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Photo: “US Capitol west side,” by Martin Falbisoner licensed under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Hue modified from the original.

Waller, Julian G. “America’s Pro-Authoritarian Theorists.” American Purpose. American Purpose, August 29, 2022.


Many on the Left and Right are unhappy with the state of democracy in America today. Critiques are often far-reaching, castigating political institutions as sclerotic and obstructionist, cultural trends as damaging and extremist, and the rise of zero-sum “us-them” mentalities as clashing with the pluralism and mutual tolerance required by our Republic. Yet very few of the discontented are willing to ditch democracy itself. This is starting to change, if only on the margins.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.