2020 APSA Annual Meeting: Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization
Virtual Meeting,Thursday September 10–Sunday September 13 2020
In the United States, democratic institutions are generally thought of as bulwarks against manifold threats, both inside and outside of the American polity. Indeed, the assumption has been that our nation’s constitution is solid and prescient enough to thwart—or at the least contain—the more authoritarian impulses of citizens and elected officials alike. Donald J. Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States in 2016 has dramatically called into question this working assumption. Yet President Trump’s ascendance to executive power is more epilogue than prologue to the inclusivity of American democracy. In the decades leading to Trump’s momentous election, there were already countless signs of democracy displaying illiberal tendencies in the United States.