2,234 Descriptions of Democracy: An Update to Democracy’s Ontological Pluralism

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Abstract

In 2010 Milja Kurki explained that although scholars recognize that democracy is described in a variety of ways, they do not typically engage with its many and diverse descriptions. My aim in this agenda-setting research note is to tackle this quandary by first providing a minimum empirical account of democracy’s descriptions (i.e., a catalogue of 2,234 adjectives that have been used to describe democracy) and secondly by suggesting what democracy studies may gain by compiling this information. I argue that the catalogue of descriptors be applied in four ways: (1) drilling down into the meaning of each description, (2) making taxonomies, (3) rethinking the phenomenology of democracy, and (4) visualizing democracy’s big data. Each of the four applications and their significance is explained in turn. This research note ends by looking back on the catalogue and its four applications.
LanguageEnglish
Pages92-113
Number of pages22
JournalDemocratic Theory
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

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2,234 Descriptions of Democracy: An Update to Democracy’s Ontological Pluralism. / GAGNON, Jean-Paul.

In: Democratic Theory, Vol. 5, No. 1, 01.06.2018, p. 92-113.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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