the Arab Spring

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Jun 15, 2021
Daniel Carpenter Revisits the Petition in 19th Century America
2807

The idea of a political system is not simply to be efficient. It's to have justice. It's to have the idea that anybody can come to the seat of power and say, 'Here are my grievances,' and that doesn't mean that by making that claim, they will get exactly what they want. But it does mean that they will get a hearing and in that notion, I think, lies again, a certain part of democracy that is not reduceable just to elections.

Daniel Carpenter

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Dan Carpenter is the Allie S. Freed professor of Government at Harvard University and the author of Democracy by Petition: Popular Politics in Transformation, 1790-1870.

Key Highlights Include

  • A history of petitions in the 19th century including an account of the gag rule.
  • The role of petitions in the mobilization of women, Native Americans, the Whig Party, and the antislavery movement
  • How did petitions contribute to democratization of America in the 19th century
  • What would Congress look like if we still had 'petition days'
  • What can we learn from the era of petition politics


Key Links

Democracy by Petition: Popular Politics in Transformation, 1790-1870 by Daniel Carpenter

"The Menthol Cigarette Ban Shows There Is No Democracy Without Petitions," by Daniel Carpenter, Boston Review

"Robust Claims of Vast Lawlessness" from Lapham's Quarterly by Daniel Carpenter

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Can America Preserve Democracy without Retreating from it? Robert C. Lieberman on the Four Threats

Derek W. Black Says Public Education Represents the Idea of America... Not its Reality

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Out of Order from the German Marshall Fund

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Jun 08, 2021
Sebastian Strangio Explains the Relationship Between China and Southeast Asia
2701

The experience of Western colonization has imprinted all of these nations in profound ways and it's tended to inculcate a sort of skepticism about Western invocations of democracy and the rule of law. China, of course, shares a similar skepticism. China was also not formerly colonized, or not fully colonized by Western powers, but it experienced what the Chinese communist party likes to term a century of humiliation.  And so, both regions share an abiding ambivalence about the current international order.

Sebastian Strangio

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Sebastian Strangio is the Southeast Asia Editor at The Diplomat and the author of In the Dragon's Shadow: Southeast Asia in the Chinese Century.

Key Highlights Include

  • Sebastian explains the economic, political, and cultural ties between China and Southeast Asia
  • An overview of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  • An explanation of the South China Sea dispute
  • Distinguishes between maritime and mainland nations in Southeast Asia
  • China's approach to Southeast Asia under Xi Jinping


Key Links

In the Dragon's Shadow: Southeast Asia in the Chinese Century by Sebastian Strangio

www.thediplomat.com

www.sebastianstrangio.com

Related Content

Mareike Ohlberg on the Global Influence of the Chinese Communist Party

Xiaoyu Pu on China's Global Identities

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

On Opinion: The Parlia Podcast

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Jun 01, 2021
Can America Preserve Democracy without Retreating from it? Robert C. Lieberman on the Four Threats
2918

Racism and racial conflict are always there, always a powerful and important part of American politics. But when they combine with polarization, with this kind of partisan antagonism, and when that becomes the dividing line between the parties, that's really dangerous. That's what happened in the 1850s. It led to civil war. That's what happened in the 1890s. It led to violent conflict and mass disenfranchisement. And it's happening again today.

Robert C. Lieberman

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Key Highlights Include

  • An account of the 1898 insurrection in Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • Is polarization the fault of both sides or is one party responsible?
  • How the election of 1896 affected American democracy.
  • How polarization, conflicts over who belongs, rising economic inequality, and executive aggrandizement interact to threaten democracy in the United States.
  • Does the preservation of democracy really require democratic backsliding?


Robert Lieberman is a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University and  coauthored Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy with Suzanne Mettler.

Key Links

Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy by Robert C. Lieberman and Suzanne Mettler

"Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation" by John Lewis in The New York Times

Follow Rob Lieberman on Twitter @r_lieberman

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Derek W. Black Says Public Education Represents the Idea of America... Not its Reality

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

The Science of Politics

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100 Books on Democracy

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May 25, 2021
Kurt Weyland Distinguishes Between Fascism and Authoritarianism
3237

In the 19th century Europe had thought that they had moved towards liberalism, enlightenment, rationality, progress, that stuff like mass warfare was over and it wouldn't come back. And then you have four years of senseless, mass slaughter, they just totally destroyed or challenged those ideas of humankind getting better off, progress of humankind getting more civilized. In retrospect, it's hard to imagine the coincidence of deep challenges and crises that wrecked the interwar years.

Kurt Weyland

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Key Highlights Include

  • Kurt clarifies the concept of totalitarian fascism from conservative authoritarianism
  • A description of the political environment of the interwar period
  • Why did authoritarians disliked communism and fascism?
  • Why did fascism emerge during this period?
  • Is there a parallel between the interwar period to today?


Kurt Weyland is a professor of political science at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of the new book Assault on Democracy: Communism, Fascism, and Authoritarianism During the Interwar Years.

Key Links

Assault on Democracy: Communism, Fascism, and Authoritarianism During the Interwar Years by Kurt Weyland

"The Real Lessons of the Interwar Years" by Agnes Cornell, Jørgen Møller, Svend-Erik Skaaning in Journal of Democracy, July 2017

Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation by Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan

Related Content

Agnes Cornell and Svend-Erik Skaaning on the Interwar Period

Paul Robinson on Russian Conservatism

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Another Way Podcast

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May 18, 2021
James Loxton Explains Why Authoritarian Successor Parties Succeed in Democracies
3284

They really view their history as one of victimization, one of struggle and even martyrdom. ARENA had multiple leaders assassinated. Again, that version of history that I just told you, that's not necessarily my view. But I do actually believe that that is their sincere belief and it makes for a really compelling founding myth if you will. And I think that founding myth has helped to hold both parties together right up until the present day.

James Loxton

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Key Highlights Include

  • Why do voters elect leaders with ties to former dictators?
  • Description of authoritarian successor parties
  • Challenges for conservative party formation
  • A brief history of the UDI in Chile and ARENA in El Salvador
  • The role of counterrevolutionary struggle


Key Links

Conservative Party-Building in Latin America: Authoritarian Inheritance and Counterrevolutionary Struggle by James Loxton

"Authoritarian Successor Parties" by James Loxton in Journal of Democracy, July 2015

Visit James at www.jamesloxton.net

Related Content

Bryn Rosenfeld on Middle Class Support for Dictators in Autocratic Regimes

Amy Erica Smith on Politics and Religion in Brazil

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Democracy Group

Apes of the State created all Music

Democracy Matters Podcast

Email the show at democracyparadoxblog@gmail.com

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100 Books on Democracy

May 11, 2021
Derek W. Black Says Public Education Represents the Idea of America... Not its Reality
3115

I find it hard to believe, without a lot more justification than they're offering that somehow that there's this new secret sauce to opportunity and equality and democracy that does not involve public education as the fundamental pillar. So you have people arguing that it's not. They're not saying we want to destroy democracy, but I'm saying, you as reader, you as listeners, need to think about the long-term consequences of shrinking the public education footprint and moving back into a siloed or a fiefdom or a private system that resembles our darkest days.

Derek W. Black

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Key Highlights Include

  • Derek explains the case for a right to education.
  • A brief history of public education in the United States
  • How the NAACP used the language of democracy in their litigation for school desegregation
  • Why vouchers and charter schools threaten public education
  • Finally, the intersection of public education and democracy runs throughout the conversation


Key Links

Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and the Assault on American Democracy by Derek W. Black

San Antonio Independent School District et. al. v. Rodriguez

Follow Derek W. Black @DerekWBlack

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Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party

Carolyn Hendriks, Selen Ercan and John Boswell on Mending Democracy

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Swamp Stories

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May 04, 2021
Sheryl WuDunn Paints a Picture of Poverty in America and Offers Hope for Solutions
2838

That's why all Americans should care. Because the cost of poverty is not just the cost to that person who is in poverty. It's a cost to all of society. We're all paying for people being jailed. We're all paying for extra costs in the legal system, in the police force, in the healthcare system.

Sheryl WuDunn

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Key Highlights Include

  • Stories of Poverty and Inequality in America
  • Challenges in America in Education, Health, and Well-Being
  • Impact of Poverty on Children with an Explanation of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Collective Responsibility to Solve Social Problems
  • Rethinking of Social Programs as Investments Rather than Outlays


Sheryl WuDunn is a pulitzer prize winning reporter, business executive, and the author of Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope (along with her husband Nicholas Kristof).

Key Links

Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof

Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope - PBS Documentary Presented by Show of Force

Follow Sheryl on Twitter @WuDunn

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Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party

Zizi Papacharissi Dreams of What Comes After Democracy

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Apr 27, 2021
Mike Hoffman on How Religious Identities Influence Support for or Opposition to Democracy
3253

Doctrine is actually often a lot looser and more subject to interpretation than we tend to assume and the way that the doctrine gets interpreted is often partially a function of group interests themselves. If you have a religious group in a given country that believes it would benefit from democracy, it's pretty likely that that group will find a way to interpret and frame its doctrine in a way that supports democracy.

- Mike Hoffman

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Key Highlights Include

  • Role of Religion in Identity Formation
  • How Communal Prayer Shapes Religious Identity
  • Ways Group Interests Shape Perspectives on Democracy
  • Description of Lebanon's Political System
  • Why Some Groups Oppose Democracy

Mike Hoffman is a professor of political science at Notre Dame and the author of Faith in Numbers: Religion, Sectarianism, and Democracy.

