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The people who win get to enact policy and they get to change the world we live in. But we're at this moment where the candidates who lose, if they think that they don't have to abide by election outcomes, that's very important and that affects the kind of world we live in.Lynn VavreckBecome a Patron!Make a one-time Donation to Democracy Paradox.Order The Bitter End: The 2020 Presidential Campaign and the Challenge to American Democracy by Chris Tausanovitch, John Sides, and Lynn VavreckLynn Vavreck is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy at UCLA. She’s a contributor for The Upshot at The New York Times. She recently coauthored (with John Sides and Chris Tausanovitch) The Bitter End: The 2020 Presidential Campaign and the Challenge to American Democracy.Key HighlightsIntroduction - 0:39Lessons from 2016 - 3:05Political Calcification - 14:31Why Did the Democrats Nominate Joe Biden? - 18:51Forecasting the 2020 Election - 25:52Implications for American Democracy - 29:39Key LinksFollow Lynn Vavreck on Twitter @vavreckLearn more about Lynn VavreckDemocracy Paradox PodcastRobert Lieberman, Kenneth Roberts, and David Bateman on Democratic Resilience and Political Polarization in the United StatesKaren Greenberg on the War on Terror, Donald Trump, and American DemocracyMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox, Facebook, Instagram @democracyparadoxpodcast100 Books on DemocracyDemocracy Paradox is part of the Amazon Affiliates Program and earns commissions on items purchased from links to the Amazon website. All links are to recommended books discussed in the podcast or referenced in the blog.ZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
In country after country - we've counted over 130 news outlets of 30 countries that were republishing content that was produced by Chinese state media outlets or the Chinese embassy. So, these state media outlets are actually formally under the control of the Communist Party's propaganda department.Support Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes, ad free episodes and exclusive updates and information. Make a one-time Donation to Democracy Paradox.A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Sarah Cook is the Research Director for China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan at Freedom House. She also directs their China Media Bulletin and authored the executive summary of this latest report, "Beijing's Global Media Influence 2022: Authoritarian Expansion and the Power of Democratic Resilience."Key HighlightsIntroduction - 0:38China and its Media Influence - 2:58Chinese Influence Tactics - 12:48The Effectiveness of Chinese Influence - 18:30Resiliency of Democracies - 27:47Key LinksRead the report "Beijing's Global Media Influence 2022: Authoritarian Expansion and the Power of Democratic Resilience"Follow Sarah Cook on Twitter @Sarah_G_CookFollow Freedom House on Twitter @freedomhouseDemocracy Paradox PodcastAynne Kokas on the Intersection Between Surveillance Capitalism and Chinese Sharp Power (or How Much Does the CCP Already Know About You?)Sarah Repucci from Freedom House with an Update on Freedom in the WorldMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox, Facebook, Instagram @democracyparadoxpodcast100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
Back then as a child, when it was normal that we couldn't ride on all buses and sit on all park benches and be allowed to go and watch a movie in a cinema together. Today, our children simply don't know that we had those experiences. But in it lies the wonders of the successes of what we have achieved. And if we managed to change that, then I think we have the ability to change from where we are currently into the future.Hassen EbrahimSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes, ad free episodes and exclusive updates and information. Preorder the new book Constitution Makers on Constitution Making: New Cases here. Make a one-time Donation to Democracy Paradox.A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Hassen Ebrahim was Executive Director of the Constitutional Assembly of South Africa, and is an advisor on constitution building. He participated in the construction of South Africa's constitution. He is the author of the chapter "Decisions, Deadlocks and Deadlines in Making South Africa’s Constitution" in the forthcoming book Constitution Makers on Constitution Making.Key HighlightsIntroduction - 0:50Meaning of a Constitution - 2:54Hassen's Political Journey - 10:07Constitutional Process - 20:22Unifying Event - 29:15Areas of Disagreement - 36:48Future of South Africa's Democracy - 46:18Key LinksRead the Constitution of South AfricaConstitution Makers on Constitution Making: New Cases edited by Tom Ginsburg and Sumit BisaryaDemocracy Paradox PodcastJoseph Fishkin on the Constitution, American History, and Economic InequalityDonald Horowitz on the Formation of Democratic ConstitutionsMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
Politics requires complex and ongoing engagement by all of us. There are lots of elements that hang together. The Brexit process has really highlighted that whatever we decide to do that has knock-on consequences and those knock-on consequences have knock-on consequences of their own which might come back and affect our original decision. Everything is connected and we are never going to have something that's going to make everybody happy.Simon UsherwoodSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes, ad free episodes and exclusive updates and information. Order The Nested Games of Brexit here. Make a one-time Donation to Democracy Paradox.A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Simon Usherwood is a Professor of Politics & International Studies at the Open University, Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Surrey's Centre for Britain & Europe and a National Teaching Fellow. Simon coauthored (along with John Pindar) The European Union: A Very Short Introduction. He recently coedited (along with Agnès Alexandre-Collier and Pauline Schnapper) The Nested Games of Brexit.Key HighlightsIntroduction - 0:48The Rise of Boris Johnson - 3:44Why Boris Johnson Resigned - 16:40What are Nested Games - 23:48Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak - 31:55What Have we Learned about Democracy? 40:23 Key LinksEuropean Union: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by John Pindar and Simon UsherwoodLearn more about Simon UsherwoodFollow Simon Usherwood on Twitter @UsherwoodDemocracy Paradox PodcastAmory Gethin on Political Cleavages, Inequality, and Party Systems in 50 DemocraciesSusan Rose-Ackerman on the Role of the Executive in Four Different DemocraciesMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox, Facebook, Instagram @democracyparadoxpodcast100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
