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Monday, March 19, 2018

Italy Is the West’s Future – Foreign Policy

 Italy Is the West’s Future – Foreign Policy

On one level, you might argue that the Italian election was classic Italian politics: a festa of successful insurgent outsiders, overturned insiders, and anti-establishment populism that is entirely in keeping with a national tradition of general political chaos. But on another level, those with an eye on the deeper currents will rightly see the events in Italy as a symptom of more profound changes that are sweeping through Europe’s creaking party systems, and that still have a long way to run.

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower | News | The Guardian

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower | News | The Guardian

Cambridge Analytica and all that!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Democracy Index 2017 I EIU

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories. This covers almost the entire population of the world and the vast majority of the world’s states (microstates are excluded). The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Based on its scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: “full democracy”; “flawed democracy”; “hybrid regime”; and “authoritarian regime”. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

:The Political Economy of Liberal Democracy" Rodrik & Mukand (NBER wp)


Abstract. We distinguish between three sets of rights – property rights, political rights, and civil rights – and
provide a taxonomy of political regimes. The distinctive nature of liberal democracy is that it protects
civil rights (equality before the law for minorities) in addition to the other two. Democratic transitions
are typically the product of a settlement between the elite (who care mostly about property rights)
and the majority (who care mostly about political rights). Such settlements rarely produce liberal democracy,
as the minority has neither the resources nor the numbers to make a contribution at the bargaining
table. We develop a formal model to sharpen the contrast between electoral and liberal democracies
and highlight circumstances under which liberal democracy can emerge. We discuss informally the
difference between social mobilizations sparked by industrialization and decolonization. Since the
latter revolve around identity cleavages rather than class cleavages, they are less conducive to liberal