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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

They Sold Our Park! How Local Governments Fail At Democracy, Zandria Michaud May 2019

They Sold Our Park! How Local Governments Fail At Democracy, Zandria Michaud

Global Honors Theses

In 2016 the city of Kent, Washington sold a public park to a housing developer. While this sale may seem typical, what was disconcerting to Kent residents was not only that they were losing a park, but also that they knew nothing of the sale. The entire process of selling the park to a housing developer had been in the works for more than ten years, and yet, no one thought to ask the residents about it. From this sale, several issues arose regarding city level government democracy and the role of citizens in policy decision-making. By critically examining the ...


Democratic Self-Determination And The Intentional Building Of Consensus, Valeria Ottonelli Apr 2019

Democratic Self-Determination And The Intentional Building Of Consensus, Valeria Ottonelli

Journal of Public Deliberation

This paper defends two fundamental but under-theorized insights coming from the theory of deliberative democracy. The first is that consensus is valuable as a precondition of democratic collective self-determination, since it ensures that democratic decisions display an adequate degree of integrity and consistency and therefore that the polity can act as a unified agent. The second is that consensus in this integrity-building role is essential if citizens need to act as decision-makers; it ensures that the decisions that issue from the exercise of their political rights are meaningful, and that they are so as the intended result of their joint ...


Looking Back, Thinking Ahead: Reflections On Our Five Years As Editors Of The Journal Of Public Deliberation, Laura W. Black, Timothy J. Shaffer, Nancy Thomas Apr 2019

Looking Back, Thinking Ahead: Reflections On Our Five Years As Editors Of The Journal Of Public Deliberation, Laura W. Black, Timothy J. Shaffer, Nancy Thomas

Journal of Public Deliberation

For the last five years, we have had the honor of serving as editors of the Journal of Public Deliberation. This issue marks the end of our editorial tenure, and we take this opportunity to both look back and think ahead. In this brief essay, we reflect on what we’ve seen during our time as editors. We begin by describing three important special issues that reflect the state of our field, then provide some details about how we have facilitated JPD’s growth over the past five years, including publication statistics and article download rates. We conclude by discussing ...


Faulty Vision And Political Realism, Quinn F. Lewis Jan 2019

Faulty Vision And Political Realism, Quinn F. Lewis

Senior Projects Spring 2019

This project responds to and expands upon Sheldon Wolin’s magnum opus, “Politics and Vision.” It critiques Wolin’s unnecessarily fragile conception of democracy, as being by nature “ephemeral,” and thus fundamentally non-institutional, by comparing it with the more pragmatic, realist approaches of two historical organizers, Saul Alinsky and V.I. Lenin. The project uses Wolin’s insightful analysis of the state of American politics under late capitalism, to ask, “What is to be done?” exploring the possibilities of organizing and political realism for the Left in the current day.


Strengthening Democracy By Design: Challenges And Opportunities, Nancy L. Thomas, J. Kyle Upchurch Dec 2018

Strengthening Democracy By Design: Challenges And Opportunities, Nancy L. Thomas, J. Kyle Upchurch

Journal of Public Deliberation

In 2014, the Journal of Public Deliberation published an essay, “Democracy by Design,” a framework for a more aspirational, stronger democracy and approach to civic learning. Here, the authors update and reissue Democracy by Design along with a report on the status of the four foundational attributes of a strong democracy, one that is participatory, free and equal, educated and informed, and accountable and justly governed. The authors argue that American democracy faces multiple challenges reflecting declines in democratic norms and practices, for example, growing inequality, weak and unequal civic education, widening polarization, and the rise of undemocratic forces in ...


When The State Turns Against Its Own Citizens: Revisiting Police Brutality As An Obstacle To Peace And Development In Zimbabwe, Tendaishe Tlou Nov 2018

When The State Turns Against Its Own Citizens: Revisiting Police Brutality As An Obstacle To Peace And Development In Zimbabwe, Tendaishe Tlou

Young African Leaders Journal of Development

This analysis comes at a strategic yet uncertain period in Zimbabwe when the nation is going through a political transition. A lot ofuncertainty surrounds the outcome of this transition. Since the 1980s, Zimbabwe has been entrenched in a plethora of crises including vast human rights abuses hinged on pervasive police brutality. The police have increasingly become predatory against the Zimbabwean populace, followed by disappearances of human rights defenders and activists. Elections have always been marred by political violence perpetrated by both State and non-state actors to the detriment of human rights and good governance. Whilst the leadership in the governing ...


