2.6 Democracy with adjectives, Jean-Paul Gagnon
Today I’m talking with Assistant Professor Jean-Paul Gagnon from the University of Canberra. Jean-Paul is a philosopher of democracy specialising in democratic theory.
Jean-Paul’s research into democracy has three areas of focus. The first, which I am talking with him about today, is an ongoing empirical effort to catalogue democracy’s adjectives and to inquire about what knowing these adjectives may come to mean or be used for. The second is to continue contributing to the theory of non-human democracy by trying to draw lessons for human democracies from the practices of non-human others. The third is to contribute to globalising the history of democracy from a democratic theory perspective.
In later seasons of the podcast, I’ll be looking more closely at different adjectives and democracy, in particular, those adjectives which aim to describe or prescribe what might be considered better or improved forms of democracy.
In the meantime Season 2 is focused on representative democracy and next week I speak to Professor Mark Warren about his work developing an alternative to different models of democracy. Mark has developed a concept of ‘problem-based democracy’ where his focus is on the basic functions a democracy needs to fulfil. He sees this approach as a way to ‘expand our democratic imagination.’ I hope you’ll join me then.