Democratic Vulnerabilities

Cover art for the annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Special Issue, titled: Democratic Vulnerabilities. Shows blue silhouette of Capitol Building pushed off a cliff. Special Editors are Robert C Lieberman, Suzanne Mettler, and Thomas B Pepinsky.

Special Editors: Robert C. Lieberman, Suzanne Mettler and Thomas B. Pepinsky.
Vol. 699, January 2022

In this volume of The ANNALS, “Democratic Vulnerabilities,” special editors Robert Lieberman, Suzanne Mettler, and Thomas B. Pepinsky bring together political scientists to focus on the promises and perils of U.S. democracy. From economic inequality to political polarization, threats to U.S. democracy have been on the rise, argue the editors and their co-authors in the volume’s introduction. These threats “fueled the candidacy of Donald Trump, whose election was a symptom, not a cause, of American democratic dysfunction.” Through discussion of election laws, the administrative state, the Supreme Court, spatial organization (think rural-urban divide), civil society, and civic participation, the volume’s authors bring to light how U.S. democracy is succumbing to threats and backsliding, but they also put forward ways to address these threats before we careen over the cliff.