How would you define the term ‘electoral system’? [1:45]How do you approach comparing so many different approaches to electoral systems around the world? [4:20]How do you characterise different families of electoral systems? [5.00]Could you provide an overview of the key elements of different electoral systems? [6:00]How can everyday people evaluate the different options? [15:05]Are there electoral reforms that warrant serious consideration that are still only theoretical i.e. they haven’t been used anywhere? [20:25]What do you think about the idea of using sortition to select a house of review? [22:15]If you were asked to re-design the Irish electoral system what would it look like? [25:25]
Today I'm speaking with Professor Archon Fung. Professor Fung is the Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
He notes that different democratic practices are better at delivering some of these than others and so we should be looking a mix of practices to complement each other and deliver all three functions. He proposes supplementing and layering innovations on top of electoral democracy to create stronger democracies.
I’d love to hear your answers to these two questions and include your perspectives in future episodes. You can send your perspectives to me by email to email@example.com or via Twitter or Facebook.
Professor Morlino talks to us about the analytical tool he has developed to allow comparison of democracies.
Dr Roslyn Fuller (dipl. jur./erstes Staatsexamen, Goettingen; PhD, Trinity College Dublin) is a Canadian-Irish academic and columnist, specializing in public international law, and the impact of technological innovation on democracy. Her latest book Beasts and Gods: How Democracy Changed Its Meaning and Lost Its Purpose explores the flaws of representative democracy and how they could be addressed through the application of ancient Athenian principles of demokratia (people power). Her work has appeared, among others, in OpenDemocracy, The Nation, The Toronto Star, Salon and The Irish Times, as well as in many scholarly journals. She is currently a Research Associate at Waterford Institute of Technology and founding member of the Solonian Democracy Institute.
Welcome back to Real Democracy Now! a podcast.This is episode one of Season Two. Season Two is about representative democracy
Season Two is about representative democracy: its origins, components, how it can be evaluated, different approaches to democracy, the democratic deficit and the relationship between democracy and capitalism.
In Episode 1 of Season 2, I'm talking to Professor Paul Cartledge. Professor Cartledge was the inaugural A G Levants Professor of Greek Culture
Professor Cartledge was the inaugural A G Levants Professor of Greek Culture in the University of Cambridge and President of Clare College, Cambridge. Between 2006 - 2010 he was Hellenic Parliament Global Distinguished Professor in History and Theory of Democracy at New York University. Over the course of his career, he has written and edited numerous books on the ancient Greek world, most recently Democracy: a Life. He has served as historical consultant for the BBC television series The Greeks, and for four Channel 4 documentaries, including The Spartans.
If you would like to hear more from Professor Cartledge I've added some videos to the Real Democracy Now! YouTube Channel.
Some other material you may find interesting:
In the next episode, I'll be talking with Professor Nadia Urbinati and Roslyn Fuller about the history of democracy and design. I hope you'll join me then.
In this episode I speak to three academics who each take a critical perspective on the operation of deliberative mini-publics. Each of them takes issue with a different aspect of the impact or influence that the recommendations coming from deliberative mini-publics have on public policy.
And Roslyn Fuller provides another perspective suggesting that citizens may change how they approach decision-making within a deliberative mini-public depending on whether they believe their recommendations will be implemented or not.
This is the final episode of Season 1 looking at deliberative mini-publics. If you haven't already listened to episodes 1 - 18 I'd suggest you go back and listen to them all, starting with Professor Carson explaining what deliberative mini-publics are in episode 1.1.
Season 2 will look at the history of democracy, the dominant model of representative democracy, as well as what is working and what isn’t.
Season 2 will commence in mid-March. I hope you'll join me then.
I ask each of them how their frameworks apply to deliberative mini-publics and they provide quite different assessments of the value and effectiveness of deliberative mini-publics as democratic innovations.
Professor Smith's framework identifies four democratic goods:
Professor Geißel's analytical framework comprises five criteria:
As you can see, there are some similarities between these frameworks. However, the conclusions each person draws about the value and effectiveness of deliberative mini-publics is quite different.
In next week's episode (the final one for Season 1) I talk to three other academics who take a critical perspective on the operation of deliberative mini-publics:
I hope you'll join me then.