Key Links

Faith in Numbers: Religion, Sectarianism, and Democracy by Michael Hoffman

Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

Patterns of Democracy by Arend Lijphart

Related Content

Elizabeth Nugent on Polarization, Democratization and the Arab Spring

Bryn Rosenfeld on Middle Class Support for Dictators in Autocratic Regimes

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Democracy Works

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Apr 20, 2021
Shari Davis Elevates Participatory Budgeting
3178

Participatory budgeting is actually about connecting folks with the skills and resources to navigate and shape government. And so, for me, that is the most optimistic and the most important outcome of any participatory budgeting process.

Shari Davis

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Key Highlights Include

  • A walk through the process of participatory budgeting with an example
  • The history of participatory budgeting around the world
  • An example of participatory budgeting in China
  • The Role of Art in Democracy
  • Next steps for Participatory Budgeting

Shari Davis leads the Participatory Budget Project as its Executive Director. They have over 15 years working in local government beginning in high school. And not long ago they were honored as an Obama Fellow.

Key Links

Participatory Budgeting Project

Democracy Beyond Elections

"Why is Democracy Performing so Poorly" by Francis Fukuyama

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Hélène Landemore on Democracy without Elections

Carolyn Hendriks, Selen Ercan and John Boswell on Mending Democracy

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How Do We Fix It?

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Apr 13, 2021
Chris Bickerton Defines Technopopulism
2602

That tension between the politics of the whole and the politics of the part, that tension between the politics of generality and the politics of particularity, is really at the heart of party democracy. What we are sort of trying to capture, I suppose, with technopopulism is to think of a form of politics where that tension has simply gone.

Chris Bickerton

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Key Highlights Include

- Chris describes Technopopulism through an explanation of the Five Star Movement in Italy

- We discuss how populists and technologists consider expertise

- How technopopulism is different from classic interest-based politics

- We discuss ANO and the Pirate Party in the Czech Republic

- Barak Obama is analyzed in the lens of technopopulism

- Chris explains how he thinks we can move beyond technopopulism

Chris Bickerton is a reader of of Modern European Politics at the University of Cambridge. Alongside Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, he is the coauthor of Technopopulism: The New Logic of Democratic Politics.  He is also a frequent panelist on Talking Politics.

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Let's Find Common Ground

Key Links

Technopopulism: The New Logic of Democratic Politics by Christopher Bickerton and Carlo Invernizzi Accetti

"Understanding the Illiberal Turn: Democratic Backsliding in the Czech Republic" by Seán Hanley and Milada Anna Vachudova

Five Star Movement at Wikipedia

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Chad Alan Goldberg on the Wisconsin Idea and the Role of the Public University in a Democracy

Thomas Carothers and Andrew O'Donohue are Worried About Severe Polarization

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Apr 06, 2021
Ross Benes on Nebraska and Rural Conservatism
2751

The legislature is one of several examples of our history of being independent which is why I think it was such an important story to tell of Nebraska becoming like baptized into Republican orthodoxy. Because seeing that shift. That it wasn't always that way. We founded Arbor day in this state, we settle a lot of refugees per capita, we increased minimum wage, and Medicaid through ballot measures recently. We do stuff like that.
- Ross Benes

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Red states and blue states. Republicans and Democrats. Rural and urban. Polarization. It is a term often heard about American politics. Most states find their politics lean heavily toward one party or the other. And Nebraska is no different. It is a very conservative state so it makes sense for it to elect Republicans.

But not too long ago Democrats competed for state offices. In fact, Nebraska had at least one Democratic Senator from 1977 until 2012. It’s really only been the last ten years where Democrats could not compete in the state. 

Of course, the Democrats it elected were about as conservative as many Republicans. But Nebraska also has a history of progressive reforms. In fact, it was often rural America who championed many of the progressive ideas in the early twentieth century. 

This realization has caused me to go through a variety of different counterfactuals. Like why are rural Americans conservative and urban Americans liberal? Is there a scenario where this is reversed? I’m not looking to rewrite history. I just want to understand how politics change over time. And maybe where it is going next. Because history shows some of the things we take for granted have not always been that way. 

My guest Ross Benes grew up in Nebraska before moving to New York City. He has the kind of expat perspective that has given so many writers both clarity and insight. His recent book is Rural Rebellion: How Nebraska Became a Republican Stronghold

Ross and I, we discuss why Democrats no longer compete in Nebraska. But I don’t want anyone to think Nebraska has to elect Democrats to prove their commitment to democracy. That’s not the point. Nebraska is one of many states with very little genuine competition between parties for statewide office. My concern is effective governance needs a range of perspectives to succeed. And this problem is not unique to Nebraska nor are many liberal states immune. 

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Our Body Politic


Key Links

Rural Rebellion: How Nebraska Became a Republican Stronghold by Ross Benes

Fighting Liberal by George Norris

The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker by Katherine Cramer

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Chad Alan Goldberg on the Wisconsin Idea and the Role of the Public University in a Democracy

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party

Rural Consciousness as Political Identity

Mar 30, 2021
Chad Alan Goldberg on the Wisconsin Idea and the Role of the Public University in a Democracy
3201

They had an obligation to take the knowledge that they were developing, to take their expertise and put it in the service of the community as a whole and the service of its elected leaders.

Chad Alan Goldberg

A Fulll Transcript is Available at www.democracyparadox.com.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Wisconsin was at the forefront of the Progressive Movement. Wisconsin adopted the first modern state income tax. It initiated the first workers’ compensation plan. It enacted the first unemployment insurance program. Wisconsin even spearheaded important constitutional reforms like the direct election of Senators. UW Madison Professor Patrick Brenzel explains, “To say that Wisconsin was known nationally for transparent and egalitarian government is an understatement.”

These reforms were the product of a relationship between the public university, legislators, and other stakeholders. It is known as the Wisconsin Idea. The Wisconsin Idea is a belief the public university has a role to contribute its research to the service of the state. A common motto is “The boundaries of the university are the boundaries of the state.” 

The Wisconsin Idea remains central to the mission of the University of Wisconsin system to this day, but has become the subject of attacks from conservatives in recent years. Among the many efforts by Scott Walker to dismantle the administrative state included an attempt to remove the Wisconsin Idea from the university charter. It failed, but it highlights how there is a genuine debate about the role of public universities. 

Chad Alan Goldberg has been at the forefront of the effort to defend the Wisconsin Idea in recent years. He is a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin Madison and the editor of the volume Education for Democracy: Renewing the Wisconsin Idea. This book features chapters from many leading scholars in a variety of disciplines including Kathy Cramer. 

Our conversation discusses some of the history behind the Wisconsin Idea. But it is really about the role of the public university. How is a public university different from a private university? Why does the public support universities? And how does a public university help to shape democracy? These are important questions I never thought to ask, but will mean a lot as we work to renew democracy.

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Politics in Question

Key Links

Education for Democracy: Renewing the Wisconsin Idea

The Wisconsin Idea by Charles McCarthy

The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker by Katherine Cramer

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Ryan Salzman is an Evangelist for Placemaking

Zizi Papacharissi Dreams of What Comes After Democracy

Thoughts on John Dewey's Democracy and Education

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Mar 23, 2021
Elizabeth Nugent on Polarization, Democratization and the Arab Spring
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The focus on the individual people involved in this moment and their preexisting relationships for me is a new way of thinking about democratic transitions. Because I think we see how much these personal relationships and personal histories matter for whether or not they can make these really big, important decisions at a moment of very high stress, very little information.

Elizabeth Nugent

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Elizabeth Nugent believes political polarization derailed Egyptian democratization, while the lack of severe polarization has allowed Tunisian democracy to survive. But what makes her work remarkable is she argues Egyptian polarization was the outcome of targeted repression under authoritarian rule. At the same time, Tunisia avoided polarization because repression was more widespread. Stop and think about this for a moment. Tunisian democracy succeeds today because of a legacy of widespread, indiscriminate repression. It affected everyone so opposition groups learned to work together and even sympathized with one another. 

This is a truly counterintuitive insight. But it makes so much sense at the same time. Liz Nugent’s new book is After Repression: How Polarization Derails Democratic Transition. She is an assistant professor at Yale University with a focus on Middle Eastern politics. Her book uses the cases of Egypt and Tunisia to explain her ideas, but her thoughts on polarization will make waves as they are used in other contexts. 

Our conversation discusses Tunisia and Egypt. We also talk about how polarization affects democratization. But I find it most interesting how Liz emphasizes the political process requires real relationships with real people. She reminds us a very human element is necessary for democracy and democratization. 

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Democracy in Danger

Key Links

Elizabeth Nugent's Home Page

After Repression: How Polarization Derails Democratic Transition

Yale MacMillan Center Council on Middle East Studies

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Thomas Carothers and Andrew O'Donohue are Worried About Severe Polarization

Jonathan Pinckney on Civil Resistance Transitions

Thoughts on Samuel Huntington's The Third Wave

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Mar 16, 2021
Ryan Salzman is an Evangelist for Placemaking
3086

Like so many things we're coming to grips with now in the 21st century, we're realizing that the 20th century was the anomaly. We feel like what was happening in the first 20 years of the 21st century that that was the anomaly. But it's not. The 20th century was the anomaly. And there's a temptation among policymakers to say, ‘But this is how it's always been.’ No. Wrong.

Ryan Salzman

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

I live in Carmel, Indiana and in May The Farmers’ Market opens. It’s in a small public space between a concert hall called The Palladium and the Booth Tarkington Theatre. The Monon Bike Trail runs alongside it and there is bike parking sponsored by the Mayor’s Youth Council. Live bands play in the center of the market. In the winter, the same space is used for an n outdoor ice skating rink surrounded by a German Christkindlmarkt. This is what Ryan Salzman describes as placemaking. 

