Posts Tagged 'Democracy'

For me, democracy is…

In August 2o18, I have presented a paper at a writer’s conference on ““Measuring Understanding of Democracy: Discussing Solutions for Methodological Fallacies” at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlinorganized by Norma Osterberg-Kaufmann, Toralf Stark and Christoph Mohamad-Klotzbach.

In this article, I argue that narrow, standardized, quantitative instruments might miss to assess this broad variety of individual understandings of democracy, as there is a much broader variety than can be measured by standardized tests. I argue that research in understandings of democracy beyond survey research should address four major issues: First, if we use open questions in surveys as well as qualitative methods we need a theoretical and methodological basis on how people construe their basic concepts, or “everyday life philosophy”. Phenomenology offers basic theoretic and methodological assumptions that can be used for this purpose and is outlined. Rooted in a Schutzian phenomenological perspective and empirical insight of 389 qualitative episodic interviews, we argue that developing more sophisticated instruments to assess understandings of democracy in large-n studies can only be derived from and complemented by open, qualitative assessments. Second, I argue that simply asking for understandings of democracy may lead to a confusion of concepts, as people often compound the meaning of democracy with other issues. This should be considered carefully if one investigates in understandings of democracy. Third, I advocate a qualitative multi-dimensional analysis that separates democracy, politics/polity and actual use of democracy. This can be used to develop a typology of individual, but collectively shared, political lifeworlds. Based on two qualitative studies in Baden-Wuerttemberg I find three groups of life worlds – distant, delegative, and participatory – with different patterns and concepts of Democracy and Politics, as well as different levels and forms of participation. Finally, I argue that insights from this research could be used to develop a comprehensive instrument to assess the variety of understandings of democracies in a more comprehensive way.

If you are interested in more information, please contact me.

Unlike Twins – Conference Program online.

In March 2017 the bi-annual conference of the DVPW Section “Comparative Politics” “Unlike Twins?! Comparing Democracies and Autocracies.” will take place in Tübingen.

Having received many excellent proposals for panels and papers, the panel convenors and the local organization team have compiled the conference program for March 2017. There will be 17 sessions with more than 70 presentations from internationally reknowned scholars of autocracy and democracy.

The conference will take place at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen in the Rooms of the Theological Faculty, Theologicum, Liebermeisterstraße 12-18, D 72076 Tübingen from 15-17.March 2017.

You can either have a look at the short program as pdf-document or just scroll down for an overview of panels and presentations that deal with aspects of comparing autocracy and democracy:

Panel 1 – “Parliamentary Representation in Non-Democratic Regimes”

Chairs:    Katharina Buck, University of Bremen &  Esther Somfalvy, IFSH – Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy. Presentations by:

  • Anja Osei (University of Konstanz): “Glass Half Full or Half Empty? Government-Opposition Interaction in the Authoritarian Legislature of Togo”
  • Daniel Stockemer (University of Ottawa): “(Democratic) Regime Change and the Representation of Women in Parliament”
  • Irene Weipert-Fenner (PRIF – Peace Research Institute Frankfurt): “Detectorand Agent of Change: The Autocratic Parliament in Mubarak’s Egypt”
  • Esther Somfalvy (IFSH): “Do Different Kinds of Regimes Represent Their Citizens Differently? Evidence from the Parliaments of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic”
  • Kristin Eichhorn (Technical University Chemnitz): “Electoral Competitiveness and Turnout in Autocracies”

Panel 2 – „Macht Religion politische Systeme autokratisch?“ (Double Panel)

Chairs:    Gert Pickel, Universität Leipzig & Oliver Hidalgo, Universität Münster. Presentations by:

