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  • Originally published 03/22/2018

    Will Trump break American democracy?

    With Trump as president, we find ourselves asking again: How strong is support for democracy in America really? Could Americans actually let an authoritarian strongman trample on our democratic norms?

  • Originally published 01/24/2018

    Is There Something Wrong With Democracy?

    In the first of what will become a regular series of videos exploring big questions and ideas about the world, the New York Times explains what we know about democracy’s troubles, what’s causing them and where it leads.

  • Originally published 12/11/2017

    Obama is right: US democracy is fragile

    Ruth Ben-Ghiat

    Signs abound that our freedoms are under siege, not only from foreign enemies such as Vladimir Putin but also from forces inside our country, starting with the radicalized elements of the Republican Party.

  • Originally published 09/22/2017

    The Descent of Democracy

    Khalil Gibran Muhammad

    Trump is indeed a threat to democracy but it is important to recognize that the threats are not new.

  • Originally published 09/12/2017

    Rules for Radicals

    Alan Wolfe

    A right-wing economist’s plan to rig democracy for the rich.

  • Originally published 07/23/2017

    Revisiting H.L. Mencken in The Age of Trump

    Frank Fear

    “On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of this land will reach their heart’s content at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

  • Originally published 05/15/2017

    Party Time

    Jill Lepore

    Smear tactics, skulduggery, and the début of American democracy.

  • Originally published 02/23/2017

    The Antidemocratic Origins of Fake News

    Jeremy C. Young

    The cynical philosophy of those who peddled false information in the 1910s and 1920s can help us understand why fake news is not only bad for the public but also antithetical to a democratic culture.

  • Originally published 12/05/2016

    Is Democracy Doomed? We've Been Here Before.

    Bill Scher

    The value of democracy was widely questioned in the mid-1930s, as the Great Depression was yet to be tamed during the early stages of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency.

  • Originally published 11/01/2016

    The Case Against Democracy

    Caleb Crain

    If most voters are uninformed, who should make decisions about the public’s welfare?

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    1 of postwar Italy’s most powerful men, 7-time Premier Giulio Andreotti, dies at 94

    ROME — Giulio Andreotti personified the nation he helped shape, the good and the bad.One of Italy’s most important postwar figures, he helped draft the country’s constitution after World War II, served seven times as premier and spent 60 years in Parliament.But the Christian Democrat who was friends with popes and cardinals was also a controversial figure who survived corruption scandals and allegations of aiding the Mafia: Andreotti was accused of exchanging a “kiss of honor” with the mob’s longtime No. 1 boss and was indicted in what was called “the trial of the century” in Palermo.He was eventually cleared, but his legacy was forever marred....

  • Originally published 05/04/2013

    Philosophy Matters

    Yvonne Sherratt

    Martin Heidegger, one of Hitler's philosophers. Credit: Wiki Commons/HNN.With today's heated rhetoric against the study of history and philosophy, it's worth reminding our readers that philosophy matters, and -- tragically -- one of the ways it matters is how it can be twisted into support for atrocities.

  • Originally published 05/01/2013

    Conrad Black: Democracy on the Way Out?

    Conrad Black is the author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom, Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full, and the recently published A Matter of Principle. He can be reached at cbletters@gmail.com.

  • Originally published 03/27/2013

    Voting Against Freedom

    With its inspiring images of citizens around the Middle East taking to the streets to demand an end to dictatorship, the Arab Spring rekindled our faith in democracy. As the dramatic events unfolded on television, it was impossible not to believe that however tightly autocrats may try to hold on to power, and however messy transitions may be, in the end, despotism must yield to the will of the people....

  • Originally published 02/22/2013

    Juan Cole: Tunisian Democracy Challenged as Prime Minister Resigns

    Juan Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History and the director of the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Michigan.  His latest book, "Engaging the Muslim World," is just out in a revised paperback edition from Palgrave Macmillan. The resignation of Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali in Tunisia has created a political crisis that the elected government will have to deal with. Jebali is a politician of the Muslim religious right, from the Ennahda Party, and had led an Ennahda-dominated cabinet in coalition with two smaller secular parties, Moncef Marzouki’s social democratic Congress for the Republic and another small partner.

  • Originally published 06/17/2016

    Technology and Politics: Neither good, nor bad, nor neutral

    Infinity, Limited

    The Economist aptly applied “Technology is neither good, nor bad, nor neutral,” Mel Kranzberg’s first law of the history of technology, to its recent discussion of technology and politics.  While the revolutionary power of digital data and social media are great, possibly greater are the opportunities for repressive states to observe dissidents, attack opponents, manipulate public perceptions, and even create alternate realities to stay in power.  Such efforts have a long history, but the digital politics offers much greater potential and peril.