Placemaking does not just transform public spaces. It expands them. Placemaking changes how we experience our community and establishes new landmarks. And whether we want to admit it or not, this is political. Placemaking involves the creation and distribution of public goods. 

Local governments make decisions over whether to embrace or prevent placemaking. For example, teenagers can paint a beautiful mural on a public building. Elected officials will decide whether to send a thank you or a citation. 

Ryan Salzman has studied the phenomenon of placemaking in his home of Bellevue, Kentucky and in other communities across the United States. He is a professor of political science at Northern Kentucky University and the author of Pop-Up Civics in 21st Century America: Understanding the Political Potential of Placemaking. He has experienced placemaking as an academic, an elected city councilman, and an active participant. 

Ryan’s work caught my attention because it examines local engagement through a novel lens. It considers political behavior that the participants probably don’t realize is political. It moves beyond theories of deliberative and direct democracy to consider ways everyday citizens produce meaningful action. Ryan and I have a light hearted conversation. But I don’t want to overlook the significant implications of placemaking for political science and political theory. I am excited for Ryan to share his stories and ideas. So it’s about time I introduce you to Ryan Salzman…

Key Links

Pop-Up Civics in 21st Century America: Understanding the Political Potential of Placemaking

Black Lives Matter Mural in Cincinnati, Ohio

ArtPlace America

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Carolyn Hendriks, Selen Ercan and John Boswell on Mending Democracy

Thoughts on Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone

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Mar 09, 2021
Kajri Jain Believes Democracy Unfolds through the Aesthetic
3430

"We don’t pay enough attention to the sensory aspects of what it means to be equal. That’s what it fundamentally is. That’s the presupposition of democracy. Not the goal. The presupposition is that we are equal, but does our comportment reinforce that or does it re-institute hierarchies."

Kajri Jain

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

This week’s guest is Kajri Jain. She is an art historian from the University of Toronto and the author of Gods in the Time of Democracy. Her work is well known among scholars of contemporary Indian art. But I doubt many political scientists have come across her work.

Our conversation explores politics in India through the construction of massive statues that are sometimes the size of the Statue of Liberty or taller. It’s a completely novel way to examine Hindu Nationalism, Dalit identity, and religion in India.

But the conversation also explores the ways we communicate political ideas and create an inclusive democracy. Art is ultimately a form of communication, but it is largely neglected by scholars of democracy. We might discuss what people say about art, but rarely how the art interacts with us. This is a conversation I could only have with an art historian. But not just any art historian, but one who is also a philosopher and a religious scholar. An art historian who examines people affected by art more than the art itself. This is my conversation with Kajri Jain…

Key Links

Gods in the Time of Democracy

Statue of Unity

Kajri Jain at University of Toronto

Key Content

Thomas Carothers and Andrew O'Donohue are Worried About Severe Polarization

Yael Tamir on Nationalism

Thoughts on Jürgen Habermas' The Inclusion of the Other

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Mar 02, 2021
Nic Cheeseman and Gabrielle Lynch on the Moral Economy of Elections in Africa
2733

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

It’s common for Westerners to lecture Africans about democracy. Most Africans will admit their different political systems have many problems. Money is exchanged for votes, elections are rigged, and sometimes violence even breaks out. But the challenges African countries face in the process of democratization are not absent in the rest of the world.

The 2020 American Presidential Election exposed many problems in the United States. The storming of the American capital proved that even violence is possible in the world’s oldest democracy. My point here is not to disparage American democracy, but to recognize every nation has a lot to learn. 

Nic Cheeseman and Gabrielle Lynch along with Justin Willis offer us an opportunity to consider democracy in an unfamiliar context. Their examination of Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda allow us to identity universal aspirations and ideals citizens hold in very different settings. But it’s not the differences which I believe are important. It’s their similarities. 

Nic, Gabrielle, and Justin are the authors of the book The Moral Economy of Elections in Africa: Democracy, Voting, and Virtue. Nic is the kind of political science rock star who gets quoted in The Economist. He is among the foremost experts on democracy in Africa, a professor of political science and democracy at the University of Birmingham in the UK, and the co-editor of the website Democracy in Africa. Gabrielle Lynch is a professor of comparative politics at the University of Warwick. 

I invited Nic and Gabrielle to discuss their new book, because their research is always informative, not just because it exposes us to another part of the world, but because they are able to draw connections to larger ideas from their experiences. This is a conversation about Africa. This is a conversation about democracy. This is my conversation with Nic Cheeseman and Gabrielle Lynch…

Music from Apes of the State.

Key Content

www.democracyinafrica.org

Ghana: The Ebbing Power of Incumbency

The Moral Economy of Elections in Africa

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Winston Mano on Social Media and Politics in Africa... And what America can Learn from Africa about Democracy

Thomas Carothers and Andrew O'Donohue are Worried About Severe Polarization

Thoughts on Brian Klaas and Nic Cheeseman's How to Rig an Election

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Feb 23, 2021
Thomas Carothers and Andrew O'Donohue are Worried About Severe Polarization
3253

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

My thoughts on polarization have changed over the past few years. On the one hand, polarization can be a danger to democracy. Milan Svolik among others have shown how strong ideological positions lead some voters to support leaders they know are undemocratic. Moreover, democracy depends on the willingness of both parties to make compromises to govern effectively. 

But on the other hand, there are issues where compromise itself is undemocratic. How do you compromise on the right to vote? Is it polarizing to refuse to waiver on issues of human rights? What about the rule of law? Sometimes compromise does not protect democracy, but endangers it.

A lot of intelligent people have strong opinions about polarization. But few of them have thought deeply about the subject or read much of the literature. It’s a complicated subject. Last year Ezra Klein published a surprising book called Why We’re Polarized. It’s actually an impressive work of scholarship from someone who does not consider himself a scholar. But when he says “we’re polarized” he refers to an American experience. He largely ignores the polarization around the world in places like Venezuela, Poland, and India. 

So I reached out to Thomas Carothers and Andrew O’Donohue because I wanted to better understand polarization not just in the United States but as a wider global phenomenon. Tom and Andrew are the editors of s remarkable volume called Democracies Divided from 2019. Last year they published a supplement called Political Polarization in South and Southeast Asia: Old Divisions, New Dangers. Tom is the Senior Vice President for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is a legendary scholar in the field of democracy promotion. Andrew is a nonresident assistant at Carnegie as well. He is also in the PhD program in Harvard’s Department of Government. 

Together they offer reflections on polarization in different contexts. They help explain how each is different and where they commonalities. Most of all this broader examination helps us think about polarization in very different ways.

Email me at democracyparadoxblog@gmail.com
Follow me on Twitter @DemParadox

Key Links

Democracies Divided: The Global Challenge of Political Polarization

Political Polarization in South and Southeast Asia: Old Divisions, New Dangers

Rejuvenating Democracy Promotion

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Can Democracy Survive the Internet? Nate Persily and Josh Tucker on Social Media and Democracy

Lee Drutman Makes the Case for Multiparty Democracy in America

Thoughts on Chantal Mouffe's On the Political

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Feb 16, 2021
Can Democracy Survive the Internet? Nate Persily and Josh Tucker on Social Media and Democracy
2852

A complete transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Over the past ten years social media has reshaped politics. Fake news and political disinformation have become a part of the political discourse. But social media has also brought about meaningful change through the #metoo and #blacklivesmatter movements. 

Social media has allowed dissident voices to express themselves in authoritarian regimes, but it has also given a platform to anti-democratic views in Western Nations. It has reawakened our sense of fairness, while it has brought to light some of our darkest demons. In the final analysis, social media is both a problem and an opportunity. And your outlook probably depends on the last headline you saw on Twitter or Facebook. 

Nate Persily and Josh Tucker are at the forefront of conversations on the role of social media in politics and its influence on democracy. Nate is a professor of law at Stanford, but also has a PhD in political science. He has long been an expert in election law, but has also become among the foremost scholars on the politics of social media and the internet. Among his many roles, he is the co-director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center. 

Josh is a professor of political science at NYU. He specializes in post-communist politics and is the Director of NYU’s Jordan Center for Advanced Study of Russia. But he is also a faculty director at the Center for Social Media and Politics. 

Together Nate and Josh edited a volume called Social Media and Democracy: The State of the Field and Prospects for Reform. It is available to download on the Cambridge University Press website. I highly encourage policymakers, researchers, and anyone who is curious to take a look. It features important contributions from well-known scholars such as Francis Fukuyama and Pablo Barberá on a wide range of relevant topics. 

In this conversation you will learn why Nate and Josh are at the forefront of research on social media. They rattle off multiple studies their teams conducted that produced groundbreaking research. Now, I have read many articles about the ways social media influences politics, but this is my first podcast where I really grapple with the challenges of the internet. I was fortunate to do so with two of the field’s most important researchers today.

Key Links

"Can Democracy Survive the Internet?"

"From Liberation to Turmoil"

Securing American Elections: Prescriptions for Enhancing the Integrity and Independence of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election and Beyond

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Zizi Papacharissi Dreams of What Comes After Democracy

Winston Mano on Social Media and Politics in Africa... And what America can Learn from Africa about Democracy

Thoughts on Cristina Flesher Fominaya's Democracy Reloaded

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Feb 09, 2021
Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party
2933

A transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Democracy depends on distinctions between political parties. Every election they offer clear choices on economic proposals. In recent years, cultural issues have added a new dimension to the polarization of American politics. 

But the 2020 election added a dangerous dimension to the political divide. The Republican Party has begun to question the integrity of elections and the value of democracy itself. It is not clear how far the Republican Party intends to widen this issue, but the ramifications are dangerous for constitutional government. 