  • Oliver Hidalgo (Münster): „Religion als ‚autoritäres‘ Gegengewicht zur Demokratie? Theoretische und ideengeschichtliche Zugänge“
  • Christoph Trinn & Thomas Wencker (Heidelberg): “No State is an Island: Inter-Regime Cooperation in Transnational ConflictsSusanne Pickel (Duisburg): “Gods Own Country: Religion, politische Religion oder Religiosität als Spoiler of Democracy?
  • Marlene Mauk (Mainz): „Macht Religion Menschen autokratisch?“
  • Gert Pickel (Leipzig): „Verhindert der Islam Demokratisierung? Perspektiven aus der Sicht der politischen Kulturforschung“Cemal Öztürk & Toralf Stark (Duisburg): „Das ‚türkische Modell‘ in der Krise: Sind religiöse Individuen in der Türkei ‚genuine Demokraten‘? Eine Überprüfung  der Kompatibilität von ‚Islam‘ und ‚Demokratie‘ auf Grundlage der politischen Kulturforschung“
  • Jörg Baudner (Osnabrück): “From Religious to Populist Party (and Back)?”
  • Ludger Viefhues-Bailey (Syracuse): “Religion for the Illiberal State: The Example of Religious Liberty Laws in the U.S.”
  • Julia Gerlach (Leipzig): „Wie der Tempelberg in Jerusalem: Heilige Orte und russischer Diskurs um die Annexion der Krim“
  • Fabian Poetke (München): „Politische Anreize zur religiösen Aneignung der liberalen Demokratie: Das Fallbeispiel westdeutscher Bildungspolitik 1945-1965“

Panel 3 – “Same, Same but Different? Comparing the International Promotion of Democracy and Autocracy”

Chairs:    Julia Leininger, DIE – German Development Institute & the German Research Network External Democracy Promotion & Anna Lührmann, V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg, SWE. Presentations by:

  • Christoph H. Stefes & Betcy Jose (University of Colorado, Denver): “Contesting and Shaping International Norms: The Neglected Side of Autocracy Promotion”
  • Agnes Cornell (Aarhus University) & Anna Lührmann (University of Gothenburg): “The Role of Political Context in the Allocation of Democracy Aid”
  • Pavel Satra (Leuphana Universität, Lüneburg): “Autocracies’ Counterintuitive Delegation Preferences to International Human Rights Organizations”
  • Julia Bader (University of Amsterdam) & Christine Hackenesch (DIE – German Development Institute – DIE, Bonn): “What Drives Authoritarian Party to Party Interaction? The Chinese Communist Party and African Ruling Parties”
  • Tina Freyburg (University St. Gallen) & Julia Leininger (DIE – German Develop-ment Institute, Bonn): “Democracy Promotion Needs Democrats: How Societal Values Matter”

Panel 4 – “State Spending and Taxation in Democracies and Autocracies: Comparing Patterns of Resource Management“

Chairs:    Thomas Richter & Christian von Soest, beide GIGA – German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg. Presentations by

  • Christian von Haldenwang (DIE – German Development Institute, Bonn): “What Impact Does Political Regime Durability Have on Public Revenue Collection?” and “Does the political resource curse affect public finance? The vulnerability of tax revenue in resource-rich countries”
  • Ane Karoline Bak Foged (Aarhus University): “Taxation, Revenue Bargains and the Effect on Accountability Institutions in Developing Countries
  • Anne Mette Kjær & Marianne Ulriksen (Aarhus University): “The Unexplored Side of Fiscal Contract Theory: Revenue Bargains and Public Policy Provisions in Africa”
  • Thomas Richter (GIGA – German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg): “Taxation and the Formation of Political Institutions: An Explorative Analysis”
  • Rachel Beach (University of Aarhus): “Benin & Togo: the Unlike Twins of Revenue Mobilization in West Africa“
  • Solveig Richter (University of Erfurt): “Competing for Power and Money. State Capture and Limited Political Competition in Transition Countries”

Panel 5 – “Dimensions of Authoritarianism” (Double Panel), Intertional Aspects, Identity, State and Regime

Convenors & Chair:   Ahmad Maati & Oliver Schlumberger, University of Tübingen; Andreas Schedler (CIDE, Mexico City / University of Tübingen).Presentations by:

