Tom Ginsburg Interviewed on Democratic Backsliding

Interview with Professor Tom Ginsburg, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law and Political Science in the University of Chicago

SP: Your recent book “How to Save a Constitutional Democracy” has stirred considerable interest in view of the recent disturbing phenomena of ‘democratic backsliding’ which is taking place in many democracies. How widespread is this phenomenon across the globe?

Tom: Unfortunately, very widespread. Political scientists tell us that the number of democracies around the world peaked in 2006, and that the numbers have been declining since then. ‘Backsliding’ refers to previously established democracies declining in quality, sometimes to the point where we can no longer use the term. Venezuela is a good example, and Poland and Hungary are coming close. To be sure, there are some positive stories, including this year’s events in the Maldives and Sri Lanka. But there is significant concern, even in large countries like yours and mine.

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Constitutional democracy