How Democracies Die Daniel Ziblatt | 12th Annual Sara Glasgow Cogan Memorial Lecture
Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 7:00pm

The 12th Annual Sara Glasgow Cogan Memorial Lecture February 21st 2019 7pm Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom 355

Is American Democracy in Danger?

How Democracies Die
Daniel Ziblatt

12th Annual
Sara Glasgow Cogan Memorial Lecture

FEB 21st, 2019 | 7pm
SMSU Ballroom 355


Daniel Ziblatt has spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and other parts of the world, and he believes the answer is yes. In this lecture, he will discuss his best-selling book How Democracies Die (co-authored with Steve Levitsky). According to his analysis, 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. Using historical examples from America’s own past as well European and Latin American experiences as points of reference, Ziblatt assesses the threats and possibilities facing American democracy today. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that we have entered an era of extreme polarization, in which it has become harder and harder to find these exit ramps.


Daniel ZiblattDaniel Ziblatt is Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard University where he is also a resident faculty associate of the Minda de Gunzburg Cener for European Studies and Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. His research focuses on democratization, democratic breakdown, political parties, state-building, and historical political economy, with an emphasis on Europe from the nineteenth century to the present.

His three books include How Democracies Die (Crown, 2018), co-authored with Steve Levitsky), a New York Times best-seller, being translated into fifteen languages. He is also the author of Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2017), which won the American Political Science Association's 2018 Woodrow Wilson Prize for the best book in government and international relations as well as three other prizes including the American Sociological Association's 2018 Barrington Moore Book Prize. His first book was Structuring the State: The Formation of Italy and Germany and the Puzzle of Federalism (Princeton, 2006 [2008]).




This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of 
Professor Emeritus Nathan Cogan and the Cogan Family