The Spirit of Democracy Fall Quarter 2018
The Spirit of Democracy
Thinking Matters 51
Stanford University, Fall Quarter 2018
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, and Freeman Spogli Institute
Professor James Fishkin
- Janet M. Peck Professor of International Communication
- Director, Center for Deliberative Democracy
Thinking Matters Lecturers:
- Dr. Minh Ly
- Dr. Lexi Neame
- Dr. Tim Sorg
This course provides an overview of the challenges and aspirations facing ideals of democracy. It deals both with competing visions of what democracy might be and their actual realization not only in the US but around the world. It will begin with the debate over the American founding and move eventually to the “third wave” of democratization around the world in the late 20th century as well as its more recent retrenchment. The problems of democratic reform are continuing and recurrent around the world. Democratic institutions are subject to a living dialogue and we intend to engage the students in these debates, at the level of democratic theory and at the level of specific institutional reforms that could reduce polarization and improve the functioning of democracy in the United States.
LEARNING GOALS FOR THINKING MATTERS:
Students in Thinking Matters courses will:
- Develop a sense for what a genuine question or problem is, and what it means to think about an important idea with the sort of disciplined, creative, and critical reasoning characteristic of a university-trained mind.
- Develop broad, transportable skills that are required in (almost) any branch of university work, including: analytical, expository writing; careful, critical reading; analytical and critical reasoning; and capacities for effective oral communication including active listening and responsive discussion.
- This course satisfies the Social Inquiry (SI) WAYS requirement.
The central goal of this class is for students to think critically about democracy and political institutions. The class will provoke critical reflection on democracy in the United States and analysis of American democracy in comparative perspective, crucial at a time when a growing number of Americans are disappointed in its performance. Finally, students will think and deliberate with one another on how American democracy might be reformed to enable it to function more fairly and efficiently.
- Larry Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy (2008), available through the Stanford Bookstore.
- Robert A. Dahl, How Democratic is the American Constitution? (2002), available through the Stanford Bookstore
- James S. Fishkin, Democracy When the People Are Thinking (2018), available through the Stanford Bookstore
- All readings will be available on the Canvas website or at the URLs listed in the syllabus.
- Students are expected to print paper copies of the relevant readings and bring them to lecture and section, as stipulated by the teaching fellow.
September 24: Overview and Athenian notions (JF)
- James Fishkin, Democracy When the People Are Thinking, pp. 1-27, pp. 51-54.
- Bernard Manin, The Principles of Representative Government, pp. 8-33
September 26: Thick and Thin Conceptions of Democracy (LD)
- Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, pp. 250-264 and 269-273
- Dahl, Polyarchy, pp. 1-9
- Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy, pp. 17-26
- Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way, “The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism,” Journal of Democracy 13 (April 2002): 51-65.
October 1: Madisonian vs. Populist Democracy (JF)
· Madison, The Federalist, numbers 10, 37, 51, and 63 o Available at: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fedpapers.html
· Bernard Bailyn, ed, The Debate on the Constitution, Part Two pp. 270-283 (documents on the Rhode Island Referendum)
· Herbert Storing, “What the Anti-Federalists Were For,” pp. 3-23.
October 3: Madisonian vs. Populist Democracy (JF)
· Robert Dahl, How Democratic is the American Constitution? chapters 1-2, pp. 1-40.
· Fishkin Democracy When the People Are Thinking, pp. 27-30 and 35-50
First response paper must be submitted by October 3.
October 8: Limitations of Competitive and Liberal Democracy (JF)
· Dahl, How Democratic is the American Constitution? chapters 3-5, pp. 41-119.
· Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels, Democracy for Realists, chapters 1 and 2, pp. 1-51.
· Fishkin, Democracy When the People Are Thinking, pp. 31-35
· Simon Chambers, “Human Life is Group Life: Deliberative Democracy for Realists,” Critical Review 30 (2018), pp. 36-48. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08913811.2018.1466852?scro…;
· Gerald C. Wright, “A Discussion of Christopher H. Achen and Larry M. Bartels’ Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government, in Perspectives on Politics 15 (2017), pp. 161-162.
October 10: Why Democracy? “Asian Values” & Normative Debates (LD)
· Diamond, Spirit of Democracy, pp. 26-38, 176-179, 198-199, 257-259, 277-278.
· Amartya Sen, “Democracy as a Universal Value,” Journal of Democracy 10 (July 1999): 3-17. Available at: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jod/v010/10.3sen.html
· Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, pp. 192-198.
· "Culture is Destiny: A Conversation with Lee Kuan Yew," Foreign Affairs 73 (March/April 1994): 109-121, 125-126.
· Kim Dae Jung, "Is Culture Destiny?" Foreign Affairs 73 (November-December 1994): 189-194.
· Daniel A. Bell, The China Model, pp. 63-68, 75-80, 99-109. And Andrew Nathan review of The China Model, "Beijing Bull: The Bogus China Model," The National Interest, November-December, 2015, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/beijing-bull-the-bogus-china-model….
Midterm paper prompts distributed October 10th.
October 15: The Global Spread and Recession of Democracy (LD)
· Huntington, “Democracy’s Third Wave,” Journal of Democracy, 2 (1991): 12-34.
· Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy, 39-86
October 17: Causes of Democratic Expansion (LD)
· Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy, 88-111, 153-168.
First drafts of midterm papers due Friday, October 19th, 5 p.m.
October 22: Causes of Democratic Recession and Reversal (LD)
- Larry Diamond, “Facing up to the Democratic Recession,” Journal of Democracy 26 (January 2015): 141-155.