  • Marianne Kneuer, Thomas Demmelhuber, Tobias Zumbrägel, Raphael Peres-son Natalia Afanasyeva (University of Hildesheim & University of Erlangen): „Regional Organizations as Transmission Belt and Learning Room of Authoritarianism: Comparative Perspectives and Empirical Evidence”
  • Steven Heydemann (Smith College, Northampton): “Democracy Promotion, Institutions, and Authoritarian Resilience”
  • André Bank (GIGA – German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg): “Authoritarian Learning and Transnational Diffusion”
  • Morten Valbjørn (University of Aarhus): “What Is So Sectarian about Sectarian Politics? Identity Politics and Authoritarianism in a New Middle East”
  • Ahmad Maati (University of Tübingen): “Exclusivist Identity Formation, the State, and Authoritarianism“
  • Oliver Schlumberger (University of Tübingen): Authoritarian Resilience and the State in the Arab World“

Panel 6 – “Challenging the Churchill-Hypothesis Policy-Performance in Democracies and Autocracies in Comparison” (Double Panel)

Chair:       Stefan Wurster, Technical University Munich. Presentations by:

  • Henriette Müller (New York University, Abu Dhabi): “Understudied Parallels: Political Leadership and Economic Growth Across Regime Types”
  • Tobias Rommel (University of Zurich): “Political Regimes and Foreign Investment Liberalization”
  • Marlene Jugl (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin): “Small Is Democratic – or Monarchic? Population Size, Regime Type and State Performance”
  • Sebastian Stier (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences): “Internet diffusion and Regime Type: Temporal Patterns in Technology Adoption“
  • Eda Keremoglu-Waibler (Universität Stuttgart): “Does Consultative Decision-Making Matter for Citizens’ Welfare in Authoritarian Regimes?”
  • Sebastian Ziaja (Research Center for Distributional Conflict and Globalization, Heidelberg University): “The Democratic Civil Peace Revisited: Assessing the Predictive Power of Political Regime Indicators”
  • Romy Escher & Melanie Walter-Rogg (Universität Regensburg): „Does the Choice of the Democracy Measure Matter in the Analysis of the Relationship between Democracy and Global Public Good Provision? The Case of Climate Policy Performance”
  • Aron Buzogány (BOKU Vienna, Institute of Forest, Environmental, and Natural Resources Policy): “Comparing Clean Energy Transitions over the Regime Divide”

Panel 7 – “Bridging Comparative Politics and Area Studies”

Chairs:    Patrick Köllner, GIGA – German Institute of Global and Area Studies / University of Hamburg  & Andreas Mehler, Arnold Bergsträsser Institute and University of Freiburg. Presentations by:

  • Patrick Köllner (GIGA, Hamburg), Ariel Ahram (Viriginia Tech), Rudra Sil (Uni-versity of Pennsylvania): “Comparative Area Studies: What It Is, What It Can Do?”
  • Christian von Soest (GIGA, Hamburg) & Alexander Stroh (University of Bayreuth): “Comparing across World Regions: Assets and Pitfalls”
  • André Bank (GIGA, Hamburg): “Comparative Area Studies and the Study of Middle East Politics after the Arab Uprisings”
  • Sophia Schubert (FU Berlin) & Alexander Weiß (HSU Hamburg): “Bridging Political Theory, Comparative Politics and Area Studies: A Plea for Global-transcultural Democracy Research”

Panel 8 – “Why Wrong Is Right: Justifying Exclusion and Repression in Autocracies and Democracies”

Chairs:    Maria Josua & Julia Grauvogel, GIGA – German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg. Presentations by:

  • Aurel Croissant, David Kuehn, Tanja Eschenauer (Heidelberg University): “The ‘Dictator’s Endgame’: Explaining Military Behavior in Nonviolent Anti-Incumbent Mass Protests”
  • Dag Tanneberg (University of Potsdam): “What is dead may never die … How Restrictions and Violence Defeat Direct Action Campaigns”
  • Jonas Wolff (PRIF – Peace Research Institute Frankfurt): “Justifying Civic Space Restrictions: Does Regime Type Matter?”
  • Holger Zapf (University of Göttingen): “Framing Protest: Delegitimizing Contention in Tunisia before and after 2011”
  • Ani Sarkissian (Michigan State University): “Defining ‘Normal’ Religion: How State Bureaus of Religion Help Governments Manage Opposition and Retain Political Power”

Panel 9 – “Disentangling the State-Regime Nexus” (Double Panel)

Chairs:    Thomas Altmeppen & Mirjam Edel, University of Tübingen Presentations by:

