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 →

Larry Diamond – The Spirit of Democracy

Larry Diamond is the intellectual conscience of democracy scholarship. Perhaps this assessment is unfair. He is among the great intellectual minds among scholars of democracy living today. Yet his legacy is not necessarily theoretical but rather moral. He has challenged leaders around the world to live up to the standards of liberal democracy. Writing in... 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 →

Paul Chaisty, Nic Cheeseman and Timothy Power – Coalitional Presidentialism in Comparative Perspective

Theories about presidentialism remain in the shadow of the “Perils of Presidentialism” thesis from Juan Linz. But a lot has changed since he made the case against presidential systems. Governments in nearly every region of the world have adopted some form of Presidential system. Chaisty, Cheeseman and Power have written a work which uses contemporary... 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 →

Giovanni Sartori – Democratic Theory

There is no single text definitive text of democratic theory. This is quite remarkable upon deeper reflection. Marx was able to express the ideas of Communism. Adam Smith explained Capitalism. John Locke and John Stuart Mill gave powerful accounts of Liberalism. Yet there is no giant who has explained and defended democracy. Jean Jacques Rousseau... Continue Reading →

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