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Professor discusses political factions

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Associate Professor of Political Science Juli Minoves-Triquell emphasized the importance of distinct political parties in a democracy during his lecture, “Politics in Small States,” held live via Webex on Tuesday.

In the first faculty lecture of the fall 2020 semester, Minoves-Triquell, told his online audience that although it can be problematic, the political two-party system is essential and should not be dismantled. 

“My contention is that political parties are at the very core of what a democracy is,” Minoves-Triquell said. “I am sad that sometimes they are so heavily criticized, but I believe you can’t have a full-fledged democracy without it.”

Using his research and analysis on Andorra’s political system, he supported his points throughout the one-hour presentation. 

Andorra, where Minoves-Triquell grew up and served as an ambassador and foreign minister, is a tiny country of  just 181 square miles with a population of about 77,000, situated between France and Spain.

Growing up in this small country between two bigger and more powerful nations, his natural curiosity for the relationship between the size and political regime of a country propelled him to study comparative politics. 

“It’s important to look at things like these not in isolation but in comparison with each other,” he said. 

He explained Andorra’s approach to democracy. 

“Andorra …  had a system of notables, and the parties were in fact that group of notables that had a group around them, who will vote for them because (they)  are influenced by their ideologies from being around them,” he said. 

Although it was a political science lecture, faculty members from various disciplines joined the discussion raising insightful questions from the perspectives of history and the humanities. 

Professor of History Kenneth Marcus, who participated in the follow-up discussion, shared that although political science and history have different approaches, they share an interest in analysis of government and legislation.

“Both share a common interest in politics,” Marcus said. “Although typically looked at in different ways, with political science being more theoretical and model-driven,” Marcus said. 

Marcus further used his knowledge of 16th century Europe to point out the parallels between his research of 16th century German notables with Minoves-Triquell’s theory of notables introduced during the lecture. 

—Hien Nguyen

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