So how did we get to this point? Has the Republican Party radically transformed after four years of Donald Trump or has this been the inevitable trajectory of Republican policies and ideology?

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson have studied the Republican Party for two decades. In their book Let them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality they consider how conservative economic policies have shifted the Republican Party further to the right on issues related to economics, race, and democracy itself. 

Jacob Hacker is a professor of political science at Yale University and Paul Pierson is a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. We discuss the relationship between inequality and democracy, American politics, and the possibilities for change in the Republican Party.

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Lee Drutman Makes the Case for Multiparty Democracy in America

William G. Howell and Terry M. Moe on the Presidency

Thoughts on Jonathan Hopkin's Anti-System Politics 

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Feb 02, 2021
Bryn Rosenfeld on Middle Class Support for Dictators in Autocratic Regimes
2750

A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.

Barrington Moore famously claimed, “No bourgeoisie. No democracy.” Many scholars before and after Moore have argued the middle class is necessary for successful democratization. But Moore had a specific image of the middle class. The bourgeoisie were not simply white-collar professionals. They were entrepreneurs who were independent of the landed aristocracy.

Bryn Rosenfeld recognizes a new source for the growth of the middle class. Many authoritarian regimes have established a state dependent middle class. A professional class who relies on the state bureaucracy for employment and think differently about their relationship to the regime than the bourgeoisie Barrington Moore portrayed.

Scholars have long recognized the heterogeneity of the middle class even while they described them as a homogenous group. The diverse interests and perspectives are part of what leads the middle class to demand democracy. But Bryn Rosenfeld finds there is also an autocratic middle class who rely on the state for their status and position. They view the process of democratization as a labyrinth of risk and uncertainty.

Bryn Rosenfeld is an assistant professor in the department of government at Cornell University. She is the author of The Autocratic Middle Class: How State Dependency Reduces the Demand for Democracy. Bryn is part of a new generation of comparative political scientists who blend field research with rigorous quantitative research designs to produce new insights into political behavior.

I have read my share of books on democracy published in 2020. Some are well-written. Others offer deep insights. So far, this is the most consequential book on democracy I have come across from last year. I do not doubt scholars will refer to its conclusions for years to come. It astonishes me this is Bryn’s first book. I expect to come across her name again in the future.

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Jan 26, 2021
Zizi Papacharissi Dreams of What Comes After Democracy
3360

Political theorist Takis Pappas has described the formation of liberal democracy as an elite project. Its creation was dependent on the decisions of political leaders rather than the public. But over the subsequent decades the space between politicians and their constituents has grown smaller. It is now unclear whether elected officials remain political leaders or whether they simply follow the opinions of their constituents. 

Democracy is in the process of a transformation. Politicians have abdicated responsibility for political power to the people, but the people do not share a sense of responsibility for this newfound political power. So, everyone blames each other for political conflict, but nobody accepts the responsibility to resolve it. It is not clear anyone completely understands what democracy is or what it will become. 

Robert Dahl imagined the possibility of a third transformation of democracy into something deeper, thicker, and richer. But he never explained how this new sense of democracy might manifest itself. Dahl thought more about democracy than anyone has before or since. 

So I have searched for the next incarnation of Robert Dahl but have failed to discover her or him. These conversations are my attempt to piece together the ideas from multiple perspectives about democracy to offer an updated theory of democratic governance. 

Populism, of course, is the great challenge for democracy today. Many scholars have offered institutional solutions as an antidote to populism. But the challenges democracy faces are not an American problem. They exist across the globe. They persist in Presidential and Parliamentary systems. It is a deeper challenge within the demos itself. 

I believe democracy will inevitably overcome the populist challenge. It will emerge from this crisis stronger and healthier. Fifty years from now democracy will be different than it is today. And in five hundred years, its institutions may even be unrecognizable. But I believe the answer exists.  

Zizi Papacharissi has dared to imagine what our future may hold after democracy. The research for her remarkable book, After Democracy, took her around the world where she asked one hundred everyday citizens three simple questions:

1.      What is democracy?

2.      What is citizenship?

3.      What might make democracy better?

The answers she received helped her imagine what might come after democracy. Zizi offers us a dream. She explained to me that she “wanted the book to have a dream-like feel, like a dream many people were having together or a polyphonic story they were simultaneously telling and listening to.”

Zizi Papacharissi is a professor of communication and political science at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She was among the first to study social media and has shaped the scholarship on political communication on the internet. Her name is a familiar sighting in the footnotes of many of the books and articles I read. 

Our conversation explores the ideas in her book from many different angles. We talk about the meaning of democracy and the role of citizens. We think about how democracy might be reimagined. And she invites you to dream of what might come after democracy.

Notes
Website:  www.democracyparadox.com

Music from Apes of the State

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Carolyn Hendriks, Selen

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Jan 19, 2021
Winston Mano on Social Media and Politics in Africa... And what America can Learn from Africa about Democracy
3413

Recent events in the United States have shown how even the most established democracies have much to learn about democracy. But my guest Winston Mano does not like to talk about democracy. He prefers to talk about democratization because the process never ends. Our conversation focuses on Africa with many topics discussed including social media, decolonization, and, of course, democracy. It concludes with a complex question, “What can America learn about democracy from Africa?”

When I ask this question, it is not intended to embarrass Americans, but to look for insights from abroad. Winston believes humility is critical in a successful democracy. Different parts of the globe have different lessons so there is always something to learn from others. 

But for those who believe democratization is a linear process, my question won’t make any sense at all. America is widely viewed as farther along this process than any African nation. But Winston points out how technologies develop out of necessity. Some cultures “leapfrog” steps to develop new technologies outside the traditional sequence. Africa has even done this before. For example, Africa never experienced a Bronze Age. It went immediately into an Iron Age. 

So, can Africa leapfrog America at this crossroads of democratization? I have no idea. But the current crisis of democracy requires a transformation in how it is both imagined and approached. So, the solutions may come from unlikely sources. 

Winston Mano is a reader at the University of Westminster. He is also the principal editor of the Journal of African Media Studies. Alongside Martin Ndella, he edited the recent two volume publication Social Media and Elections in Africa.

Today’s conversation begins on the topic of social media in Africa. This is where I thought the conversation would remain. But recent events made it impossible to avoid a wider conversation on democracy.

Notes
Website:  www.democracyparadox.com

Music from Apes of the State

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Jan 12, 2021
Michael Hughes on the History of Democracy in Germany
3285

The German Question haunted international relations for generations. Like China, it was a rising authoritarian power. But its successful democratization after the Second World War cast an amnesia upon the uncertainty and anxiety it had caused the international community. 

Today democracy in Germany is taken for granted. It is a force of democratic stability within Europe and in the world. Its journey from dictatorship to democracy is largely forgotten and its current challenges are often ignored. 

Some of those challenges have surfaced in recent years. Hessian politician, Walter Lübcke , was assassinated by a far right extremist on June 2nd, 2019 and in August The New York Times reported that Neo-Nazis have established a presence in the ranks of the military and police. 

Today’s guest Michael Hughes offers a helpful reminder, “Democracy may have prevailed in Germany… but conceptions remain contested… So, crucially, the story’s outcome cannot be an ending… for the process remains ongoing.” Michael is a professor of History at Wake Forest University. His research has focused on 19th and 20th Century German history. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Embracing Democracy in Modern Germany: Political Citizenship and Participation, 1871-2000

I liked Michael’s book because it approaches history like political science. It focuses on the development of democracy through political culture. It is a thicker conception of democracy that goes beyond constitutions and institutions to consider democratization as a process.

My plan is to touch on the different regimes throughout Modern Germany’s history, but I also keep a focus on big picture trends. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with Germany. This is a good introduction, but more importantly this is about the process of democratization. The challenges and successes that countries face. This is how I chose to begin 2021. Looking back through history before we begin to move forward.

Notes
Website:  www.democracyparadox.com
Music from Apes of the State

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Paul Robinson on Russian Conservatism

Yael Tamir on Nationalism

Thoughts on Sheri Berman's Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe: From the Ancien Régime to the Present Day

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Jan 05, 2021
Lee Drutman Makes the Case for Multiparty Democracy in America
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Madison’s Federalist 10 makes an unusual case. He argued the size and diversity of the United States is a critical safeguard against the dominance of any single faction. Of course, it is well-known that the Founding Fathers were wary of all factions, political parties and, most of all, the tyranny of the majority. The American constitution is even described as counter majoritarian, because multiple avenues exist for entrenched minorities to prevail in the legislative process. But Madison was different. While he is credited as the father of the constitution, he was among the most majoritarian of all the founding fathers.

Still Madison was wary of strong, overwhelming majorities. He saw regional diversity as a check against majoritarianism. The size and diversity of the new nation meant any meaningful majority would be the result of significant compromise and deliberation.

Unfortunately, the two-party system, as it exists today, has undermined the Madisonian vision in Federalist 10. The two political parties fight for overwhelming majorities, but the inability of either party to prevail causes gridlock rather than compromise. Necessary reforms are stalled or delayed as they become rallying cries in a never-ending campaign cycle. This was never Madison’s intention.

Lee Drutman offers a solution to transform American democracy. His book Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America argues for proportional representation of the legislature and ranked-choice voting for the Presidency. But his intention is not about any one reform. Instead, his goal is to produce a multiparty democracy where no single party commands an absolute majority.

You may recognize Lee Drutman from articles he has written in The New York Times, Vox, and Five Thirty-Eight. He is also a Senior Fellow in the Political Reform Program at New America and a cohost of the podcast Politics in Question alongside Julia Azari and James Wallner.

