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Political Research Seminar (395-0-21)


Democracy Under Siege


Jordan Luc Gans-Morse

Meeting Info

Scott Hall 201 Ripton Room: Thurs 9:30AM - 12:30PM

Overview of class

Since the mid-2000s, democracy has been under siege. In countries such as Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela, democracy has collapsed entirely. In longstanding democracies including the United States, democratic institutions have faced historically unprecedented strain from populist movements such as Trumpism. Looking to the future, democracies likely will encounter novel challenges resulting from phenomena such as artificial intelligence and climate change. This course will survey recent trends in democratic backsliding, drawing on both classic studies of why democracies collapse and emerging research about uniquely 21st century threats to democracy. We will also consider potential political strategies and reforms for promoting the resilience of democracies.

Teaching Method


Evaluation Method

Participation: 35% Research Paper: 50% In-Class Presentation: 15%

Class Materials (Suggested)

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, How Democracies Die (New York: Crown, 2018) 978-1524762940