The Tragedy of Deaths of Despair

Deaths of Despair As we celebrate the holidays, it’s important to also remember those less fortunate than ourselves. I expect most of those reading this blog or listening to the podcast have a college degree or attend college at the moment. It’s a fortunate group, because the economy favors those with a college education. Indeed,... Continue Reading →

How Compromise Shapes Life in Putin’s Russia

Compromise and Ambition Where do we draw the line between politics and the other parts of our life? It’s funny how anybody focused on politics distinguishes only between the political and everything else. The compartmentalization does not extend into economic, religious, and other social aspects of the world. For the political thinker the line is... Continue Reading →

Institutional Weakness as a Threat to Democracy

  What is Institutional Weakness? Over the past few years political science has woken up to the importance of state capacity in the construction of stable governments. Unfortunately, scholars have not paid the same level of attention to the strength of institutions. It’s easy to take for granted that improvements in state capacity will naturally... Continue Reading →

State-Mobilized Movements

What are State-Mobilized Movements About ten years ago, Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan turned academic attitudes about civil resistance as a political strategy on its head. They demonstrated civil resistance was more effective than violent civil wars at producing regime change. Further research has also shown it is more likely to lead to democratic outcomes.... Continue Reading →

Martin Conway Believes “Democracy Owes its Durability Not to its Principles but to its Flexibility.” Democracy in Western Europe from 1945 to 1968

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.   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.... Continue Reading →

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