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Ignatieff, Michael. “The Politics of Enemies.” Journal of Democracy 33, no. 4 (2022): 5-19.


Democracy’s meaning has always been contested. The problem with substantive definitions of democracy is that democrats do not agree on what it is or what it should be. Democracy itself is not just an unruly contest for power, but also the site of an ongoing debate about what democracy is or should be. Yet letting that struggle become a battle between existential foes risks upending the whole democratic project.

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.