On “How Democracies Die”

On “How Democracies Die”

The United States under the Trump presidency along with other democracies led by authoritarian leaders raise concerns that even consolidated democracies do not live forever. This article starts with a recently published book titled “how democracies die” and demonstrates how seemingly stable democratic systems might erode, how such processes develop and how erosion might be stopped.

Moreover, the article argues that not only authoritarian leaders such as Donald Trump jeopardize democracy. Some studies also point to the corrosive effects of wealthy elites who are in a much better position of pursuing their interests than ordinary citizens. These analyses raise doubts about democracy as government of for and by the people.

The article starts with the scholarly debate on the book “how democracies die.” It continues describing what other deficiencies impair American politics. Finally, it evaluates the findings in light of democratic theory. It uses an interdisciplinary perspective by invoking insights from comparative democracy research, international relations, economics and development research.

The full text of this article is available in German language only.