When Democracy Divides: The Regime Question in European and American Political Development
(University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Friday, March 15, 2024
Hall Building, Room H-1220
Recent scholarship has warned of a new regime divide in established democracies, pitting democracy’s defenders against skeptics as well as aspiring autocrats. Ahmed argues this divide has been there from the start. Examining 19th and 20th century political development in Europe and the United States, she identifies a “regime dimension” separate from the typical left-right policy dimension, one which has historically divided democratic publics on the question of democracy itself. This has included fights not only over the boundaries of inclusion, which has been the focus of much work on political development, but critically, it has also included ongoing struggles over core principles of democratic governance, or the “rules of the game”, and particularly the status of representative government vis-à-vis various autocratic arrangements.
Amel Ahmed is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.