The idea of multiparty democracy in the United States can seem radical, but like most reformers Drutman is a traditionalist at heart. He finds his inspiration in Madison’s vision of the American political system. Rather than designing something novel, Lee believes his reforms bring America closer to the original aims of the Founding Fathers. The United States has grown in its size and diversity. Nonetheless, the two political parties have reduced politics to a single dimension. Ultimately, Lee believes a more diverse party system is necessary to represent a diverse population. It’s a Madisonian case for the challenges of polarization and partisanship.

Related Content

William G. Howell and Terry M. Moe on the Presidency

Donald F. Kettl on Federalism

Thoughts on Suzanne Mettler and Robert Lieberman's Four Threats

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Dec 29, 2020
Hélène Landemore on Democracy without Elections
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The origin of the third wave of democratization is commonly dated to the Carnation Revolution in Portugal in 1974. The fall of the Soviet Union accelerated this process until about 2005 when the pace began to slow and it even began to reverse. But Robert Dahl thought about waves of democratization differently. He believed a democratic wave was more like a transformation. It was an intensification rather than a proliferation of democracy.

Dahl allows us to interpret the current rise of populism around the world not as a rejection of democracy, but as a challenge as democratic governance and ideals continue to evolve and transform. Or as Hélène Landemore puts it, “What you call the “crisis” of democracy can also be read as the growing pains of a system trying to adjust to the constraints of a globalized economy, an interconnected world, and rising democratic expectations.”

Hélène Landemore offers an alternative approach to imagine democratic governance. It is a democracy without elections or politicians. She calls it an Open Democracy. It relies on representative assemblies where members are selected through lottery kind of like a jury. Her approach encourages deliberation among ordinary citizens who better represent their communities and societies.

Many advocates have already embraced this novel approach. and it has already used in limited ways. We talk quite a bit about political theory, but also some real-world applications of these ideas. Indeed, Landemore has found inspiration in many of these examples like the constitutional assembly in Iceland or France’s citizen assembly on climate change. So these mini publics offer a novel way to consider the possibilities for democratic government without elections.

Hélène Landemore is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University. She is the author of the book Open Democracy: Reinventing Popular Rule for the Twenty-First Century. Her research reconsiders the meaning of representation and legitimacy.

Robert Dahl was unclear of what the next transformation of democracy would become. I feel the same uncertainty. But I believe Hélène Landemore challenges us to consider new experiments in democracy happening right now. So perhaps a third transformation of democracy has already begun.

Related Content

Carolyn Hendriks, Selen Ercan and John Boswell on Mending Democracy

John Gastil and Katherine Knobloch on Citizen Initiative Review

Thoughts on Cristina Flesher Fominaya's Democracy Reloaded

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Dec 22, 2020
Glenn Tiffert on the Manipulation of Academia by Foreign Governments
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This week America discovered some startling news. Russians hacked into the email systems of the Commerce and Treasury Departments. The information age has brought about a new era of intelligence and espionage. This was a blatant act of theft, but more subtle forms of espionage are available. Globalization has left many institutions vulnerable to foreign manipulation. 

I invited Glenn Tiffert from the Hoover Institution to shed light on this phenomenon through a discussion of two of his recent publications. He is the editor of Global Engagement: Rethinking Risk in the Research Enterprise. It is an examination of the ways academic collaboration with China exposes vulnerabilities in our National Defense. It features a forward from former National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, and an introduction from icon of democracy scholarship, Larry Diamond. 

The second publication is a report from the National Endowment for Democracy. It is titled, “Compromising the Knowledge Economy: Authoritarian Challenges to Independent Intellectual Inquiry.” This report explains how authoritarian regimes use sharp power to influence academic institutions. 

Universities are the heart of political discourse in free societies. E.B. White once wrote, “The reading room of a college library is the very temple of democracy.” When foreign governments manipulate Western academia, it challenges an important source of democratic legitimacy. Larry Diamond explains, “This is more than a national security threat: It is an existential challenge to the entire global liberal order.”

Globalization has not simply brought about economic interdependence. It has extended the boundaries of political influence. The United States has long had the advantage of soft power to inspire people around the world. China has now found a form of sharp power to influence the United States in turn. The global order continues to change and evolve so it is incumbent on us to strengthen liberalism and democracy to overcome these challenges. 

This conversation shares themes with recent episodes that featured John Ikenberry on liberal internationalism and Mareike Ohlberg on the Chinese Communist Party. This is a topic with multiple dimensions. It combines elements of national security with cornerstone values such as liberalism and democracy.

Related Content

More from Glenn Tiffert

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Dec 15, 2020
Carolyn Hendriks, Selen Ercan and John Boswell on Mending Democracy
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There is a book that was written in 1989 called Democracy and its Critics. The renowned Robert Dahl is the author. In the book, he answers objections to critiques of democracy through a series of dialogues. One of them has stuck with me because I hear it so often: The problem with democracy is it is not democratic enough. 

Many of the scholars who are featured on the Democracy Paradox have ideas or plans to make democracy more democratic. Many books, articles, and podcasts focus on ways to reform or redesign institutions so they can become more democratic. For example, Ezra Klein has a popular podcast. Every week he advocates for the Senate to drop the filibuster. Sure. Let’s do it. But we are delusional if we believe democracy is one reform away from perfection. 

I invited Carolyn Hendriks, Selen Ercan, and John Boswell to join me because they examine democracy reform through a multidimensional lens. Rather than offering a single blueprint to redesign our institutions, they suggest we should continue to mend the damage in our existing framework. It is an achievable call to action where they raise the profile of some everyday heroes who have made positive contributions to repair the connections vital to democracy. 

Carolyn is an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Governance at Australian National University, Selen is an Associate Professor of Politics at the University of Canberra, and John is an Associate Professor of Politics at the University of Southampton. They are the authors of Mending Democracy: Democratic Repair in Disconnected Times.

It’s always interesting when my guests are in Australia because it works best for me to call in the afternoon or evening so they can be reached the morning of the next day. This conversation had an extra wrinkle because John is in the UK so we coordinated this call across three time zones on three continents. 

Whenever this many people are on a podcast, it can become difficult to know who says what. For that I apologize. But it was necessary. Their work was a collaborative effort. Indeed, a work like theirs cannot be anything but collaborative. Their research is, in many ways, about collaboration. 

Our conversation will introduce some important concepts and theories about deliberative democracy. But it also offers some real-world examples. I cannot wait for you to learn about the Knitting Nanas Against Gas. They call themselves KNAG. There is so much I want to share right now. But it’s best if I relax and just let you listen.

Notes
Website:  www.democracyparadox.com
Music from Apes of the State

Relevant Past Episodes
John Gastil and Katherine Knobloch on Citizen Initiative Review
Jill Long Thompson on Character in a Democracy

Relevant Articles on Democracy Paradox
Thoughts on Adam Przeworski's Crises of Democracy
Thoughts on E.B. White's On Democracy
Thoughts on Florence Brisset-Foucault's Talkative Polity

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Dec 08, 2020
Mareike Ohlberg on the Global Influence of the Chinese Communist Party
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Last October Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey shook the sports world with a tweet. It said, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” Pretty simple. Not controversial…. at least, not controversial in the United States. But China was offended. They cut off all economic ties with the Rockets and demanded an apology from the National Basketball Association. And they got one. 

China uses its economic clout to shape the public discourse in business, academia, politics, and even sports. Its authoritarian impulse has no boundaries. Even citizens of liberal democracies are subject to its influence. 

This is the third part of “Liberalism, Capitalism, Communism” about the global ascendance of China. My conversation with Mareike Ohlberg, a Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, explores how the Communist Party of China extends its influence beyond its borders. She recently authored the book Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World with Clive Hamilton. They write in the opening lines of the first chapter, “The Chinese Communist Party is determined to transform the international order, to shape the world in its own image, without a shot being fired.”

China is imagined as a powerful, authoritarian state. Francis Fukuyama has described it as a strong state with weak rule of law. I disagree. China is a weak state with a strong party. Xi Jinping is described as the President of China, but his real power comes from his role as the Chairman of the Communist Party. The power of the CCP is neither subtle nor indirect. For example, the military is not a part of the government. It is a branch of the CCP. 

China’s global ascendance is the ascendance of China’s Communist Party. It does not matter whether the CCP is committed to Marxism or Communism. The reality is it has always been authoritarian. It has never been supportive of liberalism nor democracy. 

Recently, The Economist observed, “The achievement of the Trump administration was to recognize the authoritarian threat from China. The task of the Biden administration will be to work out what to do about it.” There is a bipartisan consensus in the US that China represents a threat to America. Something must be done. We just need to figure out what that “something” is.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 80 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Michel de Certeau's classic  The Practice of Everyday Life. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

Dec 01, 2020
Xiaoyu Pu on China's Global Identities
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China is a nation of contradictions. It is a developing economy that is an economic powerhouse. It is a rising power that is already a great power. It is a communist state that has embraced capitalism. The dualism of yin and yang is not simply an element of Chinese philosophy. It is a source of modern Chinese identity. 

This is part two of “Liberalism, Capitalism, Communism” about the global ascendance of China. Last week was about liberal internationalism. Next week will focus on the global influence of the Chinese Communist Party. Part 1 was about liberalism. Part 3 is about communism. This is Part 2 but it is not about capitalism. 

This week will explore how China’s different sources of identity shape its foreign policy. It is about how an illiberal state adapts to a liberal world order. I want to convey the nuance and complexity of modern China as it exists today. So this week is not about capitalism but the juxtaposition of capitalism and communism. It is about the reconciliation of its many contradictions. And it is about the challenges for China to continue to evolve and transform.

