Constitutions and Democracy

Constitutions In October 2020 Chileans made the monumental decision to rewrite their constitution. Many view this as a democratizing event despite the fact that Chile democratized in 1990 with the negotiated transition from the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Nevertheless, the transition to democracy was widely considered as incomplete at the time, because the Pinochet... Continue Reading →

How Epistemic Values Shape Democracy

Epistemic values determine the types of knowledge societies embrace. The shift from traditional to cosmopolitan epistemic values has important implications for democracy.  The Social Value of the Intellectual The trial of Socrates captures the imagination of intellectuals, because it reflects their greatest fear. The natural identity of an intellectual relies on a radical sense of... Continue Reading →

Shari Davis Elevates Participatory Budgeting

Shari Davis explains the efforts of the Participatory Budgeting Project. Shari is the Executive Director of PBP and an Obama Fellow.    Participatory budgeting is actually about connecting folks with the skills and resources to navigate and shape government. And so, for me, that is the most optimistic and the most important outcome of any... Continue Reading →

Can Deliberative Theory be Liberal?

John Dryzek is among the foremost scholars of deliberative democratic theory. His book Deliberative Democracy and Beyond: Liberals, Critics, Contestations offers a strong defense of deliberative theory against rival schools of democratic theory. Justin Kempf reflects on this seminal work of deliberative democratic theory.  Liberal Democracy Defined Liberal democracy is a marriage between two independent ideas... Continue Reading →

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 →

After Democracy Podcast #31

Zizi Papacharissi discusses her book After Democracy with host Justin Kempf. Zizi has worked at the forefront on political communication in the digital age. She is a professor of communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A transcript of the podcast is below.   What Comes After Democracy Political theorist Takis Pappas has described the... Continue Reading →

Deliberative Democracy as Political Theory

Deliberative Democracy has become an important school of democratic thought and theory. James Fishkin's When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy & Public Consultation is a classic in this subfield of democracy scholarship. The article below is the reflection from Justin Kempf based on this book and some past Democracy Paradox Podcasts.  A Crisis of Democracy The... Continue Reading →

Democracy Without Elections Podcast #27

Hélène Landemore joins the Democracy Paradox to describe how democracy without elections or politicians is possible. Hélène is an associate professor at Yale University. Her research explores ways to reimagine institutions to better represent those governed and enhance their legitimacy.    Democratic Transformation The origin of the third wave of democratization is commonly dated to... Continue Reading →

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