- Francis Fukuyama, “Why is Democracy Performing so Poorly,” Journal of Democracy 26 (January 2015): 11-20.
- Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, How Democracies Die (2018), chapter 4, pp. 72-96.
- Ethan Kapstein and Nathan Converse, “Why Democracies Fail,” Journal of Democracy 19 (October 2008): 57-68.
- Christopher Walker, “The Authoritarian Threat: The Hijacking of Soft Power,” Journal of Democracy 27 (January 2016): 49-63.
October 24: Democratic Decline in Advanced Democracies? (LD)
Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk, “The Democratic Disconnect,” Journal of Democracy 27 (July 2016): 5-17.
Ronald F. Inglehart, “How Much Should We Worry,” Journal of Democracy 27 (July 2016): 18-23.
Jan-Werner Müller, What Is Populism? (2016), pp. 1-6.
William Galston, “The Populist Challenge to Liberal Democracy,” Journal of Democracy 29 (April 2018): 5-19.
October 29-31: American Democracy: Its Contemporary Dysfunction
October 29: Can the People Rule? Inequality and Distorted Dialogue (JF)
· Larry Lessig, Republic Lost, Introduction and chapter 9, pp. 1-9 and 91-124. http://lesterland.lessig.org/pdf/republic-lost.pdf
· Bruce Cain, Democracy: More or Less, Ch. 1, pp. 1-19.
· Dahl, How Democratic is the American Constitution? chapters 6-8, pp. 121-177.
· Francis Fukuyama, “America in Decay: The Sources of Political Dysfunction,” Foreign Affairs, September/October 2014, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2014-08-18/americ….
· Alan Ehrenhalt, Review of Jane Mayer’s Dark Money. New York Times Sunday Book Review, January 19, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/books/review/dark-money-by-jane-mayer….
· Nathaniel Persily “Can Democracy Survive the Internet?” Journal of Democracy 28, April 2017, pp. 63-76.
October 31: Political Polarization and Deadlock (LD)
· In Nathaniel Persily, ed., Solutions to Polarization in America (2015), Alan Abramovitz, “Beyond Confrontation and Gridlock: Making Democracy Work for the American People,” pp. 197-203.
· Katherine J. Cramer, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker (2016), pp. 1-18.
· Mickey Edwards, “How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans,” The Atlantic, July-August 2011, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/how-to-turn-republi….
· Francis Fukuyama, “Against Identity Politics: The New Tribalism and the Crisis of Democracy,” Foreign Affairs, Sept./Oct. 2018, pp. 90-114.
· Matthew Wigler, “Why Do a Democrat and a Republican Hit the Road Together,” July 5, 2018, (https://medium.com/swing-district-purple-america/why-leaders-of-the-sta…). (Wigler was a student in the first year of “The Spirit of Democracy,” Fall 2015, and traveled across the U.S. this summer researching polarization).
Second draft of midterm paper due Friday, Nov 2nd, 5 p.m.
November 5: Democratic Deliberation (JF)
· James Fishkin, Democracy When the People Are Thinking, pp. 69-90, pp.148-156.
· Cristina Lafont, “Can Democracy be Deliberative and Participatory? The Democratic Case for Political Uses of Mini-Public,” Daedalus (Summer 2017): 85-105.
Movie night: screening of “What’s Next, California?” to be held this week.
November 7: Deliberative Polling (JF)
James Fishkin, Democracy When the People Are Thinking, pp. 137-148; 158-205.
November 12: Corruption and State Capture Globally (LD)
· Fukuyama, Political Order and Political Decay, pp. 81-93, 126-164, 180-84.
· Robert Putnam, Making Democracy Work (on social capital), pp. 171-180.
· Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy, pp. 238-256, 296-299, 344-357.
November 14: Horizontal Accountability and Control of Corruption (LD)
· Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy, pp. 299-313
· Schedler et al., eds., The Self-Restraining State: Power and Accountability in New Democracies, pp. 13-28, 217-226.
· Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, “The Quest for Good Governance: Learning from Virtuous Circles,” Journal of Democracy 27 (January 2016): 95-109.
· Briefing materials for Deliberative Poll Session 1 (to be read by Nov. 26).
Note: The Diamond and Schedler readings will be discussed during the second section of Week 9. The second section of Week 8 will discuss the briefing materials for Deliberative Poll Session 1.
November 19 & 21, Thanksgiving Break
November 26 & 28: Deliberative Poll in Class (Fishkin and Diamond)
· Briefing materials for Deliberative Session 2.
Final paper prompts distributed Wednesday, November 28th.
December 3: Reforming American Democracy (Fishkin and Diamond)
· Larry Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy, pp. 362-369, plus pages to be assigned from forthcoming Diamond chapter on reforming American democracy.
In Nathaniel Persily, ed., Solutions to Polarization in America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), available at http://ebooks.cambridge.org/ebook.jsf?bid=CBO9781316091906
· Bruce Cain, “Two Approaches to Lessening the Effects of Partisanship,” pp. 157-164.
· Gary C. Jacobson, “Eroding the Electoral Foundations of Partisan Polarization,” pp. 8690.
· Nathaniel Persily, “Stronger Parties as a Solution to Polarization,” pp. 123-135.
· Elaine C. Kamarck, “Solutions to Polarization” pp. 96-103.
· Alan Abramovitz, “Beyond Confrontation and Gridlock: Making Democracy Work for the American People,” pp. 204-207.
December 5: Reforming American Democracy (Fishkin and Diamond)
· Bruce Cain, Democracy More or Less (2015), ch. 9, pp. 194-216.
· Larry Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy, pp. 357-362, plus pages to be assigned from forthcoming Diamond chapter on reforming American democracy.