Citizenship Responsibilities in a Democracy

Citizenship in Liberal Democracy The idea of liberal democracy awkwardly combines two very distinct ideas into a larger normative project. Liberalism and democracy align in their values, but they diverge in their approach to citizenship. In a democracy the citizen becomes central to government. The people become sovereign. However, liberalism asserts the need to protect... 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 →

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 →

Neither Majority Rule nor Minority Rule

Too many people confuse majority rule as a crude form of democracy. Others believe majorities must remain in check to preserve democracy. In reality democracy involves neither majority nor minority rule. This is the seventh part of the Democracy Paradox, a comprehensive work of political theory. Majority Rule in Democracy Democracy is neither majoritarian nor... Continue Reading →

Principles of Process, Principles of Policy

The distinction between principles of process and principles of policy is key to an understanding of democratic governance and its theory. This marks the third section of an effort to offer a comprehensive theory of democracy called The Democracy Paradox. Eisenhower Conservatism Dwight Eisenhower is the model of the pragmatic conservative lost from the political environment... Continue Reading →

Mouffe’s Democratic Paradox

The Democracy Paradox differentiates itself from the Democratic Paradox this week. Every week I write a new part as I work through the different components of democratic theory. This is the second part of the first chapter called "Democracy Defined." What is Mouffe's Democratic Paradox? The Democracy Paradox is not the Democratic Paradox. Many scholars... Continue Reading →

Nebraska and Rural Conservatism Podcast #41

Ross Benes explains politics in rural Nebraska from his research and personal experience. His new book is Rural Rebellion: How Nebraska Became a Republican Stronghold.   The legislature is one of several examples of our history of being independent which is why I think it was such an important story to tell of Nebraska becoming like... 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 →

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