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The Marginalized Democracies of the World

Gagnon, Jean-Paul, Asenbaum, Hans, Fleuss, Dannica, Bussu, Sonia ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0360-7070, Guasti, Petra, Dean, Rikki, Chalaye, Pierrick, Alnemr, Nardine, Marquardt, Friedel and Weiss, Alexander (2021) The Marginalized Democracies of the World. Democratic Theory, 8 (2). pp. 1-18. ISSN 2332-8894

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Abstract

This introductory article to Democratic Theory’s special issue on the marginalized democracies of the world begins by presenting the lexical method for understanding democracy. It is argued that the lexical method is better than the normative and analytical methods at finding democracies in the world. The argument then turns to demonstrating, mainly through computational research conducted within the Google Books catalog, that an empirically demonstrable imbalance exists between the democracies mentioned in the literature. The remainder of the argument is given to explaining the value of working to correct this imbalance, which comes in at least three guises: (1) studying marginalized democracies can increase our options for alternative democratic actions and democratic innovations; (2) it leads to a conservation and public outreach project, which is epitomized in an “encyclopedia of the democracies”; and (3) it advocates for a decolonization of democracies’ definitions and practices and decentering academic democratic theory.

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