Szakonyi: Project evaluates six categories of threats to American democracy

PONARS Eurasia
07 Sep 2017

(GW News) A new survey from George Washington University political science experts that seeks to measure and quantify whether the current political climate threatens American democratic institutions found “significant warning signs” for American democracy.

The Authoritarian Warning Survey is a continuous survey of leading academic experts on democracy and authoritarianism, measuring critical facets of American democracy. Daily updates, published in conjunction with the nonpartisan, nonprofit group United to Protect Democracy, will provide a daily index of metrics indicating the strength of democratic norms in the United States.

In its latest edition in August, survey respondents estimated on average a 14 percent chance of democratic breakdown within four years. This outlook is slightly worse than predictions for India and Poland, indicating a worrisome level of instability. 

The survey website also includes articles from non-ideological, expert scholars reacting to current events, informed by how democracy has eroded in similar countries. GW political science professors Michael K. Miller and David Szakonyi lead the survey project along with Lee Morgenbesser, a research fellow at Australia-based Griffith University. [...]

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