Political Accountability And Determinants Of Governance Under Principal-Agent Theory, Matthew Bluem May 2018

Political Accountability And Determinants Of Governance Under Principal-Agent Theory, Matthew Bluem

Dissertations

This study examines the theory that quality of governance is largely dependent upon political accountability, and that the effect of political accountability on governance varies based on three main determinants: level of democracy, level of information available to the public, and diversification of the economy (Adserà et al. 2003). With quality of governance, represented by the World Bank’s World Governance Indicators (WGI), as the dependent variable, this study considers how these three independent variables, and several control variables, affect governance quality. Incorporating data from 2010 – 2015 for 143 countries in both cross-sectional OLS and fixed effects panel regression analysis ...


Why No Democracy In Egypt?, Mary Levine May 2018

Why No Democracy In Egypt?, Mary Levine

Honors Program Contracts

This paper will work to discover why the attempt at democracy in Egypt was a failure. It will analyze the aspects and features of democracy, and look at the features that Egypt lacked that made their democracy fail. It will also look at the results of the Arab Spring, and how that played a role in the deterioration of a democracy. Lastly, it will discuss what regime Egypt is currently under, and what it will need in order to become a functioning democracy. Through the use of scholarly articles, this paper will be able to better understand what is currently ...


A Democratic Critique Of The Common Core English Language Arts (Ela) Standards, Nicholas Tampio Apr 2018

A Democratic Critique Of The Common Core English Language Arts (Ela) Standards, Nicholas Tampio

Democracy and Education

Parents, educators, and students have criticized the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects for expecting students to regurgitate evidence from assigned texts rather than think for themselves. This article argues that this popular critique is accurate and that the Common Core, regardless of its advocates’ intentions, has undemocratic consequences. Initially, the essay considers a democratic argument for the Common Core. Then, I show that the standards themselves, faithfully implemented, lead to assignments and assessments that give students few opportunities to articulate their own thoughts or responses. I argue that ...


Is “This Guy” A Dictator? On The Morality Of Evaluating Russian Democracy Under Vladimir Putin, Amir Azarvan Jan 2018

Is “This Guy” A Dictator? On The Morality Of Evaluating Russian Democracy Under Vladimir Putin, Amir Azarvan

Journal of Global Initiatives: Policy, Pedagogy, Perspective

Is it morally defensible to single Russian president, Vladimir Putin, out as a dictator? The popular impression that he is a dictator has been used to legitimize a dangerously adversarial policy towards what a U.S. Army general described as “the only country on earth…that could “destroy the United States.” I argue that this perception is in some ways misleading, and has contributed to escalating tensions with Russia, which is both unnecessary and harmful both to Russia and the U.S.


The Rise Of Trump And The Death Of Civility, Keith Bybee Jan 2018

The Rise Of Trump And The Death Of Civility, Keith Bybee

Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media at Syracuse University

According to supporters and opponents alike, Donald Trump has been an unconventional candidate and president. In this article, I evaluate the relationship between Trump’s unconventional behavior and the requirements of civility. I provide a definition of civility, and I explain why it makes sense to relate Trump’s actions to civil norms. I then discuss how civility is enacted, I examine criticisms of civility’s triviality, and I explore the ways in which civility may repress dissent and maintain hierarchy. Although I consider the degree to which Trump’s actions are strategic, I ultimately argue that Trump’s incivilities ...


