With global democracy facing serious doubts about its basic health and longevity, comparative studies of safeguards and threats to democracy are multiplying. On November 1, 2018, University of Chicago law professor Tom Ginsburg joined Carnegie’s Thomas Carothers to discuss the constitutional dimensions of democratic decay and survival.
In a new book, How to Save a Constitutional Democracy, Ginsburg and Aziz Z. Huq analyze lessons from around the world about how constitutions sometimes help and sometimes hurt democracy, including a hard comparative look at the U.S. Constitution and its role in America’s democratic troubles. In this session, Ginsburg presented the main findings of their study, including proposals for legal and constitutional measures that can help reduce the risk of democratic backsliding in both the United States and younger democracies around the world.
Tom Ginsburg is Leo Spitz professor of international law, Ludwig and Hilde Wolf research scholar, and professor of political science at the University of Chicago.
Thomas Carothers is senior vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In that capacity he oversees all of the research programs at Carnegie. He also directs the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program.