How Democracies Die

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How Democracies Die
Authors Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt
Cover artist Christopher Brand
Country United States
Publisher Crown (publisher)
Publication date
16 January 2018 (2018-01-16)
Media type Print (Hardcover, paperback, audio book)
Pages 320
ISBN 978-1-5247-6293-3

How Democracies Die is a 2018 book by Harvard University political scientists Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt about how elected leaders can gradually subvert the democratic process to increase their power.[1] The New York Times called it an essential guide to what can happen in the United States.[2] The Washington Post said the book offers a sober look at the current state of affairs.[3] The Wall Street Journal called it an unintentional clarifying lesson.[4] In the United Kingdom, The Guardian called it provocative but also unsatisfying.[5] The magazine Foreign Affairs concluded it is an important study.[6] Fair Observer called it an original contribution valuable to researchers, policy makers, and citizens.[7]

The book was on The New York Times Bestseller list.[8]



  1. ^ Levitsky & Ziblatt 2018.
  2. ^ Kristof, Nicholas. "Trump's Threat to Democracy". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 29 April 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018. 
  3. ^ "Can American democracy withstand its latest assault?". 11 January 2018. 
  4. ^ Willick, Jason (24 January 2018). "Review: Polarized Societies and 'How Democracies Die'". 
  5. ^ Runciman, David (24 January 2018). "How Democracies Die review – Trump and the shredding of norms". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 April 2018. 
  6. ^ Ikenberry 2018.
  7. ^ Kolasa, Matthew (August 15, 2018). "How Democracies Die Around the World". Fair Observer. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  8. ^ "How democracies die". Retrieved 29 April 2018.