On Thursday, October 22nd, we continued with the CAS SEE Seminars with Gergana Dimova. The talk revolved around a challenging topic – Democracy beyond Elections: Government Accountability in the Media Age.

What do media scandals have to do with democracy? After all, couldn’t just about anybody level allegations, even when they are untrue, at the power-holders? In this virtual talk, based on her book “Democracy beyond Elections”, Dr Dimova argues that we can judge democracy, to an extent, by the way incumbents are held to account for media allegations. Gauging these patterns of accountability is complicated, because it is uncertain who will be most outraged about the accusations, what kind of investigations will ensue and whether there will be any sanctions at all. Based on a comparative analysis of nearly 6,000 media claims leveled at the governments of Russia, Germany and Bulgaria, the book suggests that there are nevertheless some revealing signs, which set democratic accountability from non-democratic accountability apart. Thus, the study highlights the importance of thinking about democracy not only through the lens of electoral delegation, but also in terms of accountability in the periods between elections.

Gergana Dimova received her PhD from Harvard University and has subsequently assumed research and teaching positions at the University of Cambridge and at the University of Winchester in the UK. Her most recent book is Democracy beyond Elections (Palgrave 2019) and her forthcoming book is Political Uncertainty (Ibidem 2020). She is the convener of the Anti-Politics Specialist Group of the UK Political Science Association. She serves on the editorial board of Democratic Theory, the Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society and the Journal of Liberty and International Affairs, and consults for the European Commission. Gergana’s academic articles have been published in Democratizatsiya, Observatorio, Global Media Journal and others. Her media expertise has been featured in the Atlantic Council, the Huffington Post, the LSE Policy Institute, Global Risk Insights, Bulgarian TV and radio.

Watch the CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Gergana Dimova: