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Using the Comparative Method in Democratic Theory: A Solution to the “File Drawer Problem”?

In: Comparative Political Theory
Author:
Gergana DimovaUniversity of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, gergana.dimova@politics.ox.ac.uk

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Abstract

There are currently dozens of conceptions in democratic theory of what constitutes democratic progress and even more concepts of the crisis of democracy. This plethora of ideas is both good news and bad news. The boom in theorizing means that specializations have allowed political scientists to fine-tune their in-depth analysis in order to capture smaller and more specific movements of democratic progress and regress. But the multiplicity of models of the crisis and transformation of democracy also spells some bad news, which is far less often acknowledged and far less understood. This article seeks to shed light on the dangers of not comparing and integrating various models of democracy and to extrapolate the benefits of using the comparative method to do so.

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