Why Are We Blind to the Toxic Polarization Disseminated By Our Popular Representatives?

By Carina Barbosa Gouvêa and Pedro H. Villas Bôas Castelo Branco Toxic Polarization Paralyzes Democracy Toxic polarization is paralyzing our democracy. The "war" declared by far-right aligned politicians on their political enemies is fueling hatred, violence, and diminishing dialogue in democratic systems. These politicians, interested in destroying the adversary, have become "human bots" by immeasurably spreading... Continue Reading →

The GOP Embraces Extreme Polarization

By Robert C. Lieberman A Profound Disappointment For anyone who thought that Donald Trump’s electoral defeat and subsequent humiliation would diminish the extreme polarization that afflicts American politics, the opening of the 118th Congress can only have been a pretty profound disappointment. For half a century or more in the middle and late twentieth century,... Continue Reading →

Has Polarization Broken Partisanship?

By Justin Kempf Partisan Conflicts The never-ending votes for House Speaker have challenged common assumptions about American politics. Unlike the multi-party legislatures in other democracies, the American political system features two dominant political parties. This means leadership contests are almost always routine. Behind the scenes they might involve fierce conflicts, but those get resolved before... Continue Reading →

What are Radical Politics?

Become a Patron! Make a one-time Donation to Democracy Paradox. What are Radical Politics? The polarization of American politics has brought about a paradigm shift in the meaning of what we call radical politics. Typically, people think of radical politics as shorthand for political extremism. However, extremists focus on policies, while radicals challenge institutions themselves.... Continue Reading →

Kamala Harris Chooses Partisanship over Democracy

Become a Patron! Order Dan Slater and Joseph Wong's From Development to Democracy: The Transformations of Modern Asia. Available for sale this week. Make a one-time Donation to Democracy Paradox. Kamala Harris Chooses Partisanship over Democracy Yesterday on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd interviewed Vice President Kamala Harris. Like always, he asked some tough questions. But... Continue Reading →

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 →

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