What is the Purpose of a Constitution?

by Justin Kempf A review of Anti-Constitutional Populism edited by Martin Krygier, Adam Czarnota, and Wojciech Sadurski and Constitutionalism and a Right to Effective Government? edited by Vicki C. Jackson and Yasmin Dawood. The Purpose of a Constitution Among the most useful resources for those concerned about democracy is found at Constitute. It brings together 202... Continue Reading →

Will Left-Wing Populism Bring About a Green Democratic Revolution?

Become a Patron! Preorder Towards a Green Democratic Revolution: Left Populism and the Power of Affects Populism and Chantal Mouffe In 2018, Chantal Mouffe tried to reclaim the idea of populism for the left. She argued the left must abandon its technocratic inclinations to reclaim a populist message for the masses and the working class... Continue Reading →

Electoral Strategies Against Aspiring Autocrats

Become a Patron! Order your copy of Democracy in Hard Places today! Strategies Against Aspiring Autocrats The Hungarian opposition pursued a complicated electoral strategy against Viktor Orbán and Fidesz in the 2022 Hungarian parliamentary elections. They tried to unify the opposition into a single political party to overtake Fidesz in single member district competitions. The problem... Continue Reading →

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 →

Christophe Jaffrelot on Narendra Modi and Hindu Nationalism

Christophe Jaffrelot joins the podcast to explain the phenomenon of Hindu Nationalism and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is a professor of Indian politics and sociology and among the foremost scholars of Indian democracy. His latest book is called Modi's India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy.   The police is even... Continue Reading →

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