Robert Michels – Political Parties

The Iron Law of Oligarchy describes the role of elites to control organizations. Typically, this idea is translated to democratic governance but Michels restricted his original work to political parties. Indeed, his work is truly limited to just socialist parties. But this is the irony Michels recognized within socialist politics. Despite their emphasis on the... Continue Reading →

Arend Lijphart – Patterns of Democracy

The traditional definition of democracy emphasizes the principle of majority rule and the institution of elections. This is where the genesis of the “tyranny of the majority” claim emerges. Typically, political theorists have required the marriage of liberalism and democracy to establish limitations on majority rule. This approach assumes there is a conflict between traditional... Continue Reading →

Paul Chaisty, Nic Cheeseman and Timothy Power – Coalitional Presidentialism in Comparative Perspective

Theories about presidentialism remain in the shadow of the “Perils of Presidentialism” thesis from Juan Linz. But a lot has changed since he made the case against presidential systems. Governments in nearly every region of the world have adopted some form of Presidential system. Chaisty, Cheeseman and Power have written a work which uses contemporary... Continue Reading →

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