The contradictions and complexities intrinsic to Chinese identity are present in its foreign policy. Xiaoyu Pu writes, “China’s grand strategy has no coherent blueprint, and there are competing visions for its emerging roles on the world stage. This is not to argue that Beijing has no grand strategy but rather that Beijing’s grand strategy includes contradictory elements.”

Xiaoyu is an Associate Professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Reno and the author of Rebranding China: Contested Status Signaling in the Changing Global Order. There is a lot to worry about China’s global ascendance. But Xiaoyu believes much of the alarm is overblown. Let me restate that he does not believe there is no cause for concern, but he does offer an alternative perspective. 

Our conversation explores topics as diverse as the domestic politics in China to an analysis of its use of sharp power. We discuss not just China’s prospects for democratization, but whether China must democratize to become a dominant hegemonic power.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 80 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed John Dewey's classic Democracy and Education. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

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Nov 23, 2020
G. John Ikenberry on Liberal Internationalism
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Democracy is often imagined at its purest at a micro level. Town hall meetings are sometimes imagined as a simpler form of democratic governance, so international relations can feel as though it is miles away from democracy. Andy yet, it is the international liberal order which has brought about the vast proliferation of democracy around the world. 

My guest, John Ikenberry, notes “Liberal democracy was both a national and an international project… Its institutions and ideals were premised on an expanding world of trade, exchange, and community.” Scholars talk about liberal democracy. Sometimes it is not clear whether liberalism depends on democracy or democracy depends on liberalism. It’s easy to assume liberalism is necessary to limit the dangers of democracy, but one of my favorite scholars, Sheri Berman, explains, “Liberalism unchecked by democracy can easily deteriorate into oligarchy or technocracy.” The two are linked. 

G. John Ikenberry has written about liberal internationalism since the 1980s. He is a giant in the field of international relations. He is a Professor of Politics and International Relations at Princeton University and the author of the new book A World Safe for Democracy: Liberal Internationalism and the Crisis of Global Order. Our conversation explores political theory and international theory, but also American history and current events. 

This is the first of my three-part episode arc about the global ascendance of China called “Liberalism, Capitalism, Communism.” We do not discuss China until the end of the conversation. This is not by accident. The purpose of this episode is to offer context. It’s impossible to grasp the impact of China until we explain the liberal international order and its importance. 

My hope is you will have a stronger sense of what is at stake as we discuss China with two different scholars who have very different perspectives. This is a great conversation and a wonderful introduction for the next two weeks.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 80 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Mark Beissinger's Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

Nov 16, 2020
Amy Erica Smith on Politics and Religion in Brazil
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Political Scientist Seymour Martin Lipset wrote, “A person who knows only one country doesn't know any country because you're not sensitized to what is unique, what is different, what is special about your country.” Brazil offers a parallel to the United States because it has a populist President who is active on social media and has been indifferent to the pandemic and hostile to the environment. But it also has differences in culture, development, and religion. 

The past week has largely been about the American Presidential Election for me. Like most of you my attention was focused on the results until this past weekend when Joe Biden was officially declared the winner. But now I am exhausted talking about American politics, so I invited Amy Erica Smith to discuss politics in Brazil. She is the author of Religion and Brazilian Democracy: Mobilizing the People of God and a Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University. 

My conversation with Amy Erica is about Brazil, but in many ways, it is illuminating about the United States. Everyone will have theories about American politics after a consequential election. But an examination of other countries tests those assumptions in different contexts. Populist leaders have found success in many parts of the world, but Jair Bolsonaro feels eerily similar to Trump in so many ways. And yet, “Bolsonaro is a Brazilian invention.” Brian Winter writes in Foreign Affairs, “He is a product of the singularly awful economic and political crisis the country has endured over the last decade and, just as important, of Brazil’s long tradition of being ruled by conservative white men of military background.”

The most striking of those similarities and differences is the way religion has interacted with politics in Brazil. Amy Erica’s research is amazing. She is a political scientist’s political scientist but also part of a new generation of scholars who combine field research with statistical analysis to give anecdotal observations new meaning.

We cover a lot of ground in our conversation. We talk about Jair Bolsonaro. We discuss the Workers’ Party. We talk about Catholics, Evangelicals, and Pentecostals and... you really just need to listen.

This episode marks the start of my second season. Each episode stands alone so there is no theme or topic for each season. But I do feel the podcast has grown in its production and sophistication over the past 20 episodes. And the new election gives me a chance to mark this growth with a new season of episodes. Next week begins the three part series "Liberalism, Capitalism, Communism" about the global ascendance of China. Stay tuned!

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 80 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Tom Ginsburg's Judicial Review in New Democracies. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

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Nov 09, 2020
William G. Howell and Terry M. Moe on the Presidency
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Millions of Americans are voting for the President of the United States. Some of you will hear this episode before the election is over. Others will likely listen after the election is over. I hope my conversation with William Howell and Terry Moe will have relevance no matter when you listen. 

William is Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Terry is a Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Our conversation explores their book Presidents, Populism, and the Crisis of Democracy. These are familiar topics for regular listeners of Democracy Paradox. William and Terry break from many critics of Donald Trump in their defense of the Presidency as an institution. They have tremendous faith in the Presidency to deliver effective governance.

Many ideas have been considered as an antidote to populism. William and Terry believe effective government is the solution to the populist backlash. There is some truth in their argument. But more importantly, democracy must always strive for effective governance. Because unless democratic governance is synonymous with effectiveness, authoritarians have a justification for their rule.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 80 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Karl Marx's third volume of Capital. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

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Nov 02, 2020
Barbara Freese on Corporate Denial
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Democratic values are about more than politics. They permeate throughout society and into the economy. Barbara Freese has examined how corporate leaders have not lived up to these values. She offers examples like the tobacco industry, the use of lead in gasoline, and global warming to demonstrate how they have avoided not just accountability but any sense of responsibility for behavior with catastrophic consequences. 

Barbara calls this phenomenon corporate denial and explains, “We should study corporate denial because corporations dominate our economy and shape our democracy, and for a huge proportion of Americans, corporate incentives, pressures, norms, and culture govern our work lives.” 

This is really a conversation about citizenship. We work hard to compartmentalize different parts of our life. Our behavior at work is not supposed to impact our neighbors or our community, but it can and often does. Ultimately, corporate denials do not come from corporations. They come from people viewed as leaders. And they erode the trust necessary for democratic governance. But we can restore that trust through honesty. Honesty with each other and honesty with ourselves.

Barbara Freese is the author of Industrial Strength Denial: Eight Stories of Corporations Defending the Indefensible from the Slave Trade to Climate Change. She is an environmental attorney and a former Minnesota assistant attorney general. Her interest in corporate denial was sparked by cross-examining coal industry witnesses disputing the science of climate change. She lives in St. Paul.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed The Concept of the Political by Carl Schmitt. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.




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Oct 28, 2020
Paul Robinson on Russian Conservatism
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The Russian interference in the 2016 American Presidential election brought Russia to the forefront of conversations about international relations. But it has also given us a one-dimensional view of this complex country. Today’s conversation is about Russian Conservatism with historian Paul Robinson. We talk about conservatism as an ideology, we talk about its history, and we talk about the many dimensions of Russian Conservatism today that offer a complex and nuanced view.

Our conversation is not an endorsement of Russian Conservatism. It is a largely undemocratic and anti-liberal school of thought. But even this statement is misleading because there are elements of democracy and liberalism in the ideas of some Russian Conservatives.

Consider how your views on Russia change throughout its history. Today, it is largely considered conservative at least socially or culturally. But not long ago, it was Communist and associated with the far left. The reality is few of us have thought much about Russian political thought beyond broad generalizations. This podcast will scratch the surface on a particular political tradition but hopefully it offers a broader context as Russia becomes a topic in Western politics in the 2020 election and beyond.

Paul Robinson is Professor of History of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa and the author of Russian Conservatism. He is author of several books, including The White Russian Army in Exile, 1920–1941, and co-author of Aiding Afghanistan.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp. Thanks to Cornell University Press for providing a copy of Russian Conservatism.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Crises of Democracy by Adam Przeworski. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

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Oct 18, 2020
John Matsusaka on National Referendums
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The United States has a long tradition of direct democracy through referendums dating back to the early years of the republic. Nearly every state today has some form of referendums or ballot initiatives. Yet the United States has never had a national referendum. John Matsusaka points out that from a comparative perspective, this is unusual. Nearly all other democracies have held national referendums, and many have made them a regular part of their political process. 

Matsusaka emphasizes tradition should not be an obstacle. He writes, “American democracy is not a static system created by the Founders, but a work in progress, an evolving set of practices that each generation has updated, largely by extending the scope of popular participation.” 

I share an optimistic conversation with John Matsusaka about the possibilities for direct democracy. There is a little bit of talk about Brexit and a few other countries like Switzerland are mentioned, but we mainly focus on the United States. John thinks the time is past due to introduce direct democracy on the national level. He writes in his book, “Although the Founders got some things wrong, they got many things right. We would like to know if omitting direct democracy was one of the things they got right, or one of their mistakes.”

John Matsusaka is the Charles F. Sexton Chair in American Enterprise at the University of Southern California and the author of Let the People Rule: How Direct Democracy Can Meet the Populist Challenge. An economist by training, he works on topics related to political economy, direct democracy, corporate finance, and corporate governance. His article, “Corporate Diversification, Value Maximization, and Organizational Capabilities,” was awarded the Merton Miller Prize for most significant paper by the Journal of Business; and his article "Ballot Order Effects in Direct Democracy Elections" received the Duncan Black Prize for best paper in Public Choice.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp. Thanks to James Schneider at Princeton University Press for my copy of Let the People Rule: How Direct Democracy Can Meet the Populist Challenge and for an introduction to John Matsusaka.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed On the Political by Chantal Mouffe. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

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Oct 12, 2020
Donald F. Kettl on Federalism
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Federalism has become marginalized in academic literature. Everybody knows the United States depends on a federal system, but few talk about it. The nationalization of politics makes federalism feel esoteric and obsolete. My conversation with Donald Kettl explains why federalism remains vibrant and relevant. And it is necessary to understand American politics today as much as it has ever been.

Listeners will find we talk about equality almost as much as federalism. Don writes in his book, The Divided States of America, “Federalism, instead of bridging the gaps in the polarization and inequality of the new century, fed and accelerated them.” He explains why federalism has failed to deliver and how it can be reimagined once again.

This is a wide ranging conversation that spans history and current events. We discuss important topics like healthcare, environmental policy, and the pandemic. These issues all touch on different aspects of federalism.

Donald Kettl is the Sid Richardson Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin and the author of The Divided States of America: Why Federalism Doesn't Work. Don has twice won the Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration for The Transformation of Governance (2002); and System Under Stress: Homeland Security and American Politics (2005). His book, Escaping Jurassic Government: How to Recover America's Lost Commitment to Competence, won the 2016 award for book of the year from the American Society for Public Administration.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp. Thanks to James Schneider at Princeton University Press for my copy of The Divided States of America: Why Federalism Doesn't Work and for an introduction to Donald Kettl.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy by Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/demparadox)
Oct 04, 2020
Recap of Resistance, Revolution, Democracy
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Jenna Spinelle, co-host of Democracy Works, joins the Democracy Paradox as a guest host as Justin recaps the three-part episode arc "Resistance, Revolution, Democracy." The tables are turned as Justin is interviewed about his background, thoughts on democracy, and final ideas about the past three episodes.

Jenna conducts the interviews for the award-winning podcast, Democracy Works. The McCourtney Institute of Democracy at Penn State University sponsors Democracy Works. It has been a fixture of those engaged in conversations about Democracy since 2018. Look for them wherever you listen to Democracy Paradox.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp.

Look for tomorrow's conversation with Donald Kettl about his book The Divided States of America: Why Federalism Doesn't Work and look for the recent review of The Four Threats at www.democracyparadox.com

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Oct 03, 2020
Jonathan Pinckney on Civil Resistance Transitions
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Jonathan Pinckney is a program office with the Program on Nonviolent Action at the United States Institute of Peace and the author of From Dissent to Democracy: The Promise and Perils of Civil Resistance Transitions. This is the third part of a three episode arc called, "Resistance, Revolution, Democracy."

My conversation with Erica Chenoweth explored the idea of civil resistance. The next week I was able to discuss revolutions with George Lawson. This conversation pulls these ideas together to consider how regime transitions can produce sustainable democracies. A few different regime transitions are discussed from around the world and throughout recent history.

Towards the end we briefly discuss the United States Institute of Peace. I know many PhDs who struggle to break into academia. There are opportunities outside of universities. Jonathan offers a compelling option for some who are looking to establish a career in political science.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Friedrich Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morality. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

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Sep 27, 2020
George Lawson on Revolution
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This is the second part of the three episode arc called "Resistance, Revolution, Democracy." George Lawson joins to discuss revolutions. His book, Anatomies of Revolution, offers both a historical framework to understand revolutions, but also analyzes them in their own unique context. We talk about all kinds of revolutions from history and current events. George brings up famous revolutions like the French and American Revolutions, but is also comfortable discussing the protests in Belarus or Tunisia and the Arab Spring.

Last week's episode introduced the idea of civil resistance. Erica Chenoweth explained how nonviolent campaigns were more likely than violent uprisings to overthrow authoritarian regimes. But George Lawson recognizes revolutions face a second challenge in how they choose to govern. Contemporary civil resistance campaigns find this next challenge particularly difficult because they represent broad coalitions with diverse options.

This is a fun conversation that is wide ranging. But there is no clear solution for how to transition from a successful revolution to successful governance. The next episode with Jonathan Pinckney offers a blueprint for how civil resistance campaigns can transition From Dissent to Democracy.

George Lawson is a Professor of International Relations at the Australian National University. He was previously Associate Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His work is oriented around the relationship between history and theory, with a particular interest in global historical sociology.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.



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Sep 22, 2020
Erica Chenoweth on Civil Resistance
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This is the first conversation in a three part episode arc called "Resistance, Revolution, Democracy." In this interview, Erica Chenoweth explains why civil resistance is more effective than violent resistance, why it is more likely to bring about democracy, and the strengths and challenges every campaign faces.

This interview sets the stage for the next two episodes. It explains some of the concepts and ideas of civil resistance scholars before the podcast moves on to ideas about revolutions (George Lawson) and transitions to democracy (Jonathan Pinckney).

Erica Chenoweth is best known for her groundbreaking empirical studies which demonstrate how nonviolent resistance is more effective than violent resistance in bringing about regime change. This insight requires a paradigm shift in political strategy that transforms how we consider revolutions and democratization. The Democracy Paradox will dive even deeper into these ideas over the next two episodes.

Erica is the Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Chenoweth directs the Nonviolent Action Lab at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, where they study political violence and its alternatives. Foreign Policy magazine ranked Chenoweth among the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2013 for their efforts to promote the empirical study of nonviolent resistance. Her forthcoming book is Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Bill Collector's Theme Song." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp. Thanks to Oxford University Press for my copy of Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know. It is scheduled for publication on February 1, 2021.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed John Maynard Keynes' The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.



Sep 15, 2020
Resistance, Revolution, Democracy
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When there are no choices left, people resist. Resistance brings revolution. And sometimes a revolution brings about democracy. Over the next three weeks the Democracy Paradox will interview scholars to explore these topics. Erica Chenoweth will discuss Civil Resistance. George Lawson explains his research on Revolutions. And Jonathan Pinckney helps us understand the transformation from dissent to democracy. This three episode arc is called Resistance, Revolution, Democracy. The first is available September 16th. Available on the Democracy Paradox podcast. Subscribe today.

September 16th - Erica Chenoweth, author of the forthcoming Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know

September 22nd - George Lawson author of Anatomies of Revolution

September 28th - Jonathan Pinckney author of From Dissent to Democracy

You can learn more about different ideas about democracy and other political thought at www.democracyparadox.com. This three episode arc is a part of the first season of the Democracy Paradox podcast. 

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Sep 09, 2020
Jill Long Thompson on Character in a Democracy
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A few fun disclaimers. I am a graduate of the Kelley School of Business MBA program where Jill Long Thompson teaches. My wife is a graduate of the Master's program at the School of Public and Environmental Affaits (SPEA) where Jill also works. And yet, we did not know each other before I reached out to her about the podcast.

But I did know of her because she is widely known in Indiana for a long record of distinguished public service. She served three terms in Congress representing Indiana’s fourth district. She has been a nominee of the Democratic Party for Senate and Governor. She served as the Under Secretary of Agriculture under Bill Clinton and as the CEO of the Farm Credit Administration under Barak Obama. More recently, she teaches at Indiana University and is the author of The Character of American Democracy: Preserving Our Past, Protecting Our Future.

The conversation focuses on the way character and ethics are fundamental for democratic governance. We talk a bit about the ways character and ethics are important for leaders. It is interesting to hear how she believes character and ethics are not independent of public policy. The kind of character leaders have influences the policies they recommend and the performance of governance. But we also discuss the importance of character for citizens.

This is an episode with practical importance and real world applications. Jill gives a few insights from her time in public service including a personal account of the Honorable John Lewis at the end of the episode. This is an important conversation for those in leadership positions in the public or private sector.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Plate Glass Apology." You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp. Thanks to Indiana University Press for my copy of The Character of American Democracy.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed E.B. White's On Democracy. It is a great companion to reflect on the role of character in a democracy. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.






Sep 06, 2020
Juliet B. Schor on the Sharing Economy
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My conversation with Juliet explores what is called the sharing economy. Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb have transformed the economy and reshaped what it means to work. We discuss her book After The Gig: How the Sharing Economy got Hijacked and How to Win it Back. It explores the impacts of these platforms on society. The discussion delves into topics like race, class, and the ways good intentions so often produce the wrong results.

This is not necessarily an episode about politics. But my blog has long explored economics, sociology, and other disciplines to better understand different aspects of democracy. Platforms like Uber and Airbnb are not simply organizations. They have become institutions that change our relationships to work and each other. Juliet and I never explicitly discuss democracy, but I have long argued any change in institutions has repercussions on democracy.

Juliet Schor is a New York Times-bestselling author. She is currently Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Before joining Boston College she taught in the Department of Economics at Harvard University. Schor is an internationally known scholar of labor, consumption, and environment. She is a former Guggenheim and Radcliffe Institute Fellow, recipient of the Leontief Prize in Economics, and the Public Understanding of Sociology Award from the American Sociology Association. She is the Chair of the Board of the Better Future Project.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Plate Glass Apology. You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp. Thanks to Brianne Kane who took the time to introduce me to Juliet.

Please visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Niccolò Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

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Aug 30, 2020
Agnes Cornell and Svend-Erik Skaaning on the Interwar Period
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Many scholars use the interwar period as a cautionary tale of democratic breakdown and collapse, but it was also a period of remarkable democratic stability in an age of crisis. Agnes Cornell and Svend-Eric Skaaning join your host, Justin Kempf, to discuss the first era of widespread democratization, the interwar period. The conversation focuses on their research and discusses some specific examples from this period including Denmark, Uruguay, and Czechoslovakia.

Political science typically aims to make sense of recent world events. But there are many scholars who approach historical events from a perspective of comparative politics. The book Democratic Stability in an Age of Crisis: Reassessing the Interwar Period is a work of comparative politics, but it will capture the imagination of historians and political scientists alike because the lessons from this period help make sense of events in our own time.

Agnes Cornell is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Gothenburg. Svend-Eric Skaaning is Professor of Political Science, Aarhus University. Along with Jørgen Møller they are the authors of Democratic Stability in an Age of Crisis: Reassessing the Interwar Period from Oxford University Press.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Plate Glass Apology. You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp. Thanks to Oxford University Press who has made many volumes available to me during the pandemic.

Take the time to visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Carl Schmitt's The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy. It is a great companion to understand the political thought during the interwar period. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.




Aug 23, 2020
John Gastil and Katherine Knobloch on Citizen Initiative Review
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The ninth episode revisits the initiative referendum except it introduces an important twist. John Gastil and Katherine Knobloch are the authors of Hope for Democracy: How Citizens Can Bring Reason Back into Politics. They consider how the idea of deliberative democracy was able to influence initiative referendums through a new institution called the Citizens' Initiative Review (CIR). This was a reform brought to life in Oregon a few years ago.

John and Katie help us understand this specific reform but also discuss the broader idea of deliberative democracy. It is easy to get lost in the details of any specific reform initiative for democracy. But this discussion brings to life how ordinary people have been able to bring ideas to life and make a small difference in how democracy is shaped.

This is a good sequel for the episode with Joshua Dyck and Edward Lascher. They were pessimistic about initiative referendums. This episode offers a path to soften some of those concerns. But as we discuss near the end, the idea of deliberative democracy has been introduced into many avenues of government, education, and even private enterprise.

John Gastil (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is a professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences and Political Science at the Pennsylvania State University, where he is a senior scholar at the McCourtney Institute for Democracy. Gastil’s research focuses on the theory and practice of deliberative democracy, especially how small groups of people make decisions on public issues. The National Science Foundation has supported his research on the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review, the Australian Citizens’ Parliament, jury deliberation, and cultural cognition. His other recent books include Legislature by Lot and his debut novel, Gray Matters. He was born in San Diego, California, where his father ran for US Congress in 1976 and his mother followed suit in 1992-94. Raised as a Quaker, it’s fitting that he now lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

Katherine R. Knobloch is an assistant professor and the associate director of the Center for Public Deliberation (CPD) in the Department of Communication Studies at Colorado State University. At the CPD Knobloch trains undergraduates in civic engagement and facilitation and works with community partners to design and implement public forums. She studies the development, evaluation, and impact of deliberative public processes, with a focus on how the emergence of deliberative institutions alters communities and individuals. Her research has appeared in numerous academic publications, including Politics, American Politics Research, and the Journal of Applied Communication Research. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Washington and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Louisiana State University. She was born and raised in the bayou region of Southern Louisiana and developed her interest in political structures while watching her father and grandfather navigate small-town electoral politics. She currently lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband and two young children.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Plate Glass Apology. You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp. Thanks to Oxford University Press who has made many volumes available to me during the pan

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Aug 16, 2020
Yael Tamir on Nationalism
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The eighth episode of the Democracy Paradox features Israeli scholar Yael Tamir as we discuss her recent book Why Nationalism. Yael Tamir offers a refreshing look at nationalism as she looks to reclaim the concept from conservatives. We delve into some of the important concepts of her book but also apply these ideas to current events including the pandemic, Catalan separatism, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Tamir studied under the intellectual giant Isaiah Berlin at Oxford. She explains how Berlin became her mentor because nobody else was interested in her dissertation on nationalism!!! We discuss some of Berlin's ideas and his influence on her ideas near the end of the podcast.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Plate Glass Apology. You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp. Thanks to James Schneider and Princeton University Press for helping me connect with Yael Tamir. They also provided me a review copy of her book.

Take the time to visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Isaiah Berlin's Against the Current. It is a great companion to Tamir's work Why Nationalism. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

Aug 09, 2020
Joshua J. Dyck and Edward L. Lascher, Jr. on Initiative Referendums
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The seventh episode of the Democracy Paradox focuses on the secondary effects of direct democracy with Joshua (Josh) J. Dyck and Edward (Ted) L. Lascher, Jr. Their recent book Initiatives without Engagement: A Realistic Appraisal of Direct Democracy’s Secondary Effects. Typically, initiative referendums are discussed as a philosophical component of direct democracy. Josh and Ted focus on empirical data to show how initiatives have secondary effects with negative consequences. It is a distinct look at a topic many of us (falsely) believe we fully comprehend.

The podcast examines the three key findings of their research in the book, but extends to many larger big picture topics. We discuss Brexit, Switzerland (including their failure to extend the franchise to women until 1971), and I even find a way sneak Robert Dahl into the conversation. Our conversation engages with core issues of politics including democracy, institutions, and even the rights of minorities.

Take the time to visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Antonio Gramsci's Selections from Political Writings 1921-1926. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.








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Aug 02, 2020
William S. Smith on Irving Babbitt
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This episode features William S. Smith, author of Democracy and Imperialism: Irving Babbitt and Warlike Democracies. Irving Babbitt is an underappreciated political theorist. He wrote the classic Democracy and Leadership in 1924 before the Behavioralist Revolution of the 1950s so his work is often overlooked by contemporary political scientists. Babbitt has an enormous influence on conservative political theory and philosophy. His ideas about democracy, leadership and imperialism are as relevant for discussion today than ever before. His focus on character and virtue in political leaders has never been more salient than it has been during the global pandemic.

The podcast discusses many important theorists of political thought and philosophy including Rousseau, Huntington and Hobbes. We discuss how some of Babbitt's thought applies to current and historical events. We discuss the Iraq War, Ukraine and touch on Trump's own style of leadership.

Take the time to visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Campaigns and Voters in Developing Democracies: Argentina in Comparative Perspective. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

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Jul 26, 2020
Takis Pappas on Populism and Liberal Democracy
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Takis Pappas is the author of Populism and Liberal Democracy: A Comparative and Theoretical Analysis. We have an hour long conversation about populism, liberalism and democracy. The interview lays out some of these key concepts but also includes some discussion of specific examples including Orban, Trump and Greece. We talk quite a bit about the concept of charismatic leadership. Takis gives a broad overview of populism that is ideal for undergraduates, but also interesting for those with a strong background in the study of populism.

Take the time to visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Karl Marx's second volume Capital. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/demparadox)
Jul 19, 2020
Alexander Cooley and Daniel Nexon on the End of American Hegemony
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Alexander Cooley and Daniel Nexon are the authors of Exit from Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order. We had a 90 minute conversation on some important topics for the study of international relations. The first part discusses some key concepts in their book like "hegemony" and the "liberal world order." Dan and Alex both give a great overview that is ideal for beginners but also informative for those who have a strong background in the topic.

The rest of the podcast explores a number of topics. We discuss Russia and China, kleptocracy, Viktor Orbán and, of course, Donald Trump. This podcast is ideal not just for those immersed in conversations about foreign affairs, but also undergraduate students or those with a genuine interest in foreign policy. The discussion brings together current events with broader concepts of theory in a lively conversation.

Take the time to visit my blog at www.democracyparadox.com. I have written over 60 reviews of classics and recent works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed The Orbán Regime: Plebiscitary Leader Democracy in the Making by András Körösényi, Gábor Illés, and Attila Gyulai. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes. 

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Jul 14, 2020
Luis Cabrera on International Human Rights
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Luis Cabrera is the author of The Humble Cosmopolitan: Rights, Diversity, and Trans-state Democracy. He is Associate Professor in the Griffith Asia Institute and the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. His research focuses on global citizenship, human rights, and justice. The interview explores the political thought of Ambedkar, Dalit rights in India, and the implications of global citizenship. Luis Cabrera gives his thoughts on the need for international and regional institutions designed to protect the rights of minorities, but also elaborates on some important interrelated concepts like humility-arrogance and rights-duties.

This is the third episode of the Democracy Paradox Podcast. Expect a new episode every week. I continue to publish a new book review every Saturday at www.democracyparadox.com. This week's review was on the classic work of political philosophy, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. 

Please subscribe to learn more from scholars as they elaborate on ideas about rights, institutions, and democracy. Future episodes will feature Alexander Cooley and Daniel Nexon, Takis Pappas, William Smith, and Joshua Dyck. 

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Jul 08, 2020
Marlene Mauk on Citizen Support for Democracies... and Autocracies
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Marlene Mauk is the author of Citizen Support for Democratic and Autocratic Regimes. Support for autocratic regimes is a neglected topic up until the last few years. We discuss why citizens support autocracies, democracies and what this means for advocates of democracy. 

We have an interesting discussion about the potential for democracy in Africa. Mauk finds Sub-Saharan Africa has significant support for democracy and enormous potential for further democratization and consolidation. 

We discuss some of the giants of political theory including Lipset, Dahl and Lijphart. Mauk has a firm background on traditional political science theory so it's a great discussion.

This is my first interview. My microphone must have been turned off because the audio was picked up through the webcam. But the conversation is strong. Hopefully listeners look past some of the minor technical problems as I begin to launch this podcast!

Jun 28, 2020
Monologue on Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism
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Episode 1: The inaugural episode explores Hannah Arendt's book The Origins of Totalitarianism.  This is the only monologue in the series. Every other episode features a guest interview. It focuses on the distinction between the law and the state. Arendt loosely defines totalitarianism as the presence of the state in absence of law.  

Jun 21, 2020