47 episodes

What does it take to make democracy work? The Rules of the Game podcast discusses and compares democratic institutions from around the world. Institutions are the rules of the game of our societies that direct our everyday lives in fundamental ways. They determine whether we live in a free or repressed society – whether we can make our voices heard. Researchers, grass-roots political activists and politicians will join me on this journey of dissecting the struggle for fair representation in parliament, accountable executive governments, impartial justice, and direct democratic participation.

Rules of the Game – discussing democratic institutions Stephan Kyburz

    • Government
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

What does it take to make democracy work? The Rules of the Game podcast discusses and compares democratic institutions from around the world. Institutions are the rules of the game of our societies that direct our everyday lives in fundamental ways. They determine whether we live in a free or repressed society – whether we can make our voices heard. Researchers, grass-roots political activists and politicians will join me on this journey of dissecting the struggle for fair representation in parliament, accountable executive governments, impartial justice, and direct democratic participation.

    Direct Democracy in Latin America with Yanina Welp

    Direct Democracy in Latin America with Yanina Welp

    With Yanina Welp I discuss different ways of how direct democratic institutions have been applied in Latin American countries – both in fundamentally democratizing processes but also power grabbing incidents. In particular, we talk about the cases of Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela, based on Yanina’s extensive research and deep knowledge.

    Yanina also shares her insights on how direct democracy can be a check on the power of the executive and legislative branches of government. And I also want to know what she expects from the second attempt in Chile to write a brand new constitution, that the people will decide on in a referendum in December.

    Yanina Welp is a Research Fellow at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy  at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. Between 2008 and 2018 she was principal researcher at the Centre for Democracy Studies and co-director of the Zurich Latin American Centre, both at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. She got her PhD in Political and Social Sciences from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona and a habilitation from the University of St. Gallen.

    Two of her recent books are “The Will of the People: Populism and Citizens Participation in Latin America” and the “De Gruyter Handbook of Citizens Assemblies” that she co-edited with Min Reuchamps and Julien Vrydagh.

    ⁠Find a full transcript and links to all material discussed in the show notes.⁠

    Schedule: 00:00 Introduction / 03:36 Personal questions / 07:10 Main discussion / 47:30 Recommendations by Yanina Welp.

    Follow Yanina Welp on Twitter and LinkedIn.

    Please send feedback to ⁠rulesofthegame.ddi@gmail.com⁠. If you find my discussions interesting and you’d like to support my work, consider buying me a coffee at ⁠buymeacoffee.com/rulesofthegame⁠.

    Many thanks to Ana Margarida Santos who edited the episode.

    Please enjoy this conversation with Yanina Welp.



    Music credits: To Be A Ball Of Light by Late Night Feeler and Fantasy Classical Themes by TheoTe.

    • 50 min
    Rules in Perspective on Ep. 40: The Citizens' Chamber in the Canton of Vaud | By Stephan Kyburz

    Rules in Perspective on Ep. 40: The Citizens' Chamber in the Canton of Vaud | By Stephan Kyburz

    In this episode of Rules in Perspective I review the podcast episode 40 on the Citizens' Chamber in the Canton of Vaud, a discussion I had with Rodan Bury and Charly Pache.

    My three takeaways from episode 40:

    0:45 Designing complementary institutions

    4:55 Citizens’ Chamber & direct democracy

    8:56 Improving existing institutions



    Find the show notes with full transcript here.

    Listen to episode 40 and find the show notes here.

    Letter from Switzerland: Where the People have the Veto



    Related episode:

    Deliberative Democracy and Citizens' Assemblies with Ian O'Flynn | Ep. 22:


    Listen and show notes
    Youtube

    It would be great to hear your opinion and feedback on this new format. If you want to send me an email, you can reach me at
    rulesofthegame.ddi@gmail.com. If you find my discussions interesting and you’d like to support my work, consider buying me a coffee at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/rulesofthegame

    • 11 min
    The Citizens' Chamber in the Canton of Vaud with Rodan Bury and Charly Pache

    The Citizens' Chamber in the Canton of Vaud with Rodan Bury and Charly Pache

    With Rodan Bury and Charly Pache I discuss their initiative to inaugurate a Citizens’ Chamber in the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland. The idea of the citizens’ chamber is to complement the existing unicameral parliament with topic-specific citizens’ assemblies, for which members are selected by sortition. Rather than being a permanent chamber of the same citizens, the proposed citizens’ chamber consists of a number of citizens’ assemblies that would convene for several months to deliberate and legislate on specific political issues. The goal of the citizens’ chamber is to enable citizens to directly participate in legislative processes, to deal with controversial topics, to include the many different perspectives of citizens, while most day-to-day political negotiations would still be dealt with by the elected parliament. It would thus be a complement both to representative and direct democratic institutions. 

    Rodan and Charly are part of a committee that tries to institutionalize the citizens’ chamber through a popular initiative to be approved at the ballot box by a popular vote, as it asks for a change of the cantonal constitution. The initiative was submitted to the government of the Canton of Vaud a few months ago. The state council that reviews initiatives rejected the proposal however, arguing that the proposition clashes with regulations in the federal constitution. The initiative committee appealed to the decision, and so currently Rodan and Charly are awaiting a decision on their appeal by the responsible court.

    Rodan Bury works as an occupational therapist, and he is the coordinator of the initiative of the citizens’ chamber and is passionate about community and bottom-up democratic approaches. He is trained to facilitate and coordinate citizens’ assemblies, and a public speaker and advocate for democracy.

    Charly Pache holds a degree in management information technology and a master's degree in innovation and entrepreneurship. He has worked on numerous prospective projects involving organizational elements of tomorrow's society. The way of working is one of them. He is also involved with participatory democracy and self-empowering, equal opportunities and diversity.

    Find a full transcript and links to all material discussed in the show notes.

    Schedule: 00:00 Introduction / 05:45 Personal questions / 09:15 Main discussion / 47:08 Recommendations by Rodan Bury and Charly Pache.

    Find the detailled proposal of the Citizens' Chamber of Vaud at Blue Democracy.

    Follow Rodan Bury's activities at the non-partisan movement AG!SSONS (Let's act!), on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

    Follow Charly Pache on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

    Please send feedback to rulesofthegame.ddi@gmail.com. If you find my discussions interesting and you’d like to support my work, consider buying me a coffee at buymeacoffee.com.

    Many thanks to Ana Margarida Santos who edited the episode.

    This is my first ever discussion on the Rules of the Game podcast with two guests. Please enjoy this conversation with Rodan Bury and Charly Pache.



    Music credits: To Be A Ball Of Light by Late Night Feeler and Fantasy Classical Themes by TheoTe.

    • 51 min
    Rules in Perspective on Ep. 39: Fixing the House with Proportional Representation | By Stephan Kyburz

    Rules in Perspective on Ep. 39: Fixing the House with Proportional Representation | By Stephan Kyburz

    Rules in Perspective is a new segment on the Rules of the Game channel. In this new segment I review and comment on my own podcast episodes.

    In this episode of Rules in Perspective I review the podcast episode 39 on Fixing the House with Proportional Representation with Lee Drutman.

    My 3 takeaways from episode 39:


    John Adams' Nightmare
    Electoral reform is an uphill battle, but worth it.
    Electoral reform from below.

    ⁠Find the show notes and full transcript here⁠.

    Listen to episode 39 and find the show notes here.

    Book: ⁠Breaking the Two-Party Doom-Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America ⁠ by Lee Drutman, 2020.
    Report: Towards Proportional Representation for the U.S. House, by Grant Tudor and Beau Tremitiere, Mar. 2023, Protect Democracy and Unite America.