People like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, they basically lashed out at the entire capitalist world and that lashing out created a counterrevolutionary armed struggle, which in turn contributed to their durability. So, it's that reckless behavior in creating enemies that ultimately led to their creating very strong authoritarian institutions.Lucan WaySupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes, ad free episodes and exclusive updates and information. Preorder Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way's new book Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism here. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Lucan Way is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto and Co-Director of the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine. Steven Levitsky is the David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies, professor of government, and director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. They are also co-chairs of the editorial board at the Journal of Democracy. They are the authors of the forthcoming book Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism.Key HighlightsIntroduction - 0:45How Recklessness Leads to Authoritarian Durability - 3:17Why Revolutions Abandon Pluralism - 16:53Revolutions and Institution Building - 22:05Why does Durable Authoritarianism Fail - 29:31Is the Era of Revolutions Over - 38:01Key LinksRevolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism by Steven Levitsky and Lucan WayCompetitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War by Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way"The Durability of Revolutionary Regimes" by Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way in the Journal of DemocracyDemocracy Paradox PodcastLucan Way on Ukraine. Democracy in Hard Places.Mark Beissinger on Urban Civic RevolutionsMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com Follow on Twitter @DemParadox, Facebook, Instagram @democracyparadoxpodcast100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
There's always another set of elections. So, let's set up for elections. Let's figure out how to mobilize people. Let's figure out how to engage them and answer the question, ‘Why they elected this person? What did we miss? What do we need to build? Which kind of program.’ I think using the streets is great, but definitely you need training… A lot of training.This is a long-term effort. It's not about calling you on Facebook for a demonstration and that's it.Laura GamboaSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes, ad free episodes and exclusive updates and information. Preorder Laura Gamboa's new book Resisting Backsliding: Opposition Strategies against the Erosion of Democracy here. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Laura Gamboa is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah. She is the author of the forthcoming book Resisting Backsliding: Opposition Strategies against the Erosion of Democracy.Key HighlightsIntroduction - 0:47Uribe was a Threat to Democracy - 3:11Opposition Strategies in Colombia - 14:20Opposition Strategies in Venezuela - 17:53How Often do Aspiring Autocrats Get Elected - 27:03Final Advice for Democratic Oppositions - 34:02Key LinksLearn more about Laura Gamboa"The Peace Process and Colombia’s Elections" by Laura Gambia in the Journal of DemocracyResisting Backsliding: Opposition Strategies against the Erosion of Democracy by Laura GamboaDemocracy Paradox PodcastKim Lane Scheppele on Hungary, Viktor Orbán, and its Democratic DeclineCaitlin Andrews-Lee on Charismatic Movements and Personalistic LeadersMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
So, I came back from that trip and said to one of my good friends back in Budapest, ‘I think I've met the most dangerous person I've ever met personally.’ And she said, ‘Oh Viktor, he's nothing. He's like a kid. He's in his thirties.’ I mean, he was an aspiring politician at this point. His party was at the bottom of the polls. It didn't look like he had any future. And I said, ‘No, this guy has something. It's hard to define what it is, but we're going to be hearing from him.’Kim Lane ScheppeleSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes, ad free episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Kim Lane Scheppele is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University.Key HighlightsIntroduction - 0:50Kim Lane Scheppele meets Viktor Orbán - 2:45Viktor Orbán as Prime Minister 1998-2002 - 9:21Hungary Changes its Constitution 15:56Orbán Undermines Democracy Legally - 26:32Why do Voters Support Orbán and Fidesz - 41:48Key LinksLearn more about Kim Lane Scheppele"How Viktor Orbán Wins" by Kim Lane Scheppele in the Journal of Democracy9/11 and the Rise of Global Anti-Terrorism Law: How the UN Security Council Rules the World edited by Kim Lane Scheppele and Arianna VedaschiDemocracy Paradox PodcastMoisés Naím on the New Dynamics of Political PowerStephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman on Democratic BackslidingMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.com Follow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
There were lots of opportunities for a certain part of Ukrainian society to encounter Zelenskyy and to feel that they knew him. He was not an unknown quantity when he ran for president. So, I think that's important for us to keep in mind. I would say the so-called Western World is still discovering who he is, but his loyalty, his integrity, his ideas or his group's ideas about Ukrainian political nationhood have been in the works for a long time.Jessica PisanoSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Jessica Pisano is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at the New School for Social Research. She is the author of "How Zelensky Changed Ukraine" in the Journal of Democracy and Staging Democracy: Political Performance in Ukraine, Russia, and Beyond.Key HighlightsIntroduction - 0:49Early Career of Zelenskyy - 2:58What is Political Theater? - 10:30Zelenskyy Changes Politics in Ukraine - 17:26Zelenskyy as President - 22:43Future of Ukraine - 30:41Key LinksLearn more about Jessica Pisano"How Zelensky Changed Ukraine" by Jessica Pisano in the Journal of DemocracyStaging Democracy: Political Performance in Ukraine, Russia, and Beyond by Jessica PisanoDemocracy Paradox PodcastMichael McFaul and Robert Person on Putin, Russia, and the War in UkraineLucan Way on Ukraine. Democracy in Hard Places.More Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
