Four Threats to American Democracy
Part of our webcast series, "SNF Agora Conversations: Election 2020"
Friday, September 25, 12–12:45 p.m.
As we head into the final weeks of the 2020 election season, it feels like our democracy is facing an existential crisis. In their new book, Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy, authors Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman map out five times in U.S. history that our democracy was in serious crisis, and they identify four characteristics of democratic disruption: political polarization, racism and nativism, economic inequality, and excessive executive power. We’ve survived these threats in the past—but never all at once. What lessons can past crises teach us about navigating a path forward?
Robert Lieberman, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University
Suzanne Mettler, John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions in the Government Department at Cornell University
Peter Levine, moderator, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life, and SNF Agora Visiting Fellow
Join us next week for:
Trump vs. Biden vs. Media and Manipulation
Friday, October 2, 12–12:45 pm
A month before election day, political journalists are struggling to cover a campaign with more than the usual share of falsehood, exaggeration and vitriol. Russian intelligence agencies are meddling once again, with China and Iran following close behind. Social media giants are slow to catch the disinformation or timid about intervening. How can voters sort fact from fiction and make an informed choice?
About the SNF Agora Institute
The SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University was founded in 2017 with a $150 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. We are a multi-disciplinary academic and public forum dedicated to strengthening global democracy by improving and expanding civic engagement and inclusive dialogue, and by supporting inquiry that leads to real-world change. By building integrated partnerships with scholars, practitioners, students, and the public, we use research to identify and sharpen strategic choices that members of the public and civic and political stakeholders around the world can make to realize the promise of democracy.