How Democracies Die

Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professor Steven Levitsky, argues that America is not immune from the authoritarian slide that has caused democracies in Europe and Latin America to collapse. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe and contemporary Venezuela to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky reveals the dangers facing our democracy—and how it can survive.

This program recognizes the generous support of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to the Chicago Humanities Festival.