As history shows, democracy can easily wither and die. America has experienced numerous challenges to its democratic bulwark over the years, but, thus far, its institutions have avoided collapse. In this article for Foreign Affairs, economist Daron Acemoglu likens the slow but abrupt fall of democracies into authoritarianism to the way companies often go bankrupt: “gradually and then suddenly.” His thought-provoking essay offers the hopeful idea that, despite the polarization of its citizenry, the United States can, once again, restore trust in its democratic institutions.
About the Author
Daron Acemoglu is a professor of economics at MIT.
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