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About Me
Multi-Dimensional Democracy
          The Best Possible Politics?
          Introduction to multi-dimensional democracy
                    2019 edition, English   pdf      
          Parasta mahdollista politiikkaa?
          Johdatus moniulotteisen demokratian perusteisiin
                    2019 edition, Finnish   pdf      
                    2005 edition, Finnish   pdf      
Disambiguation of terminology

The term “multi-dimensional democracy” has been used by various writers to mean several different concepts.

Terminology used by myself:
  • multi-dimensional democracy, multi-democracy:
    • “Multi-dimensional democracy (or more shortly, multi-democracy) means such forms of democratic decision-making, where the notion is acknowledged that also some other alternatives than the most supported option are probably worth implementing.” (Ion Mittler 2019, page 13)
  • decentralized multi-dimensional democracy, autonomy of open political minorities:
    • “The simplest way to increase multi-dimensionality into democracy is decentralized multi-democracy, distributing the decision-making to several minority groups, which make their own decisions independently. For example so that each party that receives at least 1% of all given votes, gets an autonomous region from the territory of the country or city, whose size is relative to the share of the votes received by the party of all votes.” (Ion Mittler 2019, page 14)
    • “Decentralized multi-dimensional democracy is autonomy of open political minorities. Autonomy of ethnic minorities would be a form of decentralized majority rule, not multi-dimensional democracy, because ethnic groups are closed minorities: a person cannot “join” an ethnicity, people are born into ethnicities. The definition and size of open political minorities is defined by national or global voting results, while the definition and size of ethnic minorities is not affected by voting much or at all.” (Ion Mittler 2019, page 16)
  • centralized multi-dimensional democracy:
    • “Centralized multi-democracy would be a yet more multi-dimensional alternative, where an individual might have the opportunity to choose his preferred option from among hundreds of different combinations.“ (Ion Mittler 2019, page 14)
    • “In this mindset we try to impartially implement the multi-dimensional will of the people, by implementing several different solutions at the same time, and by optimizing the number of implemented alternatives in such a way that the total amount of achieved interests is the greatest possible.” (Ion Mittler 2005, page 39)
    • “we ask instead: How many different solutions should be implemented, in order to achieve as much synergy benefits as possible and as little synergy disadvantages as possible?” (Ion Mittler 2005, page 19)
  • decentralized majority rule democracy:
    • “Decentralized majority rule democracy is not multi-dimensional democracy, because it lacks the principle that also some other alternatives than the most supported option are probably worth implementing. United States and European Union are decentralized majority rule democracies, to the extent that the states or countries have the right to write their own legislation. (...) In decentralized majority rule the 20% of votes that an alternative might receive in each separate voting district (such as a state or country) would not qualify the alternative for being implemented anywhere, if it does not reach majority position in any of the separate voting districts (receiving more than 50% of votes in at least one state or country). The repeated requirement of majority in each of the separate voting districts is what distinguishes decentralized majority rule democracy from multi-dimensional democracy.“ (Ion Mittler 2019, page 15)
Similar terminology with different meanings, in use of other writers:

