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Democracy 20/20: Post-Election Debriefing: The Future of American Democracy (video)


The 2020 presidential election tested the political system and pushed American democracy close to the brink. President Donald J. Trump and many of his supporters continue to claim that the election was beset with fraud. This Democracy 20/20 panel (Dec. 4, 2020) looks back at a turbulent election cycle and considers how effectively the U.S. political system will weather historic challenges.

Some key questions include: Will the 2020 election ultimately show American democracy to be resilient, or will our political institutions and norms deteriorate toward authoritarianism? How will the Biden presidency shape these trends? What will this election mean for Congress, the states, the Republican and Democratic parties—and the future of American politics?


Robert C. Lieberman is the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. His most recent book is Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy (with Suzanne Mettler).


  • Frances Lee is Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Her most recent book, coauthored with James M. Curry, is The Limits of Party: Congress and Lawmaking in a Polarized Era.
  • Christopher S. Parker is the Stuart A. Scheingold Professor of Social Justice and Political Science at the University of Washington, Seattle. Parker is the author of Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America.
  • Paul Pierson is the John Gross Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. His most recent book is Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality, with Jacob S. Hacker.

The Democracy 20/20 series is cosponsored by the American Democracy Collaborative, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and the Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University.