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Daniel Ziblatt

Resident Faculty & Seminar Co-chair

"The challenges facing all advanced democracies – globalization and populist reactions to it – are crystallized in today's Europe, leaving it at the front line of the most momentous changes transforming our world."

Daniel Ziblatt

Resident Faculty & Seminar Co-chair


Daniel Ziblatt

Daniel Ziblatt is Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard University and resident faculty at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES). At CES, he co-chairs the Seminar on Democracy – Past, Present, Future.

Ziblatt specializes in the study of European politics, democracy, state-building and historical political economy. He is the author of four books, including How Democracies Die (Crown Publishing Group, 2018), co-authored with Steve Levitsky, a New York Times best-seller and described by The Economist magazine as "the most important book of the Trump era." The book has been translated into thirty languages. In 2017, he authored Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2017), an account of the history of democracy in Europe, which won the American Political Science Association's 2018 Woodrow Wilson Prize for the best book in government and international relations and American Sociological Association's 2018 Barrington Moore Prize. His first book was an analysis of 19th century state building, Structuring the State: The Formation of Italy and Germany and the Puzzle of Federalism (Princeton University Press, 2006).

His newest book, co-authored with Steve Levitsky, is entitled Tyranny of the Minority (Crown Publishing Group, 2023) and will be published in September 2023. The book puts America's contemporary transition into a multiracial democracy in comparative and historical perspective, and shows the distinctive vulnerabilities of the U.S. constitutional order.

In 2023, Ziblatt was elected member of the American Academy for Arts and Sciences.


  • Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, Harvard University
  • Resident Faculty & Seminar Co-chair, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Unit Director, Transformations of Democracy, WZB Berlin Social Science Center

For media inquiries and interview requests in North America, please contact Gila Naderi, Communications Manager.


  • Levitsky, Steven, and Daniel Ziblatt. How Democracies Die. New York, NY: Penguin books, 2018.
  • Ziblatt, Daniel. Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  • Ziblatt, Daniel. Structuring the State: The Formation of Italy and Germany and the Puzzle of Federalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 2008.

Select Articles

The following articles focus on Ziblatt's research for his book on conservative parties and the lessons of the political history of Europe's democratization for contemporary democracies:

  • Dasgupta, Aditya, and Daniel Foran Ziblatt. “Capital Meets Democracy: Representative Institutions and the Rise of Mass Suffrage in Sovereign Bond Markets.” SSRN Electronic Journal, 2016.
  • Dasgupta, Aditya, and Daniel Ziblatt. “How Did Britain Democratize? Views from the Sovereign Bond Market.” The Journal of Economic History 75, no. 1 (2015): 1–29.
  • Capoccia, Giovanni, and Daniel Ziblatt. “The Historical Turn in Democratization Studies: A New Research Agenda for Europe and Beyond.” Comparative Political Studies 43, no. 8-9 (2010): 931–68.
  • Ziblatt, Daniel. “Shaping Democratic Practice and the Causes of Electoral Fraud: The Case of Nineteenth-Century Germany.” American Political Science Review 103, no. 01 (2009): 1–21.
  • Ziblatt, Daniel. “Does Landholding Inequality Block Democratization?: A Test of the ‘Bread and Democracy’ Thesis and the Case of Prussia.” World Politics 60, no. 4 (2008): 610–41.

Recent Awards

In 2018, Daniel Ziblatt received the following awards for his book Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracies:

  • Woodrow Wilson award by the American Political Science Association (APSA)
  • Best Book prize in the category Comparative Democratization (APSA)
  • Book Book prize in the category European Politics and Society (APSA)
  • Barrington Moore Prize for best book in comparative and historical sociology awarded by the American Sociological Association

Other Affiliations

  • Faculty Associate, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Faculty Associate, Institute of Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University

Event Recording - Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy