top of page
  • Journal of Democracy

Polarization versus Democracy

Democratic breakdowns almost always come in one of two, very different forms: executive takeovers and military coups.

The rise in executive takeovers presents several challenges for our understanding of democratic stability. The first stems from the fact that, unlike military coups, takeovers are conducted by democratically elected incumbents. These politicians must enjoy—at least initially—sufficient popular support to capture the executive by democratic means.

In most cases, they also need to muster enough electoral strength to control another branch of government, typically the legislature. The latter’s complicity is usually essential in carrying out the kind of constitutional changes that facilitate the subversion of democracy: the abolition of term limits, the political subjugation of the judiciary, and the expansion of executive authority (sometimes by a constitutional shift from a parliamentary toward a presidential system). Read more ...

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

How should we Mask COVID-19?

Global coronavirus deaths have been falling—but scientists are worried that more infectious new variants of the virus may reverse those trends. As quickly as vaccines were developed, the virus has ev

How We Can Stop the Spread of COVID-19 By Christmas

We have a long road ahead before a vaccine is safe, effective and, most crucially, widely available. We need a multi-pronged public health strategy that includes a national testing plan that utilizes

bottom of page