Thoughts on Colombia’s Presidential Election

Become a Patron! Colombia's Presidential Election Yesterday Gustavo Petro won Colombia's presidential election. Many journalists and commentators have already written extensively about the electoral campaign. Perhaps the most common narrative is Gustavo Petro as Columbia's first leftist president. For readers in the United States or Europe this may come across as surprising. However, Colombia's leftwing... Continue Reading →

Party System Institutionalization and Democracy

Become a Patron! Party System Institutionalization and Democracy Political parties do not exist independently. They operate as a system or a network. Scott Mainwaring developed a term he calls party system institutionalization (PSI). A party system with high degrees of institutionalization encourages long-term party formation. On the other hand, weakly institutionalized party systems discourage the... Continue Reading →

Putin Lost the French Presidential Election

The French Presidential Election Outcome The French Presidential Election is always important. France is the seventh largest economy in the world and a leader within the EU and NATO. However, this election had even more significant international implications. In many ways this election was the first serious test of Western support for Ukraine. Marine Le... Continue Reading →

Charismatic Movements and their Leaders

Charismatic Movements Last week’s focus on democratic backsliding incorporated many different themes from polarization to personalist leaders. This week’s focus narrows its scope to discuss charismatic leaders and their movements. The emergence of a charismatic leader often brings about democratic erosion. However, many of us struggle to understand why people so easily fall under the... 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 →

Jan-Werner Müller on Democracy Rules

Jan-Werner Müller joins the podcast to discuss his new book Democracy Rules. He is a professor of social sciences at Princeton University and the author of the well-known book What is Populism?   It really matters how you set up conflict and how you talk about the issue and above all how you talk about your adversary.... Continue Reading →

How Epistemic Values Shape Democracy

Epistemic values determine the types of knowledge societies embrace. The shift from traditional to cosmopolitan epistemic values has important implications for democracy.  The Social Value of the Intellectual The trial of Socrates captures the imagination of intellectuals, because it reflects their greatest fear. The natural identity of an intellectual relies on a radical sense of... Continue Reading →

Chris Bickerton Defines Technopopulism

Chris Bickerton defines the concept of technopopulism. He is the author, alongside Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, of Technopopulism: The New Logic of Democratic Politics.   That tension between the politics of the whole and the politics of the part, that tension between the politics of generality and the politics of particularity, is really at the heart of... Continue Reading →

Up ↑