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Prof. Christopher S. Parker in the Review Symposium, "A Discussion of Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s How Democracies Die"

Submitted by Stephen Dunne on December 6, 2018 - 3:25pm

In a Review Symposium,"A Discussion of Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s How Democracies Die," UW Political Science Professor, Christopher Sebastian Parker, contributes to the discussion of the above titled best-selling book on how democracies can slide into authoritarianism.

The core argument of the book suggests that the turn toward authoritarianism does not always occur by coups or revolution, but by the erosion of democratic norms.

The authors of the book make a few suggestions of how to remedy the situation, including the Scandanavian model of social welfare. Prof. Parker, however, believes the problem of race relations in America makes this an untenable solution; witness overdone references to the "welfare queen." Another solution proffered by the authors is for the GOP to reform itself, but that seems unlikely as the reactionaries dominate the GOP; the old conservatives "eschew violence; reactionaries embrace it." Prof. Parker argues that a more likely remedy is one that includes Democrats turning out to vote as a means of countering the threat from the Trump GOP.

Please link here for Prof. Parker's discussion.

Please link here for the full article.