As long as people are able to cast their ballot, irrespective of the illiberalism, irrespective of all these other shortcomings, democracy, at least from a voting standpoint, has the capacity to surprise.Neil DevottaSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Neil DeVotta is professor of politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University. His article "Sri Lanka's Agony" was published in this July's issue of Journal of Democracy.Key HighlightsIntroduction - 0:38Overview of the Protests - 3:15Protests After the Rajapaksas - 15:16Background on the Rajapaksas - 24:58Sri Lanka and Democracy - 30:31Future of Sri Lanka - 34:11Key LinksLearn more about Neil DeVotta"Sri Lanka's Agony" by Neil DeVotta in the Journal of Democracy"Sri Lanka: The Return to Ethnocracy" by Neil DeVotta in the Journal of DemocracyDemocracy Paradox PodcastAshutosh Varshney on India. Democracy in Hard PlacesMark Beissinger on Urban Civic RevolutionsMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
The US consumer system is uniquely exploitative. US consumers are exploited by American companies, by French companies, by German companies, by Chinese companies, because there aren't laws protecting consumer data privacy that extend widely across the US consumer ecosystem. The main difference with Chinese companies is that the Chinese government has established an entire framework that pressures Chinese firms to share their data with Chinese government regulators.Aynne KokasSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Aynne Kokas is an associate professor of media studies and the C.K. Yen Chair at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. Her most recent book is Trafficking Data: How China Is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty. Her article "How Beijing Runs the Show in Hollywood" was published in this April's issue of Journal of Democracy.Key HighlightsIntroduction - 0:50Video Games as Social Media - 3:02Chinese Brands in the US Tech Market - 11:34Party Control of China's Tech Industry - 19:40America's Lack of Tech Regulations - 28:36The Big Picture - 37:03Key LinksLearn more about Aynne KokasTrafficking Data: How China Is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty by Aynne Kokas"How Beijing Runs the Show in Hollywood" by Aynne Kokas in the Journal of DemocracyVisit the Miller Center at the University of VirginiaDemocracy Paradox PodcastRonald Deibert from Citizen Lab on Cyber Surveillance, Digital Subversion, and Transnational RepressionMareike Ohlberg on the Global Influence of the Chinese Communist PartyMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
There are a lot of people quietly who are deeply frustrated with this war. Every rich person in Russia with one or two exceptions are frustrated with this war. I think many of the so-called liberal technocratic elites in the government are frustrated with this war. Lots of regional leaders are frustrated with this war. It's not just the vocal opposition. I think there's a quiet minority and maybe even majority that is exhausted with what Putin has done.Michael McFaulSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, is professor of political science at Stanford University, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. His most recent book is From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia (2018). Robert Person is associate professor of international relations at the U.S. Military Academy, director of its international affairs curriculum, and faculty affiliate at its Modern War Institute. Their essay "What Putin Fears Most" was published as an online exclusive from the Journal of Democracy in February and was included in the April 2022 issue.Key HighlightsIntroduction 0:48Personal Account from Michael McFaul 3:16Putin's Objectives 7:44What would Russia be like without Putin? 12:22Challenges for democracy in Ukraine 20:10Effectiveness of sanctions 24:15Where is the Russian Revolution going? 27:11Key LinksLearn more about Michael McFaul"What Putin Fears Most" by Robert Person and Michael McFaul in the Journal of DemocracyFrom Cold War To Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia by Michael McFaulDemocracy Paradox PodcastKathryn Stoner on How Putin’s War has Ruined RussiaMarta Dyczok and Andriy Kulokov on the Media, Information Warriors, and the Future of UkraineMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
I think they're really important. But I don't think that they are a complete safeguard. Certainly, when you create democracies in hard places, you want to think very carefully about what institutions you want in place and how you strengthen them. But if you get illiberal governing parties in democracies in hard places, they can run over institutions.Scott MainwaringSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Scott Mainwaring is the Eugene P. and Helen Conley Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a faculty fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, where he previously served as director for 13 years and is a current Advisory Board member. He is the coeditor (with Tarek Masoud) of Democracy in Hard Places.Key HighlightsIntroduction 0:47Why is Argentina a hard place for democracy? 2:35Are democracies in hard places the exception or the norm? 9:19Is Peronism a threat to democracy? 12:01How can democracies strengthen institutions? 19:32What role do citizens play? 33:27Key LinksLearn more about Scott Mainwaring"The Fates Of Third-Wave Democracies" by Scott Mainwaring and Fernando Bizarro in the Journal of DemocracyDemocracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek MasoudDemocracy Paradox PodcastLucan Way on Ukraine. Democracy in Hard Places.Rachel Beatty Riedl on Benin. Democracy in Hard Places.More Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
