Steve Levitsky is a professor of government at Harvard University and coauthor of the 2018 New York Times bestseller How Democracies Die, with Daniel Ziblatt. In it, they argue that democracies die not because of revolutions or military coups, but due to the slow weakening of critical institutions and the gradual erosion of political norms.
Levitsky is a former Kellogg visiting fellow and an expert on Latin American politics. His research interests include political parties, authoritarianism and democratization, and weak and informal institutions. He is researching the durability of revolutionary regimes, the relationship between populism and competitive authoritarianism, problems of party-building in contemporary Latin America, and party collapse and its consequences for democracy in Peru.
He is co-author, with former Kellogg Visiting Fellow Lucan Way, of Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War (2010); author of Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America: Argentine Peronism in Comparative Perspective (2003); and co-editor of The Resurgence of the Left in Latin America (2011), Informal Institutions and Democracy: Lessons from Latin America (2006), and Argentine Democracy: The Politics of Institutional Weakness (2005). He has contributed to a number of Kellogg Working Paper Series and to volumes resulting from Kellogg conferences, including Party Systems in Latin America: Institutionalization, Decay and Collapse, edited by Scott Mainwaring, former director of the Kellogg Institute (Cambridge University Press, 2018).
"Democracy 'with Adjectives': Conceptual Innovations in Comparative Research"
Working Paper Number: 230
Published: August 1996
Informal Institutions and Comparative Politics: A Research Agenda
Working Paper Number: 307
Published: September 2003
How Autocrats Can Rig the Game and Damage Democracy
Jan 4, 2019
Two former visiting fellows, Lucan Ahmad Way and Steven Levitsky, say democracy can be fundamentally compromised without obvious civil liberties violations or electoral fraud in a new article in The Washington Post.
Dictators in a Democracy? Former Kellogg Scholars Publish Book On Authoritarian Successor Parties
Sep 10, 2018
A new book that got its start at a 2015 Kellogg Institute conference examines why some authoritarian leaders manage to return to power even after their nations transition to democracy.