Saturday, April 16, 2016: 4:00 PM-5:45 PM
Symphony Ballroom (DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City)
All papers of this panel look at the institutional dynamics of democratic dysfunction. Wade Jacoby examines the problems that arise in the context of grand coalition governments. Chris Bickerton and Carlo Invernizzi Accetti explore the spread of anti-system populist parties. Erik Jones analyzes incidents of ‘gridlock’ or situations when politicians use democratic procedures to hinder the functioning of democratic institutions. The authors will draw on specific cases. Jacoby will focus on Austria and Germany; Bickerton and Invernizzi Accetti will highlight the experiences of Italy and Spain; Jones will analyze developments in the United States, Belgium, and the European Union as a collective. This reference to the European Union marks an important transition in the panel. The EU is both a political system in its own right and a source of influence on democratic politics at the national level, and we use this dual role of the EU to pivot the discussion from the domestic to the international. That is where Abraham Newman’s paper comes in, which explores the influence of transnational interest groups on the functioning of national democracies, focusing specifically on Germany and the United States.