Yascha Mounk is a lecturer on political theory at Harvard University, a senior fellow at New America, and a postdoctoral fellow at the German Marshall Fund. A columnist at Slate and the host of The Good Fight podcast, he is an expert on the rise of populism and the crisis of liberal democracy. He is also the author of “The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom is in Danger and How to Save It.”
More About Yascha Mounk
In recent years, parties and candidates challenging key democratic norms have won unprecedented popular support in liberal democracies across the globe. Drawing on public opinion data from the World Values Survey and various national polls, we show that the success of anti-establishment parties and candidates is not a temporal or geographic aberration, but rather a reflection of growing popular disaffection with liberal-democratic norms and institutions, and of increasing support for authoritarian interpretations of democracy. The record number of anti-system politicians in office raises uncertainty about the strength of supposedly “consolidated” liberal democracies and highlights the need for further analysis of the signs of democratic deconsolidation.
The citizens of wealthy, established democracies are less satisfied with their governments than they have been at any time since opinion polling began. Most scholars have interpreted this as a sign of dissatisfaction with particular governments rather than with the political system as a whole. Drawing on recent public opinion data, we suggest that this optimistic interpretation is no longer plausible. Across a wide sample of countries in North America and Western Europe, citizens of mature democracies have become markedly less satisfied with their form of government and surprisingly open to nondemocratic alternatives. A serious democratic disconnect has emerged. If it widens even further, it may begin to challenge the stability of seemingly consolidated democracies.
WASHINGTON — Yascha Mounk is used to being the most pessimistic person in the room. Mr. Mounk, a lecturer in government at Harvard, has spent the past few years challenging one of the bedrock assumptions of Western politics: that once a country becomes a liberal democracy, it will stay that way.
We have been surprised by the scale and intensity of attention our work has garnered around the world since the New York Times profiled it last week. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been. Our research, after all, helped contextualize the seismic shifts we’ve seen in some of the world’s long-standing democracies over the past year — and comes to some rather startling findings.
It might not be Trump, but our system is more vulnerable to a demagogue than you'd think.
America is on its way to a full-blown constitutional crisis.
Take it from a new American.
At this point, why would we expect anything else?
Yascha Mounk discusses the global turn against illiberal democracy and the rise of populism across the world on CNN's Global Public Square with Fareed Zakaria.
With Angela Merkel’s re-election almost certain, Germany’s election has been startlingly dull. But more is going on than meets the eye.
What the rise of populist movements means for democracy.
Four reasons not to be cheered by Emmanuel Macron’s election to the French presidency.
Dark days this summer showed how government by the people—beset by illiberal populists on one side and undemocratic elites on the other—is poised for extinction.
The world has just experienced a watershed year for populist politics, with antiestablishment challengers winning elections and illiberal regimes modeling an alternative, says expert Yascha Mounk.
On Wednesday [March 15, 2017] at AEI, experts on European politics discussed the results of the Dutch general election.
At this point, why would we expect anything else?
“Finding the right response to automation is both an economic and a political necessity. At stake is not only the broad-based prosperity to which society has long grown accustomed, but also the continued viability of the democratic system itself.”
Yascha Mounk argues, “Donald Trump won two-thirds of American counties but only a little more than one-third of America's GDP. He did much better in parts of the country where there has been less recent economic investment, where there are fewer highly qualified people, even where the share of jobs that might be automated away in the coming decades is higher.”
In his new book, Yascha Mounk writes: “Some of the most important economic decisions facing countries around the world are now taken by technocrats.”
“As liberal democracies have become worse at improving their citizens’ living standards, populist movements that disavow liberalism are emerging from Brussels to Brasília and from Warsaw to Washington.”
Yascha Mounk argues, “Nationalism is like a half-wild beast. As long as it remains under our control, it can be of tremendous use. But if we abandon it, others are sure to step in, prodding and baiting the beast to bring out its most ferocious side.”