Democracy on Autopilot

Become a Patron! Democracy on Autopilot Lately my mind regularly drifts to a quote from the new book from Dan Slater and Joseph Wong. They write, "Democracy doesn’t 'just happen' as a matter of course with a society’s modernization; rather, real people need to make risky decisions that have vital implications for democracy’s fate." It... Continue Reading →

Is Every Democracy in a Hard Place?

Become a Patron! Is Every Democracy in a Hard Place? Democracies around the world face many threats. Some are new while others are old. Sometimes the threats reflect changing circumstances. However, others involve problems that have compounded over generations. Economic inequality, severe polarization, and poor governance threaten American democracy. Europe faces ongoing issues surrounding economic... Continue Reading →

A Test for Democracy

Become a Patron! A Test for Democracy Everyday Ukraine serves as a testament to the power of human will. The Ukrainian people continue to meet their Russian aggressors in the battlefield. Lately a lot of the focus for those who follow the conflict closely is on the advances of Russian forces. But the Russian advance... Continue Reading →

Lucan Way on Ukraine. Democracy in Hard Places.

Lucan Way is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He coauthored (along with Steven Levitsky) Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. He has a new book also coauthored with Steven Levitsky due this fall called Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism. He is the author of... Continue Reading →

Democratic Leadership in Hard Places

Become a Patron! Democratic Leadership Democracy has always had a complicated relationship with its leaders. For starters democracy is the one form of government where leaders are regularly cast aside. Winston Churchill navigated Great Britain through World War II, but his party lost power shortly before the war's conclusion. For many leadership itself is undemocratic.... Continue Reading →

Rachel Beatty Riedl on Benin. Democracy in Hard Places.

Rachel Beatty Riedl is the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies, Director of the Einaudi Center for International Studies, and professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University. She also cohosts the podcast Ufahamu Africa with Kim Yi Dionne. Her chapter "Africa’s Democratic Outliers Success amid Challenges in Benin and South Africa" appears... Continue Reading →

Ashutosh Varshney on India. Democracy in Hard Places

Ashutosh Varshney is the Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Brown University, where he also directs the Center for Contemporary South Asia. His chapter "India’s Democratic Longevity and Its Troubled Trajectory" appears in the forthcoming book Democracy in Hard Places.   Become a Patron! Nehru is... Continue Reading →

Evan Lieberman on South Africa. Democracy in Hard Places

  Evan Lieberman is a Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Director of the MIT Global Diversity Lab, and the faculty director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI). He is the coauthor with Rorisang Lekalake of the recent article "South Africa's Resilient Democracy" in the Journal... Continue Reading →

Institutional Weakness in Hard Places

Become a Patron! Institutional Weakness I learned about institutional weakness for the first time from a book called The Politics of Institutional Weakness in Latin America. Initially, I thought it was just another name for state capacity. But Mala Htun and Francesca Jensenius point out, "Weak institutions are not just a matter of weak state... Continue Reading →

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