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How a Democracy Dies

December 12, 2017

How a Democracy Dies

December 12, 2017

We tend to think of democracies dying at the hands of men with guns. During the Cold War, coups d’etat accounted for nearly three out of every four democratic breakdowns. Military coups toppled Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in 2013 and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014. In cases like these, democracy dissolves in spectacular fashion. Tanks roll in the streets. The president is imprisoned or shipped off into exile. The constitution is suspended or scrapped.


By and large, however, overt dictatorships have disappeared across much of the world.

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About the Author

Daniel Ziblatt

Daniel Ziblatt

Eaton Professor of the Science of Government & Resident Faculty, CES

Daniel Ziblatt is Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard, specializing in the study of European politics, state-building, democratization and historical political economy. His book Structuring the State: The Formation ...
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