How Democracies Die . . . and How They May Survive with Daniel Ziblatt


In this episode of International Horizons, RBI director John Torpey interviews Daniel Ziblatt, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard University and co-author (with Steven Levitsky) of the bestsellers How Democracies Die (Crown, 2019) and The Tyranny of the Minority (Crown, 2023).

Ziblatt emphasizes the crucial role played by conservative parties that were committed to democracy in the United Kingdom and Germany and reflects on what makes democracy in the United States less prone to backsliding than these and other twentieth-century cases. Focusing on the arguments in The Tyranny of the Minority, Ziblatt discusses the need for profound change in American institutions to “democratize democracy” and make it more resilient. He stresses the vital importance of mobilizing civil society to preserve democracy, of which he sees optimistic signs in the recent American and German past.

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International Horizons

International Horizons is a podcast of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies that brings scholarly expertise to bear on our understanding of international issues. John Torpey, the host of the podcast and director of the Ralph Bunche Institute, holds conversations with prominent scholars and figures in state-of-the-art international issues in our weekly episodes.

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