How Democracies Die author Daniel Ziblatt on the “grinding work” of democracy [rebroadcast]



How Democracies Die author Daniel Ziblatt
Daniel Ziblatt

Our summer break continues this week with a rebroadcast of one of our very first episodes, a conversation with How Democracies Die author Daniel Ziblatt. He spoke at Penn State in March 2018. Both the book and the conversation are worth revisiting, or checking out for the first time if the episode is new to you.

Ziblatt has done a lot of interviews since the release of How Democracies Die, the bestselling book he co-wrote with Steven Levitsky. But we asked him a question he’d never gotten before — about a line toward the end of the book when he refers to democracy as “grinding work.”

The idea that democracy isn’t easy is a central theme of this podcast. As How Democracies Die illustrates, it’s much easier to succumb to the power of an autocratic leader than it is to stand up and protect the institutions that serve as the guardrails of democracy. Ziblatt, a professor of government at Harvard, talks about how the book came about and the impact it’s had since it was released last year.

One final thing: Nominations are now open for the 2019 People’s Choice Podcast Awards. Democracy Works won last year in the Government and Organizations category, and we would love to keep the momentum going this year. Visit podcastawards.com by July 31 to submit your nominations.


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