Education As Democratic Persuasion: Addressing Systemic Inequalities In Brettschneider's Value Democracy, Kyla L. Eastling Jan 2018

Education As Democratic Persuasion: Addressing Systemic Inequalities In Brettschneider's Value Democracy, Kyla L. Eastling

CMC Senior Theses

In Corey Brettschneider’s book, Democratic Rights: The Substance of Self- Government, he builds the value theory of democracy wherein procedural and substantive rights are both grounded in the core values of democracy. In his second book, When the State Speaks, What Should It Say? How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality, Brettschneider elaborates on his theory to provide an account of how a liberal democracy can address hateful and discriminatory views. In response to both theories, critics have charged that the ideal value democracy does not sufficiently account for systemic inequalities that women and black citizens face. In ...


What Congress's Repeal Efforts Can Teach Us About Regulatory Reform, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler Dec 2017

What Congress's Repeal Efforts Can Teach Us About Regulatory Reform, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Major legislative actions during the early part of the 115th Congress have undermined the central argument for regulatory reform measures such as the REINS Act, a bill that would require congressional approval of all new major regulations. Proponents of the REINS Act argue that it would make the federal regulatory system more democratic by shifting responsibility for regulatory decisions away from unelected bureaucrats and toward the people’s representatives in Congress. But separate legislative actions in the opening of the 115th Congress only call this argument into question. Congress’s most significant initiatives during this period — its derailed attempts to ...


Sins Against Democracy, David Marcou Nov 2017

Sins Against Democracy, David Marcou

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

No abstract provided.


American Populism Shouldn’T Have To Embrace Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola Nov 2017

American Populism Shouldn’T Have To Embrace Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Public ignorance is an inherent threat to democracy. It breeds superstition, prejudice, and error; and it prevents both a clear-eyed understanding of the world and the formulation of wise policies to adapt to that world.

Plato believed it was more than a threat: He thought it characterized democracies, and would lead them inevitably into anarchy and ultimately tyranny. But the liberal democracies of the modern era, grudgingly extending suffrage, have extended public education in parallel, in the hope of cultivating an informed citizenry. Yet today, given the persistence and severity of public ignorance, the ideal of an enlightened electorate seems ...


Elections In The Shadow Of Ebola: Sierra Leone’S African Socialist Movement And The Struggle For Democracy, Joshua Mcdermott Nov 2017

Elections In The Shadow Of Ebola: Sierra Leone’S African Socialist Movement And The Struggle For Democracy, Joshua Mcdermott

Conference: The Social Practice of Human Rights

The West African eEbola outbreak of 2014-15 claimed the lives of nearly 12,000 people, most of them from the Mano River region, comprising Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea-Conakry, three of the world’s poorest nations. In the wake of the outbreak, Sierra Leone’s ruling party, the All People’s Congress (APC), postponed the country’s 2017 elections for one year, under the pretext that the crisis had undermined the agenda of the president, Ernest Bai Koroma.

Authoritarianism is not new to Sierra Leone: The APC ruled the small coastal nation under a one-party state from the 1960s until ...


The Public Sphere As Site Of Emancipation And Enlightenment: A Discourse Theoretic Critique Of Digital Communication, David Ingram, Asaf Bar-Tura Sep 2017

The Public Sphere As Site Of Emancipation And Enlightenment: A Discourse Theoretic Critique Of Digital Communication, David Ingram, Asaf Bar-Tura

David Ingram

Habermas claims that an inclusive public sphere is the only deliberative forum for generating public opinion that satisfies the epistemic and normative conditions underlying legitimate decision-making. He adds that digital technologies and other mass media need not undermine – but can extend – rational deliberation when properly instituted. This paper draws from social epistemology and technology studies to demonstrate the epistemic and normative limitations of this extension. We argue that current online communication structures fall short of satisfying the required epistemic and normative conditions. Furthermore, the extent to which Internet-based communications contribute to legitimate democratic opinion and will formation depends on the ...


Tempered Experience: The Educational Foundation Of Democratic Ideology, Nicholas J. Schwarm Apr 2017

Tempered Experience: The Educational Foundation Of Democratic Ideology, Nicholas J. Schwarm

The Review: A Journal of Undergraduate Student Research

Democracy is a political ideology, one that requires a person to believe in that ideology for it to exist. The contemporary political landscape is dominated by democracies, and for this reason we need to understand how to build and sustain them. There needs to be a well-educated populace of citizens, who are able to engage in democratic actions, and aid the community. What they need is tempered experience, experience that is understood though the knowledge that a citizen already has.