The war is never going to really end. Because even in the most optimistic scenario where Ukraine regains its territory and it goes back to the 1991 borders, Russia is almost certainly going to present a permanent threat to Ukrainian sovereignty. I think objectively it will. But even if objectively it wasn’t, after such an invasion, you can imagine the political environment's going to treat it as one.Lucan WaySupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Lucan Way is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He coauthored (along with Steven Levitsky) Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. He has a new book also coauthored with Steven Levitsky due this fall called Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism. He is the author of the chapter "Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine: Democratic Moments in the Former Soviet Union" in the book Democracy in Hard Places.Key HighlightsWhat makes Zelensky such a special leader?Why wasn't Ukraine considered more democratic before Russia's invasion?How has the war impacted democracy in Ukraine?What role did Ukraine's ethnic pluralism contribute to democratization?What challenges will Ukrainian democracy face after its war with Russia?Key LinksRevolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism by Steven Levitsky and Lucan WayFollow the Lucan Way on Twitter @LucanWay"The Rebirth of the Liberal World Order?" by Lucan Way in the Journal of DemocracyDemocracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek MasoudDemocracy Paradox PodcastSarah Repucci from Freedom House with an Update on Freedom in the WorldStephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman on Democratic BackslidingMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
Democracy is a complex concept. It has to do with elections. It has to do with legislatures. It has to do with civil society organizations and courts and political styles of politicians. There's a lot packed into the concept and it's multidimensional, because some of these components don't move together.Michael CoppedgeSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Michael Coppedge is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, a principal investigator of the Varieties of Democracy project, and a faculty fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. He is a coeditor (along with Amanda Edgell, Carl Henrik Knutsen, and Staffan Lindberg) of Why Democracies Develop and Decline.Key HighlightsDemocracy as a multidimensional conceptHow the conditions for democratization differ from those for backslidingWays researchers use information from V-Dem to discover new insights about democracyNew findings from V-Dem research regarding presidentialism, party system institutionalization, and anti-system partiesHow has V-Dem changed research about democracyKey LinksLearn more about the Varieties of Democracy ProjectFollow the V-Dem Institute on Twitter @vdeminstituteWhy Democracies Develop and Decline edited by Michael Coppedge, Amanda B. Edgell, Carl Henrik Knutsen and Staffan I. LindbergDemocracy Paradox PodcastSarah Repucci from Freedom House with an Update on Freedom in the WorldStephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman on Democratic BackslidingMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
So, at some level, a belief in democracy was necessary in Benin as in elsewhere. Support for it - Absolutely. But what's interesting in the Benin case is that you were lacking that level of political elite leadership that were committed democratic ideologues.Rachel Beatty RiedlSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Rachel Beatty Riedl is the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies, Director of the Einaudi Center for International Studies, and professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University. She also cohosts the podcast Ufahamu Africa with Kim Yi Dionne. Her chapter "Africa’s Democratic Outliers Success amid Challenges in Benin and South Africa" appears in the forthcoming book Democracy in Hard Places.Key HighlightsDetails the story of Benin's democratizationHow Benin has used consensus to governWhat makes Benin a democracy in a hard placeAn overview of the current President Patrice TalonCurrent threats to democracy in BeninKey LinksLearn more about the Einaudi Center for International StudiesListen to the Ufahamu PodcastFollow Rachel Beatty Riedl on Twitter @BeattyRiedlDemocracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek MasoudDemocracy Paradox PodcastEvan Lieberman on South AfricaChristophe Jaffrelot on Narendra Modi and Hindu NationalismMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
Nehru is asked several times in those early years, ‘Aren’t you doing something which has never been done before? You are 17% literate. Half of your country is below the poverty line. Under such conditions no democracy has ever stabilize itself and perhaps has not emerged.’ And his argument repeatedly is that we shouldn't be constrained by the history of the West.Ashutosh VarshneySupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Ashutosh Varshney is the Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Brown University, where he also directs the Center for Contemporary South Asia. His chapter "India’s Democratic Longevity and Its Troubled Trajectory" appears in the forthcoming book Democracy in Hard Places.Key HighlightsHow India defied early theories of democratizationThe role of leadership in India's early democracyWhy India returned to democracy after Indira Gandhi's emergency?The eerie similarities between India's recent treatment of Muslims and the rise of the Jim Crow era in the American SouthWhen will democratic backsliding in India become a democratic collapseKey Links"Modi Consolidates Power: Electoral Vibrancy, Mounting Liberal Deficits" by Ashutosh Varshney in Journal of DemocracyLearn more about Ashutosh Varshney at www.ashutoshvarshney.netFollow Ashutosh Varshney on Twitter @ProfVarshneyDemocracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek MasoudDemocracy Paradox PodcastDan Slater on IndonesiaChristophe Jaffrelot on Narendra Modi and Hindu NationalismMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
