'Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy'

Nixon waving goodbye after Watergate

'Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy'

Robert C. Lieberman, Suzanne Mettler, Sidney Milkis (moderator)

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
11:30AM - 12:30PM (EST)
Event Details

Cosponsored by UVA's Democracy Initiative

The Miller Center's Sidney Milkis interviews political scientists Suzanne Mettler (Cornell University) and Robert C. Lieberman (Johns Hopkins University) about their new book, Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy. In it, they explore five moments in history when democracy in the United States was under siege: the 1790s, the Civil War, the Gilded Age, the Depression, and Watergate. These episodes risked profound—even fatal—damage to the American democratic experiment. And we are seeing some of the same issues in the present moment in American politics. Luckily, history provides a valuable repository from which we can draw lessons. 




Wednesday, December 16, 2020
11:30AM - 12:30PM (EST)
Robert Lieberman

Robert C. Lieberman

Robert Lieberman is Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. He studies American political development, race and American politics, and public policy. He has also written extensively about the development of American democracy and the links between American and comparative politics. His first book, Shifting the Color Line: Race and the American Welfare State (Harvard University Press, 1998), won the Social Science History Association Presidential Book Award, the Thomas J. Wilson Prize of Harvard University Press, and Columbia University’s Lionel Trilling Award. Shaping Race Policy: The United States in Comparative Perspective (Princeton University Press, 2005) was awarded the Best Book Prize by the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.

Suzanne Mettler

Suzanne Mettler

Suzanne Mettler is the John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions in the government department at Cornell University. Her research and teaching interests include American political development, inequality, public policy, political behavior, and democracy. She is the author of six books, including, most recently, Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy(St. Martin’s Press, 2020), co-authored with Robert C. Lieberman. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships, and serves on the boards of the Scholars Strategy Network and the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences.

Sidney Milkis

Sidney Milkis (moderator)

Sidney M. Milkis is the Miller Center’s White Burkett Miller Professor of Governance and Foreign Affairs, Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professor, and UVA professor of politics. His research focuses on the American presidency, political parties and elections, social movements, and American political development. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students, he regularly gives public lectures on American politics and participates in programs for international scholars and high school teachers that probe the deep historical roots of contemporary developments in the United States. His many books include the recently published Rivalry and Reform: Presidents, Social Movements, and the Transformation of American Politics.