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 →

Executive Power in Democracies

Executive Power in Democracies Democratic theory rarely reflects on executive power or the administrative state. Deliberative theory, for example, emphasizes the legislative process where representatives have an opportunity to discuss and deliberate among each other. Of course, few people expect the civil service to deliberate before every email, phone call, or decision. It’s just not... Continue Reading →

Chris Bickerton Defines Technopopulism

Chris Bickerton defines the concept of technopopulism. He is the author, alongside Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, of Technopopulism: The New Logic of Democratic Politics.   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... Continue Reading →

Polarization, Democratization, and the Arab Spring Podcast #39

Elizabeth (Liz) Nugent discusses how polarization affects the process of democratization through her experience in Tunisia and Egypt. Her recent book After Repression: How Polarization Derails Democratic Transition. Her work considers how legacies of repression create the conditions for polarization.    The focus on the individual people involved in this moment and their preexisting relationships for... Continue Reading →

The Moral Economy of Elections Podcast #36

Nic Cheeseman and Gabrielle Lynch discuss their book The Moral Economy of Elections in Africa. The podcast explores how Africans think about democracy from three country case studies including Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda. Their research for the book was wide and comprehensive including comparative analysis, historical accounts, surveys, and on the ground field research.   The... Continue Reading →

Amy Erica Smith on Brazil Podcast #21

  Amy Erica Smith joins the Democracy Paradox to explain how religion influences politics in Brazil. This is the 21st episode of the Democracy Paradox podcast. It kicks off the second season with an emphasis on world affairs.   Amy Erica Smith on Brazilian Democracy Political Scientist Seymour Martin Lipset wrote, “A person who knows... Continue Reading →

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