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Daniel Ziblatt on Institutions - Dictionary of Arguments

Levitsky I 124
Institutions/Levitsky/Ziblatt: A (...) norm that is decisive for the existence of democracies is what we call institutional restraint(1).
Levitsky I 125
Where the norm of restraint is strong, politicians, even if they are legally allowed to do so, do not fully utilize their institutional prerogatives because this would endanger the existing system(2). The origins of institutional restraint go back to pre-democratic times. At a time when kings invoked their divine grace, that is, when religious sanctioning underpinned the monarch's authority, their power was not limited by any rights conceived by mortals(3). Nevertheless, many of Europe's pre-democratic monarchs acted with restraint. After all, a pious, God-fearing life required wisdom and self-restraint(4).


1. We have adopted this term from Alisha Holland; see Alisha Holland, »Forbearance«, in: American Political Science Review 110, No. 2 (Mai 2016), pp. 232-246; Forbearance as Redistribution. The Politics of Informal Welfare in Latin America, New York 2017; cf. also Eric Nelson, »Are We on the Verge of the Death Spiral That Produced the English Revolution of 1642–1649?«, in: History News Network, 14th Dezember 2014, http:// historynewsnetwork.org/article/157822.
2. Whittington, »The Status of Unwritten Constitutional Conventions in the United States«, p. 106. 3. Reinhard Bendix, Könige oder Volk, Frankfurt am Main 1980, Teil I, p. 18–20.
4. Edmund Morgan, Inventing the People. The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America, New York 1988, p. 21; Bendix, Könige oder Volk, Teil I, p. 331 f.


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Ziblatt, Daniel


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