The Qualities of Democracies: Latin America and Beyond

Date: 
November 14, 2012 - 17:30 - 19:00
Building: 
Nador u. 11
Room: 
TIGY Room
Event type: 
Event audience: 
CEU contact person: 
Carsten Q. Schneider
E-mail: 
Email contact form
Website: 
http://disc.ceu.hu/

The Center for the Study of Imperfections in Democracies (DISC), the Department of International Relations and European Studies and the Department of Political Science cordially invite you to the lecture 

"The Qualities of Democracies: Latin America and Beyond"

delivered by 

Professor Gerardo L. Munck, Professor in the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California (USC),

chair: Carsten Q. Schneider, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, CEU, and Director, Center for the Study of Imperfections in DemocraciesAssociate Professor

discussant: Zsolt Enyedi, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, CEU.

 

The growing literature on the quality of democracy draws attention to aspects of politics,
and to criteria for the evaluation of politics, beyond those encompassed by a minimal definition
of democracy. But,  what is  the quality of democracy?  This paper reconstructs and critiques 
conventional conceptualizations of the quality of democracy, and then reconceptualizes the 
quality of democracy. The proposed reconceptualization equates the quality of democracy with 
democracy pure and simple,  posits that democracy is  a synthesis  of political freedom and 
political equality, and spells out the implications of this substantive assumption with regard to 
government decision-making and  the social environment of politics. Other  specifications of
democratic standards relevant to these two components of a political system  are considered 
and reasons for discarding these proposals are provided. In short, with the aim of clarifying the 
concept of the quality of democracy, this paper highlights basic options and provides a rationale 
for rejecting certain positions and opting for others.

The growing literature on the quality of democracy draws attention to aspects of politics, and to criteria for the evaluation of politics, beyond those encompassed by a minimal definition of democracy. But, what is the quality of democracy? The lecture will reconstruct and critique conventional conceptualizations of the quality of democracy, and then reconceptualizes the quality of democracy. The proposed reconceptualization equates the quality of democracy with democracy pure and simple, posits that democracy is a synthesis of political freedom and political equality, and spells out the implications of this substantive assumption with regard to government decision-making and the social environment of politics. Other specifications of democratic standards relevant to these two components of a political system  are considered and reasons for discarding these proposals are provided. In short, with the aim of clarifying the concept of the quality of democracy, the lecture will highlights basic options and provides a rationale for rejecting certain positions and opting for others. 

Gerardo Munck (PhD UCSan Diego) does research on political regimes and democracy, methodology, and Latin America. Among his numerous publications Measuring Democracy: A Bridge Between Scholarship and Politics (Johns Hopkins, 2009).Regimes and Democracy in Latin America (Oxford, 2007); Passion, Craft, and Method in Comparative Politics (with Richard Snyder; Johns Hopkins, 2007); and Authoritarianism and Democratization. Soldiers and Workers in Argentina, 1976-83 (Penn State, 1998) received wide  acclaim. His academic papers were published among others in Comparative Political Studies, the Annual Review of Political Science, and World Politics. Prof. Munckheld several distinguished positions in APSA and IPSA and furthermore contributed to reports of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Organization of American States (OAS).

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