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 →

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 →

Chantal Mouffe – On the Political

Condescension toward political polarization begins from a position of privilege. It requires an expectation of inclusion within the political process. Elites assume polarization is a problem with a simple cure. But the reality is it is a symptom of deeper systemic problems without simple solutions. Polarization is a manifestation of the politics of exclusion. It... Continue Reading →

Chantal Mouffe – The Democratic Paradox

A paradox is distinct from a contradiction. Sometimes the two ideas are confused. They are used interchangeably in ways which remove the impact of the concept of paradox. It is true ‘paradox’ feels a bit more exotic than the more pedantic ‘contradiction.’ But this is no reason to distort its meaning. A contradiction is where... Continue Reading →

Chantal Mouffe – The Return of the Political

The final chapter of the political science classic, Political Man, was titled “The End of Ideology?” He refers to a conference in 1955 called “The Future of Freedom.” It assembled political thinkers from a diverse range of viewpoints. It included conservatives, socialists and liberals, but there was little political debate. There “was general agreement among... Continue Reading →

Francis Fukuyama – Our Posthuman Future

Francis Fukuyama’s fourth book seems out of place. It does not neatly fit into the canon of political science. Fukuyama admits as much. His preface reads like something between an apology and an explanation. His first words read, “Writing a book on biotechnology might seem to be quite a leap for someone who in recent... 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 →

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