25. February 2022 · Comments Off on Badger Club – Democracy at Risk? · Categories: Recent Events
Is Our Democracy at Risk?
With Dr. Patrick O’Neil
Thursday, February 03, 2022, 1:00 PM until 2:30 PM

Is democracy in crisis? The data are unambiguous. According to the non-government organization Freedom House, for each of the past fifteen years democracy around the world has declined, a stunning reversal from the steady trend of democratization that began in the 1980s. Given that democracy is in retreat across the globe, it makes sense to assume that there are broader forces at work.Many observers point to globalization and technological change. Changes in the international economic landscape have led to a decline in global inequality–that is, inequality between countries–while increasing inequality within them. In other words, while China and the US become more economically equal, inequality has risen within both countries. Economic, social, and political power concentrates in a smaller group of elites. Meanwhile, average citizens experience an increasing sense of precariousness, undermining their faith in institutions and paving the way for radical, reactionary, and populist views.

About Dr. O’Neil: His research and teaching interests focus on the Middle East, especially Israel/Palestine and Iran. He is currently teaching a course on authoritarianism and illiberalism at the University of Puget Sound. He is author of the successful textbooks Essentials of Comparative Politics, and Cases in Comparative Politics. He Holds a BA degree from the University of Oregon and a Ph. D from Indiana University, Bloomington.

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