Reason, Deliberation, And Democracy In Divided Societies: Perspectives From The Jafari School Of Thought, Nicolas Pirsoul Apr 2017

Reason, Deliberation, And Democracy In Divided Societies: Perspectives From The Jafari School Of Thought, Nicolas Pirsoul

Journal of Public Deliberation

In this article I argue that because of its emphasis on the use of reason, the Jafari Islamic school of thought is not only compatible with, but even promotes certain forms of deliberative democracy. I particularly focus on how this characteristic offers a valuable conceptual tool to promote peace and justice in deeply divided societies. My argument is grounded in traditional Shia theology and history but develops a political framework embedded within contemporary political theory. I distinguish this democratic political framework from the theocratic model of Wilayat-ul-Faqih, the political system currently being applied in Iran, and argue that an emphasis ...


American Civil Associations And The Growth Of American Government: An Appraisal Of Alexis De Tocqueville’S Democracy In America (1835-1840) Applied To Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal And The Post-World War Ii Welfare State, John P. Varacalli Feb 2017

American Civil Associations And The Growth Of American Government: An Appraisal Of Alexis De Tocqueville’S Democracy In America (1835-1840) Applied To Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal And The Post-World War Ii Welfare State, John P. Varacalli

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), a French aristocrat, intellectual, and commentator on American society during the 1830’s, described the United States as a society marked by a general “equality of condition,” that is, by a lack of noticeable social and economic distinctions among the citizenry. For Tocqueville, this characteristic of democracy encouraged the formation of an informal political bloc he termed “the majority” - a group who would often elect demagogues to political offices, since the latter were best able to give voice to majority opinion. Furthermore, de Tocqueville believed that this group was not only capable ...


Starting A War: Neoconservatism, Human Rights Rhetoric, And The Push To Democratize Iraq, Dylan Edward Long Jan 2017

Starting A War: Neoconservatism, Human Rights Rhetoric, And The Push To Democratize Iraq, Dylan Edward Long

Senior Projects Spring 2017

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


Master's Tools And The Master's House: A Historical Analysis Exploring The Myth Of Educating For Democracy In The United States, Timothy Scott Jan 2017

Master's Tools And The Master's House: A Historical Analysis Exploring The Myth Of Educating For Democracy In The United States, Timothy Scott

Doctoral Dissertations

Over the past forty-years, neoliberal education reform policies in the U.S. have spurred significant resistance, often galvanized by claims that such policies undermine public education as a vital institution of U.S. democracy. Within this narrative, many activists call to “save our schools” and return them to a time when public schools served the common good. With these narratives in mind, I explore the foundational and persistent power structures that characterize the U.S. as a means to reveal the fundamental purpose of its public education system. The questions that guide my research include: (1) With an understanding that ...


Corruption May Worsen In Democratizing Economies: But Don't Let It Erode Our Faith In Democracy, Shaomin Li, Ilan Alon, Jun Wu Jan 2017

Corruption May Worsen In Democratizing Economies: But Don't Let It Erode Our Faith In Democracy, Shaomin Li, Ilan Alon, Jun Wu

Management Faculty Publications

This commentary is based on a recent study we conducted on the relationship between regime type, corruption, and economic development. We build a theory that links corruption and regime type to economic growth and test it on 158 countries, using multiple databases including Polity IV, transparency international, the World Bank, and others. We first distinguish three regime types, autocracy (dictatorship), anocracy (countries in early stage of democratization), and mature democracy. We found that when autocratic countries begin democratize, corruption usually gets worse. As the infant democracies mature, corruption decreases.


Democracy In The Dark: An Energy Democracy Model Centering Property And People, Feby Boediarto Jan 2017

Democracy In The Dark: An Energy Democracy Model Centering Property And People, Feby Boediarto

Pitzer Senior Theses

The United States’ electric macro-grid provides electricity for all people to sustain our lifestyle. The current governing institutions that generate our electricity limit community representation, causing procedural injustice particularly to communities of color. This thesis is a contribution to the Energy Democracy literature, describing a community-based electricity model that includes two components: property and people. I argue to include an in-depth study of John Locke’s theories on property, in addition to Elinor Ostrom’s Institutional Analysis and Development Framework to promote local knowledge in understanding how physical space and governing bodies strengthen the Energy Democracy movement. In addition, I ...


