Alex Keyssar Photo

Alex Keyssar

Matthew W. Stirling, Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy

As the 2024 election approaches, concerns about the stability of American democracy are widespread.  Notably, this was not the case a decade or two ago.  This course will examine the threats and challenges now facing democratic institutions in the United States, including:  ongoing disputes over election procedures and outcomes; conflict over the exercise of the right to vote;  widening economic inequality;  increasingly politicized social divisions;  an apparent loss of confidence in the legal system; and the erosion of agreed-upon “truths” about politics and society.   The course will explore the emergence of these challenges and try to locate them in historical (and comparative) perspective – by looking at U.S .history and at the experiences of other nations.