Kinds of Democracy: New Models of Federal Republics and Multi-Level Governments
In “Kinds of Democracy,” I vary the kind of democracy across levels in multi-level governments and federations. Varying the kind of democracy from level to level produces new competitive structures (and also new kinds of political complexity), such as producing opportunity structures for political parties to move up or down in a federation or multi-level government. Varying the kind of democracy from level to level also partly resembles some of the irregular and complex political forms of city-state republics of ancient Greece and early modern Italy, particularly compared to more standardized forms of democracy in the contemporary world. Varying the kind of democracy from level to level is also a new kind of response to the “iron law of oligarchy,” since it is a way of increasing the competitive and democratic nature government by creating new opportunity structures for political competition between political parties, and new opportunity structures for organizational differentiation and competition across governmental and societal levels.
I also discuss some practical applications of designing new models of constitutions based on varying the kind of democracy from level to level. These include the potential for remedying violent conflict by creating opportunity structures for cross-cutting alliances by political parties across regions, across national and regional divides, and also across possible ethnic, religious, linguistic, and ideological cleavages within and across regions.
Keywords: federations; democracy; republics; constitutions; variable geometries