    Related Episodes:

    The Dream of a Truly American Democracy by Stephan Kyburz (Ep. 1)


    Listen and show notes

    Proportional Representation in America? with Jack Santucci (Ep. 12)


    Listen and show notes

    New Zealand's Electoral Reform with Jack Nagel (Ep. 30)


    Listen and show notes

    It would be great to hear your opinion and feedback on this new format. If you want to send me an email, you can reach me at rulesofthegame.ddi@gmail.com. If you find my discussions interesting and you’d like to support my work, consider buying me a coffee at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/rulesofthegame

    • 9 min
    Fixing the House with Proportional Representation with Lee Drutman

    Fixing the House with Proportional Representation with Lee Drutman

    With Lee Drutman I discuss how proportional representation can break the two-party doom-loop that is spiraling in the U.S. Lee co-founded the organization “Fix Our House” with Charlotte Hill and Eli Zupnick, that specifically campaigns for proportional representation for the U.S. House of Representatives. We spend less time talking about the problems of the outdated first-past-the-post system, yet more time on possible solutions. Lee’s favored electoral system is open-list proportional representation, that is also used in Switzerland, for instance. He explains why he changed his mind on ranked choice voting, that he previously vouched for. We agree that the most important message for the electoral reform movement right now is advocating for multi-seat districts and proportional representation, instead of being bogged down by arguing over the best version of PR. 

    Lee Drutman is a Senior Fellow in the Political Reform program at New America. He is the author of the books “Breaking the Two-Party Doom-Loop: The Case for Multi-Party Democracy in America”, and “The Business of America is Lobbying “. He is the winner of the 2016 American Political Science Association's Robert A. Dahl Award, given for "scholarship of the highest quality on the subject of democracy." He co-hosts the podcast Politics in Question, and he is a lecturer at The Johns Hopkins University Center for Advanced Governmental Studies, and he writes regularly for FiveThirtyEight. He has published numerous pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, Vox, NBC Think, and Foreign Policy, among many other outlets. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. from Brown University.

    Find a full transcript and links to all material discussed in the show notes.

    Schedule: 00:00 Introduction / 04:17 Personal questions / 05:15 Main discussion / 42:23 Recommendations by Lee Drutman.

    Lee Drutman at New America.

    Follow Lee Drutman on Twitter and LinkedIn.

    Please send feedback to rulesofthegame.ddi@gmail.com. If you find my discussions interesting and you’d like to support my work, consider buying me a coffee at buymeacoffee.com.

    Many thanks to Ana Margarida Santos who edited the episode.

    Please enjoy this wide ranging conversation with Lee Drutman.

    Music credits: To Be A Ball Of Light by Late Night Feeler and Fantasy Classical Themes by TheoTe.

    • 44 min
    Rules in Perspective on Ep. 38: Political Institutions of Kuwait | By Stephan Kyburz

    Rules in Perspective on Ep. 38: Political Institutions of Kuwait | By Stephan Kyburz

    Rules in Perspective is a new segment on the Rules of the Game channel. In this new segment I review and comment on my own podcast episodes.

    In this episode of Rules in Perspective I review the podcast episode 38 on Political Institutions of Kuwait with Luai Allarakia.

    My three takeaways:


    Re-read the constitution
    Procedural rules matter too
    Political parties are important

    Listen to episode 38 and find the show notes here.

    Find a full transcript here.

    Find more information on the role of political parties in this paper on Moderated Parliamentarism.

    Related Episodes:

    Parliamentarism vs. Presidentialism with Tiago Santos (Ep. 11)


    Show notes
    Spotify
    Apple Podcasts
    Youtube

    Beyond Presidentialism and parliamentarism with Steffen Ganghof (Ep. 16)


    Show notes
    Spotify
    Apple Podcasts
    Youtube

    Moderated Parliamentarism with Tarunabh Khaitan (Ep. 29)


    Show notes
    Spotify
    Apple Podcasts

    It would be great to hear your opinion and feedback on this new format. If you want to send me an email, you can reach me at rulesofthegame.ddi@gmail.com. If you find my discussions interesting and you’d like to support my work, consider buying me a coffee at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/rulesofthegame

    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

justin kempf ,

Insights from a Respected Academic

I’ve found “The Rules of the Game” has become an exciting addition to the growing list of podcasts on democracy. It brings some of the ideas discussed in academic circles to a broader audience. The host regularly important insights of his own, but also includes many outstanding guests.

Justin Kempf,
Host of Democracy Paradox

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