Special Event

Tyranny of the Minority: Why American Democracy Reached the Breaking Point

Former Kellogg Institute Visiting Fellow Steven Levitsky

Join the University of Notre Dame for a dynamic conversation on challenges to US democracy and strategies for reforming and strengthening our political systems. This event is cosponsored by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and is part of the Notre Dame Forum 2023-24: "The Future of Democracy."

Featuring former Kellogg Institute Visiting Fellow Steven Levitsky, David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies and professor of government at Harvard University, and co-author, with Daniel Ziblatt, of the bestselling books, How Democracies Die (Crown, 2018) and Tyranny of the Minority: Why American Democracy Reached the Breaking Point (Crown, 2023). 

Drawing on insights from his latest book, Levitsky will present a wealth of examples – from 1930s France to present-day Thailand – to explain why and how political parties turn against democracy.

He will also offer reflections on the current state of democracy in the United States, and the ways the Constitution leaves the United States vulnerable to attacks from within, arguing that It is a pernicious enabler of minority rule, allowing partisan minorities to consistently thwart and even rule over popular majorities. Levitsky will also present examples from other democracies – from Germany and Sweden to Argentina and New Zealand – who have taken steps to update and strengthen their governmental frameworks, and present strategies for reforming U.S. democracy.

Following Levitsky’s remarks, there will be a discussion moderated by Christina Wolbrecht, professor of political science and C. Robert and Margaret Hanley Family Director of the Notre Dame Washington Program.

Notre Dame Forum 2023-24: The Future of Democracy

Since its establishment in 2005 by University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the Notre Dame Forum has each year invited campus-wide dialogue about an issue of importance to the University, our nation and the world. Learn more at forum.nd.edu.