Democracy Paradox
Democracy Paradox
Aug 23, 2020
Agnes Cornell and Svend-Erik Skaaning on the Interwar Period
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Many scholars use the interwar period as a cautionary tale of democratic breakdown and collapse, but it was also a period of remarkable democratic stability in an age of crisis. Agnes Cornell and Svend-Eric Skaaning join your host, Justin Kempf, to discuss the first era of widespread democratization, the interwar period. The conversation focuses on their research and discusses some specific examples from this period including Denmark, Uruguay, and Czechoslovakia.

Political science typically aims to make sense of recent world events. But there are many scholars who approach historical events from a perspective of comparative politics. The book Democratic Stability in an Age of Crisis: Reassessing the Interwar Period is a work of comparative politics, but it will capture the imagination of historians and political scientists alike because the lessons from this period help make sense of events in our own time.

Agnes Cornell is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Gothenburg. Svend-Eric Skaaning is Professor of Political Science, Aarhus University. Along with Jørgen Møller they are the authors of Democratic Stability in an Age of Crisis: Reassessing the Interwar Period from Oxford University Press.

Thanks to Apes of the State for permission to use their tracks "The Internet Song" and "Plate Glass Apology. You can find their music on Spotify or their Bandcamp. Thanks to Oxford University Press who has made many volumes available to me during the pandemic.

Take the time to visit my blog at I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Carl Schmitt's The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy. It is a great companion to understand the political thought during the interwar period. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

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