The Democracy Series: A Conversation with Authors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
Thu. Jan 20, 2022
6:00 — 7:00 PM CST
In-person (Registration required), Virtual Livestream
Join the University of Chicago Center for Effective Government, the Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores for the next installment of The Democracy Series, a joint initiative of public events featuring dialogue between book authors and experts on issues related to the state democracy in the U.S. and abroad.
Steven Levitsky, Professor of Government at Harvard University, and Daniel Ziblatt, the Eaton Professor of Government at Harvard University, will discuss their New York Times Bestseller, How Democracies Die. The event will feature:
Steven Levitsky | Author, How Democracies Die
Daniel Ziblatt | Author, How Democracies Die
Will Howell (Moderator) | Director, University of Chicago Center for Effective Government
About the book:
Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we’d be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one.
Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.
Praise for How Democracies Die
“What we desperately need is a sober, dispassionate look at the current state of affairs. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, two of the most respected scholars in the field of democracy studies, offer just that.”—The Washington Post
“Where Levitsky and Ziblatt make their mark is in weaving together political science and historical analysis of both domestic and international democratic crises; in doing so, they expand the conversation beyond Trump and before him, to other countries and to the deep structure of American democracy and politics.”—Ezra Klein, Vox
“If you only read one book for the rest of the year, read How Democracies Die. . . .This is not a book for just Democrats or Republicans. It is a book for all Americans. It is nonpartisan. It is fact based. It is deeply rooted in history. . . . The best commentary on our politics, no contest.”—Michael Morrell, former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (via Twitter)
“A smart and deeply informed book about the ways in which democracy is being undermined in dozens of countries around the world, and in ways that are perfectly legal.”—Fareed Zakaria, CNN
Watch the full recording: