U.S. American democracy is exhibiting symptoms of decline or even of degeneration given the continuing denial of the results of the last presidential election by many in the Republican Party and partisan efforts to curtail voting rights in the United States. How alarmed should one be about legislative capture and voter suppression by an increasingly combative Republican Party, which could significantly alter the very nature of American democracy? Do we need to re-evaluate our deep-seated faith in the irreversibility of democratic achievements in the face of soft authoritarian rulers all over the world becoming ever more popular? Is it time to reconsider issues of socioeconomic inequality and of class to revive a strong sense of collective purpose and solidarity that may indeed be indispensable for a defense of democracy?
Guests featured on this episode:
Craig Calhoun, University Professor of Social Sciences at Arizona State University and Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has written on the struggle by students for democracy in China, a book titled “Neither Gods nor Emperors.” He has co-authored the volume, “Does Capitalism Have a Future?” with Immanuel Wallerstein and others. His latest book, “Degenerations of Democracy,” written with Charles Taylor and Dilip Gaonkar, notes the signs that U.S. American democracy exhibits symptoms of decline or even of degeneration, and inspires our conversation in this episode.