Tempered Experience: The Educational Foundation Of Democratic Ideology, Nicholas J. Schwarm Dec 2016

Tempered Experience: The Educational Foundation Of Democratic Ideology, Nicholas J. Schwarm

Philosophy Undergraduate

Democracy is a political ideology, one that requires a person to believe in that ideology for it to exist. The contemporary political landscape is dominated by democracies, and for this reason we need to understand how to build and sustain Them. There needs to be a well educated populace of citizens, who are able to engage in democratic actions, and aid the community. What they need is tempered experience, experience that is understood though the knowledge that a citizen already has.


The Core Of An Unqualified Case For Judicial Review: A Reply To Jeremy Waldron And Contemporary Critics, Alexander Kaufman, Michael B. Runnels Dec 2016

The Core Of An Unqualified Case For Judicial Review: A Reply To Jeremy Waldron And Contemporary Critics, Alexander Kaufman, Michael B. Runnels

Brooklyn Law Review

No abstract provided.


Affinity Groups, Enclave Deliberation, And Equity, Carolyne Abdullah, Christopher F. Karpowitz, Chad Raphael Oct 2016

Affinity Groups, Enclave Deliberation, And Equity, Carolyne Abdullah, Christopher F. Karpowitz, Chad Raphael

Journal of Public Deliberation

There is growing appreciation for the value of holding enclave dialogue and deliberation among marginalized peoples in their own affinity groups, as one stage in a larger conversation with the broader public or with public officials. These enclaves may be disempowered by enduring political inequalities, or in relation to a particular issue under discussion, or by the act of deliberation itself. Recent research and practice has demonstrated that well-structured dialogue and deliberation in enclaves can increase the inclusion, participation, and influence of members of society who have been excluded from public discourse, while avoiding the dangers of coercion, sectarianism, conformism ...


Democracy And Development In Africa: What Africans Require, Ugochukwu M. Ifoh Oct 2016

Democracy And Development In Africa: What Africans Require, Ugochukwu M. Ifoh

Young African Leaders Journal of Development

According to the 2009 African Governance Report (AGR II), by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), many democracies in Africa are suffering from an authoritarian hangover. Many African countries adopted the system of democracy because it enjoys global endorsement as the best form of government and panacea for underdevelopment. But it is a truism that development in Africa remains impeded. This is because many African leaders are ignorant and negligent of the philosophical principles upon which democracy is formed. This paper seeks to discuss, within an African framework, the link between democracy and development. The clamour for democracy ...


The Revival Of Representative Democracy In Nigeria And Its Impact On Sustainable Development, Olanrewaju Ojo Emupenne Oct 2016

The Revival Of Representative Democracy In Nigeria And Its Impact On Sustainable Development, Olanrewaju Ojo Emupenne

Young African Leaders Journal of Development

Nigeria was under military rule for near to 30 years out of her 55 years of existence after independence. During this period, corruption reached peak levels causing societal retrogression. The dawn of the Fourth Republic in 1999 heralded the revival of elections in the country. It is against this background that this study investigates the extent to which democracy has advanced and improved the living standards of citizens and increased per capita income among others. A total of 642 people, 393 males, 236 women and 13 respondents took part in the case study. The study underscores the need for a ...


Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese Jul 2016

Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Administrative law constrains and directs the behavior of officials in the many governmental bodies responsible for implementing legislation and handling governance responsibilities on a daily basis. This field of law consists of procedures for decision making by these administrative bodies, including rules about transparency and public participation. It also encompasses oversight practices provided by legislatures, courts, and elected executives. The way that administrative law affects the behavior of government officials holds important implications for the fulfillment of democratic principles as well as effective governance in society. This paper highlights salient political theory and legal issues fundamental to the U.S ...