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Daniel Ziblatt has done a lot of interviews since the release of How Democracies Die (Crown, 2018) the bestselling book he co-wrote with Steven Levitsky. But we asked...

Daniel Ziblatt has done a lot of interviews since the release of How Democracies Die (Crown, 2018) the bestselling book he co-wrote with Steven Levitsky. But we asked him a question he’d never gotten before — about a line toward the end of the book when he refers to democracy as “grinding work.”

The idea that democracy isn’t easy is a central theme of this podcast. As How Democracies Die illustrates, it’s much easier to succumb to the power of an autocratic leader than it is to stand up and protect the institutions that serve as the guardrails of democracy. Ziblatt, a professor of government at Harvard, talks about how the book came about and the impact it’s had since it was released earlier this year.


Democracy Works is created by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State and recorded at WPSU Penn State, central Pennsylvania’s NPR station.