The Public Sphere and the State

Jürgen Habermas is known for his conception of the public sphere. It is the foundation of his political theories related to democracy. The reflection below is based upon his book The Inclusion of the Other. Justin Kempf is the author.  The Political Philosophy of Habermas Jürgen Habermas occupies a place somewhere between philosophy and social science.... Continue Reading →

Seymour Martin Lipset – Continental Divide

Let us get past the surface level topics which Continental Divide revolves. It is easy to become distracted in Lipset’s depiction of Canada and America. He recognized both societies had undergone dramatic change throughout the twentieth century that transformed their political images. The book is now thirty years old. It’s almost as old as I... Continue Reading →

Samuel Huntington – The Third Wave

It is impossible to study the subject of democracy without coming across Huntington’s Third Wave. It is a landmark study of democratization. Moreover, it has a scholarly thoroughness which is rarely matched. Every author has a distinctive style. Dahl has an awkward optimism. Fukuyama has a teacher’s approach where he tries to bring complex subjects... Continue Reading →

Arend Lijphart – Patterns of Democracy

The traditional definition of democracy emphasizes the principle of majority rule and the institution of elections. This is where the genesis of the “tyranny of the majority” claim emerges. Typically, political theorists have required the marriage of liberalism and democracy to establish limitations on majority rule. This approach assumes there is a conflict between traditional... Continue Reading →

Amartya Sen – Development as Freedom

Political modernization for Samuel Huntington involved the creation of political institutions designed to facilitate the professionalization and organization necessary for an expanded role of governance. Note it is the institutions which are central for political modernization. Political parties, for example, became vehicles for mass political participation not just within democracies but even within nondemocratic political... Continue Reading →

Samuel Huntington – The Clash of Civilizations

There are few political scientists who command the influence of Samuel P. Huntington. His 1968 publication of Political Order in Changing Societies transformed every discussion of political modernization. His work Clash of Civilizations began as a response to Fukuyama’s End of History and the Last Man. Fukuyama made an enormous impact on political scholarship. He... Continue Reading →

Francis Fukuyama – The End of History and the Last Man

It is wrong to ridicule Francis Fukuyama’s End of History and the Last Man. Sometimes people have used the title to belittle the ideas of the book. Obviously, history did not end. But Fukuyama never made an apocalyptic prediction. He meant an end of history in a philosophic sense. Marx predicted a communist utopia would... Continue Reading →

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: