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Tyranny of the Minority: Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt in Conversation with Ian Bassin

Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 7:00 pm EST
Virtual Event Virtual Event

We were honored to host a special conversation with Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, authors of the new book Tyranny of the Minority (the follow-up to the bestselling How Democracies Die) and Protect Democracy Executive Director, Ian Bassin.

Levitsky and Ziblatt put forth the argument that the American political system incorporates counter-majoritarian elements designed to prevent the unchecked dominance of the current majority and to provide mechanisms for safeguarding the interests and rights of political minorities. These mechanisms encompass the Electoral College in presidential elections, the Senate’s uneven representation of smaller states, its filibuster rule, and the Supreme Court’s role in judicial review, along with the lifetime appointments of its judges. However, it is worth noting that the apprehension regarding the “tyranny of the majority” has been taken to an extreme, as the tyranny of the minority has become a palpable reality.

In the discussion they explored the historical rationale behind the inclusion of counter-majoritarian features within U.S. institutions. Additionally, the conversation dove into how this minority influence has grown so substantially and why it is essential to consider both short-term solutions and long-term reforms to mitigate this phenomenon and ensure a more balanced democratic system.

Steven Levitsky is the David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of Government, Harvard University.

Daniel Ziblatt is Eaton Professor of Government at Harvard University and director of the Transformations of Democracy group at Berlin’s Social Science Center ( WZB Berlin Social Science Center ).

Ian Bassin is co-founder and Executive Director of Protect Democracy. He previously served as Associate White House Counsel. His responsibilities included ensuring that White House and executive branch officials complied with the laws, rules and norms that protect the fundamentally democratic nature of our government. He is a recipient of a 2023 MacArthur Fellowship, the Skoll Award for Social Innovation.

Details
Date & Time:
Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 7:00 pm EST

Venue:
Big Tent Zoom Room

Organizer:
BigTentUSA
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