What is behind the “crisis of democracy”? by Jan-Werner Mueller


According to conventional wisdom, the greatest threats to liberal democracy today come from abstract groups of people, with one side blaming the “elites” and the other denouncing the poor judgment of the masses. Yet by ignoring the evolving role of political institutions, this dichotomy misses what is really happening.

PRINCETON – Donald Trump is out of the White House, but no one in their right mind would say the world has been made safe for democracy. Trump’s return cannot be ruled out, and even as the man spends the rest of his life as the con artist and internet troll that he is, the United States (and the world) must face a Republican Party. completely Trumpified.

The GOP is now determined to undermine American democracy by suppressing voters and subverting election results that do not go their way. And the United States is not alone in facing attacks on its democracy. Brazil and India – two of the world’s largest democracies – are both ruled by far-right populists; and within the European Union, Poland and Hungary are accelerating their descent towards autocracy.

Not surprisingly, there has been a boom in “crisis of democracy” books since Trump’s election in 2016. But are current threats to democracy being discussed on the right terms?

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