November 6, 2017

Democratic Deterioration at Home and Abroad

Norm Ornstein

American Enterprise Institute
Begin: 0:01

Arturo Valenzuela

Georgetown University
Begin: 8:11

Amanda Taub

The New York Times
Begin: 17:48

Sheri Berman

Barnard College, Columbia University
Begin: 24:29

Aziz Huq

The University of Chicago Law School
Begin: 29:05

*Due to a technical difficulty, the recording begins a few minutes in to the conversation

For the past several decades, our working assumption has been that once firmly established, liberal democracy represents the best and final answer to authoritarianism and the surest guarantor of liberty and equality. Today, however, that assumption is being seriously challenged. Where liberal democracy has taken root, we now see it in retreat in attacks on the press, the judiciary, and on voting rights – the essence of democratic organization.

As the United States contends with these challenges, arguably for the first time, what can we learn from other countries that have experienced similar democratic downturns? What were the warning signs and could this deterioration have been stemmed? Are the combination of legal constraints and non-legal norms that undergird our constitutional system enough to keep our democracy on solid footing? What safeguards are currently in place to prevent further deterioration of our democratic values and institutions, and what additional precautions should we consider? In other words, how worried should we be?

Join New America, The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School for a discussion about the future of democracy at home and abroad.


Sheri Berman
Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University

Aziz Huq
Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor of Law, The University of Chicago Law School

Norman J. Ornstein, @NormOrnstein
Contributing Writer, The Atlantic
Resident Scholar, The American Enterprise Institute

Arturo Valenzuela
Emeritus Professor of Government, Georgetown University
Senior International Advisor, Covington & Burling LLP


Amanda Taub, @amandataub
Writer, The New York Times