Isaiah Berlin – Against the Current

Isaiah Berlin did not call himself a philosopher. He was a historian of ideas. Indeed, he never explains his philosophy. He shares his ideas through his analysis of the ideas of others. His thoughts are rarely straightforward. Indeed, he will sometimes write one thing before he goes on to contradict it. There is a meaning…

Episode 7: Joshua J. Dyck and Edward L. Lascher, Jr

In the seventh episode Joshua (Josh) and Edward (Ted) Lascher join me for a conversation about what they describe as "Direct Democracy's Secondary Effects." Their recent book Initiatives without Engagement focus on the effects of popular initiatives. An initiative is a distinct form of referendum where citizens propose a law or policy change typically through…

The Plan Ahead

Over the past six weeks I have expanded the content of Democracy Paradox to include a podcast. I have been overwhelmed at the support from so many scholars who have been eager to appear in my podcast as I have introduced this additional piece of content to a growing audience. The first six episodes have…

Noam Lupu, Virginia Oliveros, and Luis Schiumerini – Campaigns and Voters in Developing Democracies

There is a necessary divide between political philosophy and political science. Politics as a philosophy examines political concepts as pure abstractions detached from the actual practice of politics. It helps to understand democracy, populism, and liberalism as concepts. But politics as a science examines its practice in the real world. Political science relies on data,…

Karl Marx – Capital, Volume II

It is impossible to fully recognize the genius of Marx without the acknowledgement of his absurdity. The second volume of Capital involves the circulation of capital. In this text, Marx takes socialist economics to a space where few of his adherents can travel. He explains how economic systems increase overall wealth despite a limited supply…

Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe – Hegemony and Socialist Strategy

Political theory belongs somewhere between political philosophy and political science. Sometimes it remains philosophical while at other times it requires a rigorous science. The political thought of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe belong to the realm of political philosophy. They write about a form of radical democracy that is rarely discussed in political science but…

Florence Brisset-Foucault – Talkative Polity

My son turned nine years old on Thursday. It is hard to imagine that my wife and I have been parents for nine years. I remember how I did not feel prepared for the responsibility of parenthood back then. It is odd because my wife and I had good jobs, we owned a house and…