Cornell University

During the fall semester, in-person concerts, events and lectures that involve outside guests will not be held, per the university’s COVID-19 travel and visitor policy.

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

Friday, December 4, 2020 at 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Virtual Event

The 2020 presidential election tested the political system and brought American democracy close to the brink. Despite the pandemic, President Trump discouraged voting by mail. He questioned the validity of mail-in ballots after the election, made repeated claims of widespread fraud, and provoked his supporters to disrupt voting and ballot counting. Long after his loss became clear, President Trump and elected Republican officials refused to accept the results and persisted in calling the election "rigged."

This Democracy 20/20 panel will look back at a turbulent election cycle and consider how effectively the U.S. political system will weather these historic challenges. Some key questions we'll discuss 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 partiesand the future of American politics?

Register now!


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.

Democracy 20/20: A webinar series sponsored by the American Democracy CollaborativeMario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and the Institute of Politics and Global Affairs

Democracy 20/20 brings together historical and comparative experts to promote deeper understanding of the challenges these unsettling times pose for American democracy. Beginning in June 2020, the series continues through the 2020 election. The stakes for American democracy have never been higher—so please join us for these critical conversations.

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