When you hear people talk in such disparaging tones, that everything is broken, that nothing is possible, you need to ask yourself, is that right? When you look around, the answer is no. There are these examples where things do go right, where people work together and create a neighborhood or a community for themselves in which they can be prosperous and build better lives. And that's really what the democratic project is all about.Evan LiebermanSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Evan Lieberman is a Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Director of the MIT Global Diversity Lab, and the faculty director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI). He is the coauthor with Rorisang Lekalake of the recent article "South Africa's Resilient Democracy" in the Journal of Democracy and author of the forthcoming book Until We Have Won Our Liberty: South Africa after Apartheid.Key HighlightsWhy is Evan Lieberman optimistic about democracy in South AfricaRole of Nelson Mandela on South Africa's democracyImportance of South Africa for democracy in the worldAccount of the housing community EthembalethuWhat the 2019 election says about democracy in South AfricaKey LinksUntil We Have Won Our Liberty: South Africa after Apartheid by Evan Lieberman"South Africa’s Resilient Democracy" by Evan Lieberman and Rorisang Lekalake in Journal of DemocracyLearn more about Evan Lieberman at www.evanlieberman.orgFollow Evan Lieberman on Twitter @evliebDemocracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek MasoudDemocracy Paradox PodcastDan Slater on IndonesiaNic Cheeseman and Gabrielle Lynch on the Moral Economy of Elections in AfricaMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
This might sound like a cliche, but in Indonesia it's really, really true. My hope rests in the Indonesian people and the voters. I mean, the voters, they show up. The voters have been the ones to defend democracy. They've been the ones to reject the most anti-pluralistic candidates, not all Indonesian voters, but a slim majority. They've been managing to do it.Dan SlaterSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Dan Slater is the Weiser Professor of Emerging Democracies in the Department of Political Science and director of the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies at the University of Michigan. Dan is also the coauthor of the forthcoming book From Development to Democracy: The Transformations of Modern Asia with Joseph Wong.Key HighlightsA brief account of how Indonesia democratizedWhat is democratization through strengthHow elites held onto power after democratizationWhat makes Indonesia a hard place for democracyThe current state of Indonesia's democracyKey LinksFrom Development to Democracy: The Transformations of Modern Asia by Dan Slater and Joseph WongDemocracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek MasoudFollow Dan Slater on Twitter @SlaterPoliticsDemocracy Paradox PodcastDonald Horowitz on the Formation of Democratic ConstitutionsSebastian Strangio Explains the Relationship Between China and Southeast AsiaMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
Boeing is pulling out, DuPont, Erickson, Analog Devices, Bombardier. Eventually all of these things are going to cause supply and production chain issues and unemployment in Russia. So, Mr. Putin doesn't have an infinite amount of time before havoc is wrought.Kathryn StonerSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Kathryn Stoner is the Mosbacher Director at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, a professor of political science at Stanford University, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. She is also the author of the book Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order. Her article “How Putin’s War Has Ruined Russia” was recently published online at journalofdemocracy.org.Key HighlightsHow has Russia's invasion of Ukraine affected perceptions of Russia's militaryHow has it affected its economy both short-term and long-termHow has it affected Russia's international standingThe affects on Russia's citizensWhat does Putin's unpredictability mean for peace in UkraineKey Links"How Putin’s War in Ukraine Has Ruined Russia" by Kathryn Stoner in Journal of DemocracyRussia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order by Kathryn StonerFollow Kathryn Stoner on Twitter @kath_stonerDemocracy Paradox PodcastMoisés Naím on the New Dynamics of Political PowerKathryn Stoner on Russia’s Economy, Politics, and Foreign PolicyMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on DemocracyZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
There's something natural and organic about perceiving that the people in power are out to advance their own interests. It's in part because it’s often true. Governments actually do keep secrets from the public. Politicians engage in scandals. There often is corruption at high levels. So, we don't want citizens in a democracy to be too trusting of their politicians. It's healthy to be skeptical of the state and its real abuses and tendencies towards secrecy. The danger is when this distrust gets redirected, not toward the state, but targets innocent people who are not actually responsible for people's problems.Scott RadnitzSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.*Please note during the interview the host says "conspiracy" rather than "conspiracy theory." The transcript has been corrected.*Scott Radnitz is an associate professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University of Washington and the director of the Ellison Center for Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies. He is the author of Revealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region and coeditor with Harris Mylonas of the forthcoming book Enemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns. His article “Why Democracy Fuels Conspiracy Theories” was recently published in the Journal of Democracy.Key HighlightsConspiracy theories Russia uses to justify their invasion of UkraineWhy Russia relies on conspiracy theories in its political rhetoricThe use of conspiracy theories in democracies and autocraciesThe recent proliferation of conspiracy theories in the United StatesHow to mitigate the harmful effects of conspiracy theories in politicsKey Links"Why Democracy Fuels Conspiracy Theories" by Scott Radnitz in Journal of DemocracyRevealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region by Scott RadnitzEnemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns edited by Harris Mylonas and Scott RadnitzDemocracy Paradox PodcastRonald Deibert from Citizen Lab on Cyber Surveillance, Digital Subversion, and Transnational RepressionMoisés Naím on the New Dynamics of Political PowerMore Episodes from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicEmail the show at jkempf@democracyparadox.comFollow on Twitter @DemParadoxZBiotics Pre-Alcohol ProbioticBreaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking.BrandSupport the show
Comments (63)

