Politics & society, Research

Berkeley Talks: American democracy and the crisis of majority rule

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Harvard Professor Daniel Ziblatt gave a UC Berkeley Jefferson Memorial Lecture in December titled, “American democracy and the crisis of majority rule.”

Manny Becerra via Unsplash

In Berkeley Talks episode 189, Harvard Professor Daniel Ziblatt discusses how Americans need to do the work of making the U.S. political system more democratic through reforms that ensure that electoral majorities can actually govern.

“If you’re going to have a first-past-the-post electoral system, as we have in the United States, or one side wins and another side loses, then those with the most votes should prevail over those with fewer votes in determining who holds political office,” said Ziblatt, co-author How Democracies Die and Tyranny of the Minority. “No theory of liberal democracy can justify any other outcome. Put differently, office holding should reflect how voters vote.”This Dec. 6, 2023 talk was presented by UC Berkeley Graduate Lectures as part of the Jefferson Memorial Lecture series.