Tag: public opinion

Background Briefing: December 9, 2021


The White House Heads-of-State Zoom Meeting for Democracy

We begin with the White House Summit for Democracy and get an assessment of the first day’s events that featured three minute statements from 110 world leaders via video in what could be described as a heads-of-state Zoom meeting. Joining us is Steven Feldstein, a senior fellow in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program where he focuses on issues of democracy, technology, human rights, U.S. foreign policy, and Africa. The author of The Rise of Digital Repression: How Technology is Reshaping Power, Politics, and Resistancehe previously served as a deputy assistant secretary in the Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Bureau in the U.S. Department of State and was the director of policy at the U.S. Agency for International Development, and also served as counsel on the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. We discuss the research he does on how artificial intelligence is reshaping repression and the geopolitics of technology, and given criticism of the summit coming from the Chinese Communist Party, we look into China’s role in advancing digital authoritarianism, and whether at this summit, healthy democracies can call out the leaders of backsliding democracies like India, Brazil and The Philippines.


The Health of Our Own Democracy Under Attack From Trump’s GOP

Then we look into the health of our own democracy at home under attack from the new GOP owned by Trump who after a failed coup attempt on January 6, is now in a much better position to succeed in creating his own one-party state. Joining us is Daniel Ziblatt, a Professor of Government at Harvard University and director of the Transformations of Democracy group at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center where he studies Europe from the nineteenth century to the present. He is the author of Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy and his latest book, a New York Times Bestseller co-authored with Steven Livitsky, is How Democracies Die.


In Spite of Biden’s Successes, the Perception of Failure Persists

Then finally we speak with Robert Shapiro, a professor and former chair of the Department of Political Science at Columbia University whose books include The Rational Public: Fifty Years of Trends in Americans’ Policy Preferences and Politicians Don’t Pander: Political Manipulation and the Loss of Democratic Responsiveness. He joins us to discuss how in spite of the success of much of Biden’s ambitious agenda and an improving economy, the perception persists that the Biden presidency is in trouble when, given his slim majority, he is being remarkably transformative.