Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, April 05, 2021

Study: Republican control of state government is bad for democracy

Vox reports on a study by a political science professor at the University of Washington, with the findings that state governments run by Republicans restrict democracy and are less well run compared to states run by Democrats.

-- "Laboratories of Democratic Backsliding," Jacob Grumbach, Department of Political Science, University of Washington

That doesn't surprise me.  Minoritarian government benefits from voter suppression and other manipulation, and a party that in general denigrates government ends up performing badly when in power, "proving" that government failures.

Examples include:

Professor Grumbach's extends the work by the Vdem Institute, which looks at how parties function at the national level, to the sub-nation level within the US.  (The Vdem study finds that the US Republican Party is amongst the most authoritarian in the West, "Republicans closely resemble autocratic parties in Hungary and Turkey – study," Guardian.)

From Vox:

The paper, by University of Washington professor Jake Grumbach, constructs a quantitative measure of democratic health at the state level in the US. He looked at all 50 states between 2000 and 2018 to figure out why some states got more democratic over this period and others less. The conclusions were clear: The GOP is the problem. ... 

Grumbach’s State Democracy Index (SDI) is the first attempt to use a V-Dem-style approach to measure the more subtle ailments afflicting democracy in the United States. Metrics include the extent to which a state is gerrymandered at the federal level, whether it permits same-day voter registration, and whether felons are permitted to vote. He also includes criminal justice indicators, like a state’s Black incarceration rate, that are designed to measure state coercion. 

I would add pre-emption as a factor in the index, definitely.

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At 8:00 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

The Washington Post: This isn’t just voter suppression. It’s a war on local control..


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