  • Thomas Altmeppen (University of Tübingen): “Blinded by the Light? Michael Mann and the Problem of Conceptual Confusion in the Study of States and Regimes”
  • Dan Slater and Christopher Haid (University of Chicago), Ferdinand Eibl (King’s College, London), and Steffen Hertog (LSE, London): “War Makes the Regime: Rebellion Type and the Origins of Authoritarian Regime Types”
  • Maya Tudor (Oxford University): “Disentangling States and Regime Sequencing in Postcolonial India and Pakistan”
  • Julia Leininger (DIE – German Development Institute, Bonn): “Eroding Democracy by Building the State: A Comparative Analysis of Mozambique”
  • Rachel Sigman, (V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg): “State Capacity Types and Regime Outcomes”
  • David Anderson (Aarhus University): “Political Dilemmas in State-Building: Why Germany and Argentina Finally Settled for Democracy while Thai Democracy is Still Struggling“
  • Alexander Schmotz (King’s College, London): “Revolution Gone Awry: Popular Uprisings, Regime Breakdown, and State Failure“
  • Matilde Thorsen, Alexander Taaning Grundhold, and David Ulrichsen (Aarhus University): “Motivated and Able to Make a Difference for the Poor? The Compli-mentary Effects of Democracy and State Capacity in Promoting Human Develop-ment”

Panel 10 – “Welfare-Production-Regime Triangle: Comparing Welfare State and Capitalism in Democracies and Autocracies”.

Chairs:    Daniel Buhr & Markus Trämer, University of Tübingen. Presentations by:

  • Markus Trämer (University of Tübingen): “Which institutional complementarities underpin authoritarian economies and welfare systems? China, Vietnam and Laos”
  • Aline Grünwald (SOCIUM – Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy Bremen): “The historical roots of old age pension systems in democratic and nondemocratic regimes around the world”
  • Hans-Jürgen Bieling (University of Tübingen): “Varieties of Financialization – on the structure, role and mode of operation of finance in contemporary European capitalism”
  • N.N.

Panel 11–“Rule of Law vs. Rule by Law: How Do Autocracies & Democracies Govern?”

Chairs:    Mirjam Edel & Rolf Frankenberger, University of Tübingen. Presentations by:

  • Michael Hein (Humboldt Universität, Berlin): “The Codification of Constitutional Entrenchment Clauses in Democracies and Autocracies”
  • Jörn Knobloch (University of Potsdam): “Rule of Man Not Rule of Law: Practical Foundations of Authoritarian Regimes and the Impact of Law”
  • David Andersen & Agnes Cornell (Aarhus University):“Political Regime Dynamics and State Impartiality”
  • Mirjam Edel (University of Tübingen): “Which Role of Law? Conceptualizing Legal and Judicial Aspects of Political Repression”

 Panel 12 – “Concept Formation and Explorative Methods: What and How Can MethodsContribute to Regime Classification in Comparative Politics?

Chairs:    Toralf Stark, Universität Duisburg-Essen & Rolf Frankenberger, University of Tübingen. Presentations by:

  • Sebastian Ziaja (Heidelberg University) & Martin Elff (ZU Friedrichshafen)“Latent Dimensions, Latent Classes and Method Factors in Political Regime Data”
  • Seraphine F. Maerz (Central European University, Budapest): “The Conditions of Authoritarian Persistence: Classifying Autocratic Regimes by Applying Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis”
  • Christoph Mohamad-Klotzbach & Oliver Schlenkrich (Universität Würzburg): “The State-Regime Nexus: A Political Culture-Perspective”
  • Ani Sarkissian (Michigan State University) & Karrie Koesel (University of Notre Dame): “Religion and the Authoritarian Toolkit”

Municipalities in a comparative perspective.

In a new publication I discuss theoretical and methodological issues of comparing Municipalities in Germany and Russia (or more in genereal, if you want, in any cross-regional comparison of cases). Drawing on experiences in cross-regional comparisons of Russia and Venezuela (Frankenberger & Graf 2011; Frankenberger & Graf 2013) as well as Russian and German Municipalities (Frankenberger & Kiener 2015), I argue that it is a too narrow analysis, if you only focus on local political order. It might be more useful to widen the perspective in two ways. First, the systemic context has to be taken into account. This is not only true for formal multilevel governance but also for informal institutions and politics.