The incomplete list of concepts below, where other writers have used the term “multi-dimensional” in the context of democracy, gives an idea of the great variety of thoughts that other writers have expressed with terminology that is relatively similar to mine. In my usage “multi-dimensional democracy” refers to a decision-making process that typically intends to implement more than one decision or policy simultaneously (in contrast to majority rule democracy, which typically implements one decision or policy only: the will of the majority). The writers listed below use the expression “multi-dimensional” in reference to other aspects of politics than this — in some cases to what I would call “decentralized majority rule democracy”.
  • multi-dimensional democracy, multidimensional democracy:
    • “Multidimensional democracy: the supply and demand of political representation. (...) Research on representation in American politics typically examines the concept through only one of four dimensions: policy, service, allocation, or descriptive. (...) its multidimensional nature implies that any analysis of one dimension that does not account for the others is missing key elements of the process.” (Jeffrey J. Harden 2012)
    • “Moving Toward Multi-Dimensional Democracy: (...) American democracy calls for more than simply representative governance: It promises more than a collaborative legislative body that will listen to an informed and active citizenry. Among other things, it also promises equality among citizens in the public realm and the safeguard of certain treasured ideals. If the Hewlett Foundation wants to make a sincere, comprehensive effort to save a troubled American democracy, it will need to (...) include such multiple definitions. (...) American democracy is a rich concept that incorporates various layers of commitments and promises.” (Maribel Morey 2014)
    • “territorial representative democracy needs to be complemented by other types of border-crossing, participatory democracy, including transnational movements representing non-territorial political communities (...) The state’s monopoly on democracy also needs to be replaced by including (rather than choosing) different ’levels’, and other ’places’ such as city networks (...) which differ in character from the state-like ’levels’. (...) such a ’multi-level’ and multidimensional democracy may be a preferable and ultimately more realistic goal” (James Anderson 2002)
    • Some newspapers in Africa have used the term “multi-dimensional democracy” in reference to a typical multi-party political system, in contrast to dictatorships or authoritarian one-party political systems. (Early 2000’s, no reference is available.)
  • multidimensional democratic system:
    • “Lehmbruch focused his research on the emergence and evolution of negotiation democracies. (...) he contributed to the understanding of the logic of operation of multidimensional democratic systems, first by his seminal study of party competition in German federalism (...) and in later research on patterns of corporatist interest intermediation” (Volker Schneider & Burkard Eberlein 2015)
    • “Merkel et al. (2003) consider political participatory rights and civil freedom rights as two ’partial regimes’ of a multidimensional democratic system which they call ’embedded democracy’.” (Monique van Doorn 2007)
  • multi-dimensional party competition:
    • “This chapter explains the relationship between the four European worlds of welfare democracies (Nordic, continental, southern, and Anglo-Saxon) and multidimensional party competition.” (Jonathan Polk & Jan Rovny 2018)
  • multi-dimensional crisis of democracy:
    • “the roots of the present multi-dimensional crisis (ecological, economic, political, social, cultural) lie in the non-democratic organisation of society at all levels” (Takis Fotopoulos 2005)
  • multi-dimensional concepts of democracy:
    • “Populism, Democracy, and Representation: Multidimensional Concepts and Regime Types in Comparative Politics” (Pierre Ostiguy 2001)
    • “political scientists today view democracy as a multidimensional concept and look at more than a country’s leaders, laws, and constitution to assess its health. They also study a variety of other factors, such as a society’s culture and institutions” (Editors of Facing History and Ourselves 2017)
    • “In the social sciences we often employ complex multi-dimensional concepts such as development, democracy or marketplace.” (Dirk Berg-Schlosser 2018)
    • “Democracy as a multidimensional concept: (...) Liberal dimension: rule of law, civil rights, protection of minorities (...) Democratic dimension: electoral process - competition, participation, transparency, justification, deliberation, evaluation, sanction, responsiveness” (Hanspeter Kriesi 2014)
    • “The democracy and autocracy scores in Polity IV are made up of components which are scored and weighted by hand. Implicitly, Polity is taking the multidimensional concept of democracy and reducing it to a uni-dimensional scale (...) However it is not at all clear that a uni-dimensional scale is appropriate.” (Zachary M. Jones 2012)
  • multi-dimensional praxis in democracy:
    • “Electronic Democracy as a Multi-Dimensional Praxis: (...) The multi-dimensionality of the Net opens new possibilities for structuring political interactions. To appreciate these possibilities, this article reviews and criticizes contemporary democratic practices with a particular focus on their procedural uniformity.” (Oren Perez 2003)
  • multidimensional view of democracy:
    • “Direct democracy, ’plebiscitarianism’ and military rule: Is the Portuguese normative view of democracy multidimensional?” (Goffredo Adinolfi 2018)
  • multi-dimensional separations of powers in democracy:
    • “I’ve described the United States as having a complicated system of multidimensional separations of powers, specifically, the various, overlapping lines of separation (and potential rivalry) between and among the federal constitutional branches; the feds and the states; the State and the Market; church and state power; civilian and military authority; and, within agencies, political appointees and civil servants.” (Jon D. Michaels 2018)
  • multi-dimensional account of democratic legitimacy:
    • “A multidimensional account of democratic legitimacy: how to make robust decisions in a non-idealized deliberative context. (...) This paper analyses the possibility of granting legitimacy to democratic decision-making procedures in a context of deep pluralism.” (Enrico Biale & Federica Liveriero 2017)
  • multi-dimensional approach to measuring democracy:
  • multidimensional government-citizen policy congruence:
    • “In the first comparative study of multidimensional government-citizen policy congruence, this article shows that citizens are less satisfied with democracy when their views differ from that of the government on policy dimensions beyond the general left-right axis.” (Christian Stecker & Markus Tausenpfund 2016)
  • dimensions of democracy:
  • multidimensional society:
    • “The Multidimensional Society: (...) Combining both restraint and liberty and thus intersecting the other two dimensions at every point is the dimension of freedom within the law, the principle of a diversified yet integrated culture. Thus the event of a developing civilization is a three-dimensional system.” (Charles M. Perry 1940)