Debate: The Danger Is Real

Issue Date October 2022
Volume 33
Issue 4
Page Numbers 151–54
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Scholars who are willing to argue against doom-mongering on the basis of serious evidence and a subtle counternarrative can make a big contribution to political science and the larger public discourse. Sadly, this is not what Jason Brownlee and Kenny Miao offer in “Why Democracies Survive.” Instead of joining a grasp of the sources of democratic resilience with a serious examination of current trends in backsliding, they try to revive a consensus that has been long dead for good reason. In prematurely declaring Hungary and the United States examples of “survival preceded by backsliding,” they dismiss concerns about the rise of authoritarian populists as “evidence-resistant ‘tyrannophobia.’” The events of recent years make it painfully clear that it is naïve to assume that countries such as the United States are virtually certain to remain democracies.

About the Author

Yascha Mounk is associate professor of the practice of international affairs at Johns Hopkins University and the author of The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure (2022).

View all work by Yascha Mounk

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