Informal Politics and relations between actors on the municipal level are often mor important than formal power relations and party affiliations. Especpecially when it comes  to conrete projects. One solution to the problem in comparing municipalities from different regions could then be to use structuralist and functionalist approaches as heuristics: What institution and what actor doe fulfil which functions in the respective context? How do they interfere/interact with political culture, political economy and the broader political system? Even if this heuristics might not lead to a rigorous case design as MDSD or MSSD, the insights of the comparison are far more systematic and generalizeable than they would be by doing single case studies

  • Rolf Frankenberger (2016): Ungleiches im Gleichen. Theoretische und methodische  Herausforderungen des Vergleichs von Kommunen in Deutschland und Russland. Jahrbuch des Föderalismus. Baden-Baden: Nomos, S.137-150.

Unlike Twins?! DVPW Section “Comparative Politics” Conference 2017

In March 2017, the bi-annual conference of the Section “Comparative Politics” of the German Political Science Assosciation (DVPW) will be hosted by the Institute of Political Science at Eberhard Karls University Tübingen. I am organizing this conference on “Unlike Twins?! Comparing Democracies and Autocracies. Insights, Developments and Challenges in Comparative Politics” together with my collegues Thomas Altmeppen, Mirjam Edel and Oliver Schlumberger.

The conference aims to be a platform for bringing together scholars in order to discuss recent developments and challenges related to the systematic comparison of democracy and autocracy. This includes a critical reappraisal of existing concepts, methods, and findings, as well as the discussion of new perspectives in comparative politics. The two main objectives thus are to capture the state of the art of the discipline and to assess the (old and new) challenges we face when we compare different political regimes, such as autocracy and democracy.




Politische Lebenswelten – Ergebnisse einer qualitativen Studie in Baden-Württemberg.

Im Rahmen des  Forschungsprogramms Demokratie-Monitoring als Teil des Gesamtprogramms “Bürgerbeteiligung und Zivilgesellschaft”, welches die Universitäten Mannheim, Tübingen, Stuttgart und Freiburg im Auftrag der Baden-Württemberg Stiftung gGmbH durchführen haben wir – Daniel Buhr, Josef Schmid und ich – das Teilprojekt 2 “Demokratie und Lebenswelt” durchgeführt. Dabei haben wir 275 Personen in 14 Kommunen in qualitativen Interviews nach ihrem Politikverständnis, Demokratiebegriff, Beteiligung und alltagsweltlichen Bezügen gefragt.

Im Kern bestätigt die Studie die These einer Pluralisierung politischer Lebenswelten. Es finden sich insgesamt sieben Lebenswelten, die sich in drei unterschiedliche Gruppen zusammenfassen lassen:

  • Unpolitische und Distanzierte bilden die politikfernen Lebenswelten.
  • Gemeinwohlorientierte, Elektorale und Macher sind drei zentrale delegative Lebenswelten.
  • Mitgestalter und Mitbestimmer konstituieren die partizipatorischen Lebenswelten.

Diese Lebenswelten sind wiederum nicht eindeutig über sozio-demographische oder sozio-ökonomische Variablen (z.B. Schicht) zu fassen. Ähnlich problematisch erscheinen alltagsästhetische Segmentierungen (Milieus), die nicht explizit Politik- und Demokratieverständnis abfragen. Selbst sozialisatorische Pfade eignen sich nur bedingt zur eindeutigen Unterscheidung politischer Lebenswelten, da inzwischen auch postmaterialistische und postmoderne Wertorientierungen in der Familie sozialisiert werden.

Sie sind neugierig geworden?

Anlässlich des Erscheinens der Referenzpublikation werden die Ergebnisse am

Mittwoch den 6.Mai 2015 von 12:30 – 14:00 Uhr im Landtag von Baden-Württemberg öffentlich vorgestellt.

Weitere Informationen zu dieser kostenlosen Veranstaltung und Anmeldemöglichkeiten finden Sie auf der Seite des Beteiligungslotse Baden-Württemberg.