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2,234 Descriptions of Democracy

An Update to Democracy’s Ontological Pluralism

Jean-Paul Gagnon

In 2010 Milja Kurki explained that although scholars recognize that democracy is described in a variety of ways, they do not typically engage with its many and diverse descriptions. My aim in this agenda-setting research note is to tackle this quandary by first providing a minimum empirical account of democracy’s descriptions (i.e., a catalogue of 2,234 adjectives that have been used to describe democracy) and secondly by suggesting what democracy studies may gain by compiling this information. I argue that the catalogue of descriptors be applied in four ways: (1) drilling down into the meaning of each description, (2) making taxonomies, (3) rethinking the phenomenology of democracy, and (4) visualizing democracy’s big data. Each of the four applications and their significance is explained in turn. This research note ends by looking back on the catalogue and its four applications.

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Jean-Paul Gagnon and George Vasilev

reveals that when the media or scholars proclaim “a democracy to be in crisis,” they are actually saying that “a type of democracy is experiencing a specific problem caused by an identifiable stressor” without necessarily implying a terminal prognosis. As

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Jean-Paul Gagnon

, say, Rawls’ search for justice, Habermasian deliberation, or Hegelian dialectics in relation to x type or types of democracy. The last research article is by Costas Panayotakis (CUNY/City Tech). “Neoliberalism, the Left and the Rise of the Far

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Brent E. Sasley

way? Sample Discussion Questions What is liberal democracy? How does it differ from other types of democracy? Can collective rights for ethno-national groups exist within a liberal democracy? Does Israel meet the definition of a liberal democracy? Why

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Introduction

Textbooks in Periods of Political Transition after the Second World War

Kira Mahamud Angulo and Anna Ascenzi

particular characteristics of the process—the factors that shape the process and its outcome, and which may lead to various types of democracy 13 or ongoing democratization processes, all of which leave traces in textbooks. Whereas Spain and Indonesia broke

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Samuel Moyn and Jean-Paul Gagnon

such popularity and familiarity or conflation commonly exported by hegemons to, say, other countries where these meanings are not found (but other types of democracy would be found, should they have been looked for in the first place). This is a site

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Avery Poole

point that we must be careful in generalising about “models” or “ideal typesof democracy. As Hilmy (2010 ) notes, “a single theoretical perspective will not be helpful in understanding the trajectory of democracy in the world’s largest Muslim

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Wolfgang Merkel and Jean-Paul Gagnon

income-earners, or differently put, those people projected as a lower class in a society. They are not participating in democracy. But your phrase can also be used as a heuristic means to identify a type of democracy and its constitutive parts that are

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The Specter of Communism

Denmark, 1848

Bertel Nygaard

indeed provide the groundwork for a strong left-wing movement uniting under the slogan of democracy against not only the conservatives but also the moneyed and educated bourgeoisie. This movement was also accused of aiming at a communist type of democracy

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Alexander Weiss

basis for justifying a certain type of democracy. It draws the line at conceptions in which the people might be consulted but do not play a determining role in decision making or selection processes, and to call them non-democratic. 2) The