ncooty

I really enjoyed this conversation. One criticism: @12:41: You referred to "decolonizing" the literature via inclusion of local people's perspectives. Obviously, those perspectives are relevant and truly need and deserve consideration--particularly in the rare instances when research informs governance--but "decolonization" is a terrible word choice with large amounts of unnecessary and inaccurate baggage. You seem to insinuate that a colonial perspective is necessarily inherent in a researcher's nationality or ethnicity rather than a mindset. Colonialism is a point of view, not a skin tone or home address. Similarly, it implies that local people are rarely or never complicit in colonialism. Both of those are simply wrong, though they do reflect the fashionable nonsense of identity politics and a celebration of victimhood (real or concocted) that provides a sort of race-based culpability or exoneration that alludes to the idea of "noble savages". It's a flippant ad hominem that distorts and distracts from relevant considerations. We can talk about inclusivity without resorting to the hyperbole and histrionics of scattershot aspersions.

May 14th
Reply (8)

ncooty

Great episode. Very glad you chose to give it a looser structure and let the conversation flow.

Apr 28th
Reply (1)

ncooty

This was a miss for me. The topic was interesting, but the guest offered exceedingly poor evidence and rationale for his opinions. I think it would have helped for him to define his terms first, because he seemed to have a rather loose and fluctuating notion of the definitional criteria of revolutions. E.g., need they aim for regime change or does policy change suffice? How does he differentiate between demonstrations, movements, coups, revolts, etc.? Moreover, he seemed to have little appreciation for epistemological progression or methodological rigor. Rather than starting with (i) a specific description of phenomena and building an evidentiary basis for (ii) prediction from which to assert (iii) explanatory theories, subject to clear means of falsification, he seemed instead to leap straight to explanations. For example, @10:17+, he described selecting on the dependent variable, and indeed you followed up by compounding that over-interpretation (re: the causal influence of proportional popular support). The probability of A given B is rarely equal to the probability of B given A. @19:55+, he offered purely observational, correlational evidence in support of baldly causal assertions. Surely it's obvious that the locations of demonstrations aren't randomly assigned and that revolutionary demonstrations might be held in urban areas and capitals based on how vulnerable they are to the revolution, and not that the location determines the success. Again, he seemed not to differentiate between correlates and causes. I know you often say that many guests offer better evidence in their books or research papers, and although it seems obvious that those publications would offer more length and detail, I find it hard to believe that the authors are rigorous in their research yet careless in their interviews. I don't know any researchers who, in summarizing their work, manage to make it sound less rigorous than it is, particularly in a free-form half-hour+ conversation. If anything, in my experience, researchers overstate the actual rigor, so if it sounds poor, it usually is poor. The upshot is that, based on this discussion, I think it would be dangerous and irresponsible to base any public policy or public movements on the views offered in this interview. I would have had greater regard for his views if he had limited his remarks to those he is in a position to substantiate with evidence, but I realize that bolder claims garner more attention.

Apr 16th
Reply (3)

ncooty

Justin, I just listened to a podcast that brought you to mind and thought I'd pass it along. It was episode 486 of the 99% Invisible podcast (which focuses on design), in which they rebroadcast an episode from the Rumble Strip podcast followed by a discussion with the host/ creator of Rumble Strip. The rebroadcast portion is about town meetings in Vermont, and the follow-up interview is a bit about creating a podcast. The combination of governance and podcasting brought you to mind and I thought you might enjoy that episode.

Apr 15th
Reply (1)

ncooty

"Place-making" is not new. This is a real point of irritation for me with academics, and social "scientists" in particular: they love to pretend they have found or invented new concepts and to ignore vast amounts of research already done on those topics, both in their field and in others. It's a startling degree of willful ignorance, incuriosity, or arrogance (combined with condescension toward past researchers)... but it is handsomely rewarded and obsequiously accommodated in their fields.

Apr 9th
Reply (1)

ncooty

Based on your intro, I was really looking forward to a conversation on the value of the concept of polarization, akin to Popper's justifications of intolerance of intolerance. Instead, the conversation seemed to assume that polarization is a useful framing and, to my ears, stayed mired in aloof abstractions or disconnected observations that presuppose the value of polar framing. It would have been informative to hear them rebutt the view that the concept of polarization often provides cover for what should be intolerable ideas. It's a way of casting issues as (i) a simplistic competition between 2 views (i.e., a binary political horse race) and (ii) inherently relative, as if we're only able to discern a difference score rather than to assess positions against any other criteria. It's a way of "both-sidesing" an issue. However, in many cases, we are in fact in a position to adjudicate between competing views based on evidence, and when we aren't sure what evidence would suffice, *that* is the conversation we should have. Far too often, the concept of polarization is a distraction that works to erode democracy and good governance. It's value is highly suspect in my opinion. First your part, you asked a few questions aimed at this issue, but the guests didn't seem to appreciate their full relevance and answered in ways that, to my ears, sounded simplistic and aloof... particularly for the younger guest, whose obnoxious pretense I found off-putting, but that's my issue. I hope a future interview with different guests will more deeply explore these issues and the way various concepts provide pseudo-democratic rhetorical cover for the erosion of democracy--e.g., the sanctification of "civility", alternative rhetorical frames and the institutions that support or hinder them, etc.

