Power as Revenge and Redemption

Become a Patron! Putin's Revenge of Power As Vladimir Putin rampages his army through Ukraine, observers do not sense the cold calculation of strategic analysis. Instead, it’s impossible to interpret his behavior as anything less than revenge. He wants revenge from the West for the breakup of the Soviet Union. He wants revenge from Ukraine... Continue Reading →

Freedom in the World: An Update

Become a Patron! Freedom in the World The Russian invasion of Ukraine is not an isolated event. Their aggression has broadened in recent years from incursions into Georgia, the annexation of Crimea, and support of separatists in the Donbas region. Yet this historical moment is not simply about Russia and Ukraine. It symbolizes a shift... Continue Reading →

Does Inequality Kill a Democracy?

Become a Patron! Inequality in Democracy It’s not controversial to say democracy is about more than elections. Most scholars recognize democracy depends on liberal rights like free speech and the rights of the accused. Liberal democracy strives to combine civil liberties with political equality. But does democracy also depend on economic equality or at least... Continue Reading →

Robert Lieberman, Kenneth Roberts, and David Bateman on Democratic Resilience and Political Polarization in the United States

Robert C. Lieberman is the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. Kenneth M. Roberts is the Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government and Binenkorb Director of Latin American Studies at Cornell University. David A. Bateman is an associate professor in the Government Department at Cornell University. Robert and Kenneth (along with Suzanne... Continue Reading →

Democratic Backsliding: How it Happens and Why

Democratic Backsliding I don’t like to write about American politics. Anything I say becomes interpreted through the lens of partisanship rather than as political theory. At the same time, it’s become difficult to discuss the global decline of democracy without mentioning the United States. Of course, it does help to limit the discussion to specific... Continue Reading →

Personalism: A Podcast Primer

Personalism in Politics Timothy Frye in his recent book, Weak Strongman, describes Russia as a personalist autocracy. He distinguishes it from other forms of autocracy such as military dictatorships or single party states. Moreover, he emphasizes how different autocracies behave differently from one another. It can be a bit cliché to say institutions matter, but they... Continue Reading →

Up ↑