Understanding and addressing domestic terrorism

The FBI recently reported that it’s opened 2,000 domestic terrorism investigations since 2017. How the United States responds to these threats touches on some of democracy’s most basic tensions. We explore those tensions this week and discuss where things might go from here. When the social fabric and institutions the hold a democracy together are […]

Anne Applebaum on why democracy is not inevitable

Anne Applebaum is a staff writer at The Atlantic, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, and a senior fellow at The Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She joined the McCourtney Institute for Democracy for a virtual event on February 17, 2021 to discuss her most recent book, Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive […]

A path forward for social media and democracy

The U.S. Capitol insurrection broke open a lot of conversations that had long been simmering under the surface about social media and democracy. Michal and Chris discuss this inflection point and our guest, MIT’s Sinan Aral, shares ideas for how we might move forward.

Will Alexei Navalny make Russia more democratic?

Alexei Navalny has been a figure in Russian opposition for years, but garnered international attention recently though social media and what’s widely believed to be an assassination attempt by the Russian government in the fall. This week, we unpack the complicated nature of Russian democracy and how the U.S. and other countries should respond — […]

Direct democracy’s dark side

From gerrymandering to ranked-choice voting to expanding voting rights, the ballot initiative has been essential to expanding and reforming democracy in recent years. However, the initiative has also been used to constrain minority rights and push the public to act on polarizing issues like the death penalty and immigration. Ted Lascher and Joshua Dyck are […]