Apr 9th
Reply (3)

ncooty

Nice, informative discussion. Always helpful to hear thoughtful, well informed conversations about particular instantiations/ contexts.

Apr 9th
Reply (1)

ncooty

I greatly appreciate discussions that seek to integrate, synthesize, or at least juxtapose the views of seemingly disconnected fields regarding a given phenomenon or system. However, I didn't find much value in this discussion. I think it might have helped to ask some epistemological questions. E.g., the guest made numerous assertions and interpretations that she attributed to external objects or society, but offered no evidence that her attributions were correct. Many times, I wanted you to ask, "How do we know that?" or "Aren't there competing explanations for that phenomenon?" E.g., she made several assertions that particular aesthetic choices were made in order to achieve certain political or cultural aims, yet offered no evidence of how we know those were the intentions nor any evidence of the extent to which those imputed intentions have been successful. In her field, does intuition = knowledge? (It's a minor point, but I found it especially ironic that she dismissed the long-term political "iconography" of infrastructure, particularly in the form of "landscaping", given Edmund Burke's reference to historical landscape infrastructure in the Indian subcontinent as precisely "the monuments of true kings". Does she draw a line between utility and aesthetics?) Moreover, I found her use of language remarkably imprecise, and in some cases simply wrong. E.g., near the end, she said she was using "media" in the Greek sense of anything we observe or experience. That is not what media meant to ancient Greeks nor what it means now. I also couldn't quite find the incremental value of the neologism "iconopraxis" (except in as much as the so-called "jingle" and "jangle" fallacies have helped many academics attain tenure in the social sciences). E.g., it seems exceedingly casuistic to suggest that "rites" and "rituals" don't suffice for the phenomena she described. Her thesis seemed to be that art can be a political and cultural instrument. Is that insightful? What are the generalizable claims that help us describe, predict, or explain those interactions? How have we tested those claims? I'd enjoy more cross-disciplinary discussions, though I think it's possible to have them in a way that finds common epistemological ground, injects a bit of healthy skepticism, and aims for some pragmatic heuristics.

Apr 9th
Reply (2)

ncooty

@26:58: Although I think it's relevant to ask about the role of institutions as part of the autopsy of the war in Afghanistan, doing so can cast them as whipping boys for the real culprit: the American public. After all, part of the criticism made here is that the harsh truths spoken within the institutions were discordant with public statements. So, the main rift to be explained is not likely within those institutions, but rather between institutional views and public statements. At that transition, we're faced with both supply and demand. It seems quite obvious that, as the guest stated, no U.S. president will go to the U.S. public and say things aren't going well. Why not? Because the real problem is on the demand side. If voters valued truth, we'd have honest politicians. Once a politician whips up war fever, they lose control to the mob's egotistical, chauvinistic expectations and hallucinations. This seems to be an odd theme amongst podcasts on democracy: focusing on top-down or procedural mechanisms (e.g., institutions and powerful individuals) rather than on the unaccountable appetites of a generally uneducated, self-absorbed, short-sighted, simple-minded, macho electorate. The U.S. is like a nation of obese toddlers with bazookas... and we talk about democratic institutions as if they are supposed to save us from ourselves. Somewhat separately, I disagree with the framing of the U.S. losing the war in Afghanistan by virtue of not creating a modern civilization there where there was none, and where the local population always hedged its bets rather than committing to modernity, civility, or good governance. It reminds me of "donor syndrome". We need to separate war-fighting from nation-building--in language, policy, and function. Conflating them contributes to exactly the sort of dangerously ambiguous rhetorical inertia that kept us in Afghanistan for 20 years.

Apr 6th
Reply (1)

ncooty

Great guest and a great conversation, Justin. I'd have been interested to hear more about any circumstances in which the guest thinks people shouldn't be allowed to vote (not just shouldn't be required). I realize that would likely be a more philosophical than practical question (one you nearly hit with the question about 16 year olds). In any case, great episode.

Mar 30th
Reply (1)

ncooty

I've yet to encounter an economic theory that predicts anything (other than self-fulfilling prophecies). In most fields, when observed human behavior differs from the predictions of a theory, the theory is wrong, but in economics, the people are wrong. I detect a bit of that hubris in this interview, wherein we hear that an enforced model for transactions within regulated financial markets can explain the subjective phenomenology of justice. As is too often the case with economists, he seems to think both deductively and reductively, and to think that the key to understanding any issue is to price it (using economic theories and jargon), as if prices capture all value and other denominations of worth are crude. If it's a theory worth implementing, then I wish this guest were as committed to clear communication as he likely is to this theory. Until then, he might have to settle for accolades within his field while his theory languishes in irrelevance among broader society. This is that sad truth of most research in the social sciences. He seems to think that if everyone will learn his language, we'll realize how valuable his insights are. However, in my experience, people who really know what they're talking about in social sciences are able to translate their ideas for broad understanding, because we're all intimately familiar with social phenomena. To make a comprehensible thing sufficiently indecipherable to merit tenure takes an academic.

Mar 16th
Reply (1)

ncooty

@8:56: An excellent, sharp, diplomatically phrased, and useful question. Exactly the sort of question that makes your interviews great.

