Democratic Decline in the United States: What Can We Learn From Middle-Income Backsliding?

Democratic Decline in the United States: What Can We Learn From Middle-Income Backsliding?

by Robert R. Kaufman, Rutgers University and Stephan Haggard, UC San Diego

We analyze what can be learned from authoritarian backsliding in middle income countries about the threats to democracy posed by the election of Donald Trump. We find that although American political institutions may forestall a full reversion to electoral autocracy, there are striking parallels in terms of democratic dysfunction, autocratic appeals, and the processes through which autocratic incumbents sought to exploit elected office.

Read the full article.

Perspectives on Politics, Volume 17, Issue 2, September 2018

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