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Common-Knowledge Attacks on Democracy by Henry Farrell, Bruce Schneier :: SSRN
"Existing approaches to cybersecurity emphasize either international state-to-state logics (such as deterrence theory) or the integrity of individual information systems. Neither provides a good understanding of new “soft cyber” attacks that involve the manipulation of expectations and common understandings. We argue that scaling up computer security arguments to the level of the state, so that the entire polity is treated as an information system with associated attack surfaces and threat models, provides the best immediate way to understand these attacks and how to mitigate them. We demonstrate systematic differences between how autocracies and democracies work as information systems, because they rely on different mixes of common and contested political knowledge. Stable autocracies will have common knowledge over who is in charge and their associated ideological or policy goals, but will generate contested knowledge over who the various political actors in society are, and how they might form coalitions and gain public support, so as to make it more difficult for coalitions to displace the regime. Stable democracies will have contested knowledge over who is in charge, but common knowledge over who the political actors are, and how they may form coalitions and gain public support. These differences are associated with notably different attack surfaces and threat models. Specifically, democracies are vulnerable to measures that “flood” public debate and disrupt shared decentralized understandings of actors and coalitions, in ways that autocracies are not. "
democracy  political-science  technology  information-science  security 
12 weeks ago by tsuomela
Normcore | Dissent Magazine
"How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt Penguin Random House, 2018, 320 pp. The People Versus Democracy: Why Our Freedom is in Danger and How to Save It by Yascha Mounk Harvard University Press, 2018, 400 pp. Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic by David Frum Harper Collins, 2018, 320 pp. Antipluralism: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy by William A. Galston Yale University Press, 2018, 176 pp. One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet-Deported by E.J. Dionne Jr., Norman J. Ornstein, and Thomas E. Mann St. Martin’s Press, 2017, 354 pp."
books  review  democracy  political-science  america  norms 
may 2018 by tsuomela
Bright Line Watch
"One of the greatest threats to democracy is the idea that it is unassailable. At a time of potential danger to American demo­c­ra­t­ic norms and insti­tu­tions, it is more urgent than ever for scholars to highlight the risks to our system of gov­ern­ment. In this spirit, Bright Line Watch brings together a group of political sci­en­tists to monitor demo­c­ra­t­ic practices, their resilience, and potential threats."
democracy  political-science  risk  norms 
december 2017 by tsuomela
Current Affairs | Culture & Politics
"Some people openly advocate elite rule. They are both evil and foolish."
democracy  history  philosophy  epistocracy  experts  populism  citizenship  libertarianism 
july 2017 by tsuomela
Jeremiah, American-Style | New Republic
"Hope in a Scattering Time: A Life of Christopher Lasch By Eric Miller"
book  review  biography  culture  critique  conservative  liberalism  populism  democracy 
july 2017 by tsuomela
The Radical Lasch | The American Conservative
"The Marxian social historian saw past the limits of liberalism to a true middle-class populism."
culture  critique  conservative  liberalism  populism  democracy 
july 2017 by tsuomela
Hindman, M.: The Myth of Digital Democracy (eBook and Paperback).
"Is the Internet democratizing American politics? Do political Web sites and blogs mobilize inactive citizens and make the public sphere more inclusive? The Myth of Digital Democracy reveals that, contrary to popular belief, the Internet has done little to broaden political discourse but in fact empowers a small set of elites--some new, but most familiar. Matthew Hindman argues that, though hundreds of thousands of Americans blog about politics, blogs receive only a miniscule portion of Web traffic, and most blog readership goes to a handful of mainstream, highly educated professionals. He shows how, despite the wealth of independent Web sites, online news audiences are concentrated on the top twenty outlets, and online organizing and fund-raising are dominated by a few powerful interest groups. Hindman tracks nearly three million Web pages, analyzing how their links are structured, how citizens search for political content, and how leading search engines like Google and Yahoo! funnel traffic to popular outlets. He finds that while the Internet has increased some forms of political participation and transformed the way interest groups and candidates organize, mobilize, and raise funds, elites still strongly shape how political material on the Web is presented and accessed. The Myth of Digital Democracy. debunks popular notions about political discourse in the digital age, revealing how the Internet has neither diminished the audience share of corporate media nor given greater voice to ordinary citizens."
book  publisher  internet  democracy  political-science  technology-critique 
march 2017 by tsuomela
Home | Journal of Democracy
"For more than twenty years, the Journal of Democracy has been a leading voice in the conversation about government by consent and its place in the world. The Journal is published for the National Endowment for Democracy by the Johns Hopkins University Press and is available to subscribers through Project MUSE."
journal  publisher  political-science  democracy 
november 2016 by tsuomela
18th Brumaire, everywhere — Crooked Timber
"Dictatorship, or at least, authoritarian personal rule, seems to be re-emerging all around the world, mostly through the suppression of opposition by rulers who originally came to power through democratic elections"
dictatorship  politics  world  fascism  elections  democracy  crisis 
november 2016 by tsuomela
This is the best book to help you understand the wild 2016 campaign - Vox
"Back in May, Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels released Democracy for Realists, based on years of scholarship they’ve done on the ugly realities of how American voting behavior really works. It sheds crucial light on a question that liberals have been banging their heads over for months — why on earth would anyone vote for Donald Trump? Their analysis is both troubling and important: Throughout history, people in general have cast their votes for no particularly good reason at all, so there’s no reason to expect Trump supporters to be any different. "
book  review  political-science  democracy  voting  psychology  reasoning  decision-making  cognition 
october 2016 by tsuomela
Ethicist Jason Brennan: Brexit, Democracy, and Epistocracy
"What if there were a third way, though? In my forthcoming book, Against Democracy, I explore a way of splitting the difference. The trick is to find a political system that both 1) spreads power out enough to prevent people from using power selfishly and 2) weeds out or at least reduces the power of incompetent decision-makers. In some sense, republican democracy, with checks and balances, was meant to do just that. And to a significant degree it succeeds. But perhaps a new system, epistocracy, could do even better. In an epistocracy, political power is to some degree apportioned according to knowledge. An epistocracy might retain the major institutions we see in republican democracy, such as parties, mass elections, constitutional review, and the like. But in an epistocracy, not everyone has equal basic political power. An epistocracy might grant some people additional voting power, or might restrict the right to vote only to those that could pass a very basic test of political knowledge. Any such system will be subject to abuse, and will suffer from significant government failures. But that’s true of democracy too. The interesting question is whether epistocracy, warts and all, would perform better than democracy, warts and all."
political-science  power  democracy  selection  experts 
august 2016 by tsuomela
The week democracy died: How Brexit, Nice, Turkey, and Trump are all connected.
"Dark days this summer showed how government by the people—beset by illiberal populists on one side and undemocratic elites on the other—is poised for extinction."
democracy  liberal  liberalism  2016  crisis  immigration  nationalism  politics  western  europe  american  campaign 
august 2016 by tsuomela
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