Mar 15th
Reply (1)

ncooty

I wonder what Mr. Meister finds insufficient in "original", such that we need "originary".

Mar 2nd
Reply (2)

ncooty

Funny coincidence, just yesterday, I listened to your first interview with her and noted that I'd love to hear a series with her. This one was likewise great. I did hear a bit of naivete in some of her answers, but I know we have to inject optimism into our work... for ourselves and those with whom we work.

Mar 2nd
Reply (1)

ncooty

Great interview with a great guest. I'd love to hear a series of interviews with her or similar colleagues. This discussion hinted at many topics that could warrant at least a full episode--e.g., discerning freedom and democracy from their predictors, the dimensions of freedom and democracy, whether freedom and democracy imply one another, what freedom means and how it ought to be weighed against other values, competing interpretations of freedom, instances in which freedom and democracy do not align, alternative values to freedom (e.g., social harmony, well-being), cultural and structural enablers (or hindrances) to freedom and democracy, etc. It would be very interesting to hear the two of you discuss some of these topics.

Feb 28th
Reply (2)

Cate Adams

I just found this podcast, and I'm so glad that I did. The hosts are knowledgeable without being arrogant, open minded without being too idealistic, and really eloquent in the way they tackle heavy duty, every day concepts concerning democracy. I'm really enjoying my learning experience, and can't wait for more! thank you so much for this important work!

Feb 24th
Reply (1)

ncooty

Justin's questions were characteristically well informed and well targeted, but I struggled to find value in this conversation. The constructs (especially of respect, tolerance, and dignity) seemed both poorly defined and conveniently manipulated to a rather loose and naive story--roughly approximated as "respect = acceptance, whatever those words mean". There was a conflation between immigrant status and religion, insufficient regard for the limits of generalizability, no apparent appreciation for the distinction between reporting personal biases and estimating statistics (e.g., are accurate Bayesian priors for social phenomena inherently inappropriate biases?), what sounded like a sadly unsophisticated notion of empirical methods, etc. In fact, the guy even recounted a story of having failed to do a manipulation check in an "experiment" with ONE WHOLE manipulation. And that was after the lady beamed that her friend had discovered randomization in the '80s, though evidently had told her only about random assignment, not random sampling. (Also, if Justin's compliment about unexpected findings was genuine, then that's a very damning statement about his field, in terms of both research questions and methods.) No, I'm sorry, because I really was looking for things to compliment from the guests, but in my opinion, these two either did a poor job of explaining good research or wouldn't know good research if it slapped them. And this was not a short conversation, so I wouldn't put much stock in "Well we couldn't cover everything!" No, this was longer than many conference talks. I haven't read their book, and based on this conversation, I won't, so I could be wrong about the quality of work. However, from what I heard, it sounded like the sort of self-congratulatory, unrigorous, vague, confused, exploratory content that undermines credibility of the social sciences. Two more minor points: - Why was this published as a book vs. in peer-reviewed journals? If it was published as articles, it would've been interesting to hear how the research trajectory was affected by reviews and feedback. - I was surprised to get through this conversation without hearing a single reference to Popper, especially his extensive ruminations on justifying intolerance of intolerance. As ever, I enjoyed your questions, Justin, but I'd skip listening to future episodes with these two. I guess the main thing I've noticed in listening to these is that I'd love to hear you pose a few questions in each interview that are more skeptical and less exploratory/ expository. E.g., "Some of our listeners may be a bit skeptical of X or Y. How do you respond to criticisms that A and B are insufficiently defined or that the connections between C and D are based mostly on conjecture?" Maybe I'm the only one.

Feb 23rd
Reply (1)

ncooty

Another well-facilitated conversation. I wish the author had highlighted what she thinks is new or insightful here. Justin's questions about social media's evolving influence on the balance between representation, delegation, and manipulation provided exactly that sort of opportunity, but the author's response came across to me as a bit mealy-mouthed. (The read excerpts also sounded a bit self-involved and academically performative--displacing clarity with allusions to French social rapporteurs... as one does.) I thought the conversation also tilted a bit toward a "supply-side" view of power, even when Justin explicitly focused on public sovereignty. That seemed like a missed opportunity for the guest to talk a bit about the blame that ought to rest with individuals--e.g., the "demand" side of a political culture of cartoonish spectacles, division, a spectator's mentality, and proud idiocy. E.g., our current tragic circus is not the outcome just of formal political institutions and conniving elites, but also--and possibly much more so--of the ravenous appetites of quixotic imbeciles luxuriating in leisurely vitriol. (Even the clownish insurrection seems now to be widely cast as unserious and inconsequential leisure.) Perhaps the link to her book's thesis would have been to discuss how our cultural deficiencies connect with depraved political opportunism.

Feb 11th
Reply (1)

Haley Slaughter

hi

Feb 9th
Reply (2)

Justin Kempf

This book really made me think differently about the American constitution. Fishkin comes from a very liberal perspective, but I thought some of his insights about the constitution also applied to ideas from conservatives. It's a subject I hope to come back to in the future. What are your thoughts about Fishkin's ideas about the constitution? What do you still disagree with? What changed your mind?

Feb 1st
Reply
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