Transformations of Democracy
As the number of autocracies in the world grows, democracy appears under threat around the world. Not only new democracies, but even established Western democracies themselves have fallen into varying degrees of self-diagnosed crisis. With Donald Trump’s 2016 election in the United States and the rise to the verge of power of populist, Eurosceptic, and anti-immigrant forces in Europe, in addition to signs of polarization, political distrust, and even political violence, some observers have begun to worry that even the world’s most established democracies may be at risk. We are faced, then, with one of the most pressing issues of our time: can liberal democracy as it exists today survive in a recognizable form?
The Transformations of Democracy department's research seeks to understand current challenges facing democracies. The unit analyzes “transformations in democracy”—forward impulses of democratization, backward trends of de-democratization, and innovations in democratic institutions and practice to cope with the new pressures on democracy around the world. With these as our foci, our research has four main pillars:
Muharrem Aytug Sasmaz, Alper Yagci and Daniel Ziblatt (2022): "How Voters Respond to Presidential Assaults on Checks and Balances: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Turkey" Comparative Political Studies. January 2022.
Aditya Dasgupta and Daniel Ziblatt (2021): "Capital Meets Democracy: The Impact of Franchise Extension on Sovereign Bond Markets." American Journal of Political Science.
Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky (2021): "Die Verzweiflung der alten Mehrheit. Amerikas Konservative setzen die Demokratie aufs Spiel". In: WZB-Mitteilungen, H. 172, S. 6-9.
Fabio Ellger, Hanno Hilbig, Sascha Riaz and Philipp Tillmann (2021): "Weniger Stimmen für die Volksparteien. Warum Lokalzeitungssterben zur Polarisierung der Wählerschaft beiträgt"