In this collaboration with the German American Conference at Harvard. Dr. Daniel Ziblatt talks about the decline of democracies. Ziblatt encourages us not to “be afraid to reform our constitution and our institutions.” In conversation with hosts Anne McElvoy and Tom Zoellner, he argues that vibrant civil societies, a robust media, and strong opposition are key to resilient democracies. Daniel Ziblatt is professor of government at Harvard University and director of Transformations of Democracy at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. He recently published, with Steve Levitsky, the best-selling book How Democracies Die.
Tom Zoellner (host) is the New York Times bestselling author of eight nonfiction books, including Island on Fire, Uranium Train, and The Heartless Stone. He teaches at Chapman University and Dartmouth College. A former reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, he is the politics editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Aida Baghernejad (co-host) is an award-winning journalist and culture critic based in Berlin. Her work appears in national and international media outlets, among them the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Tagesspiegel, Zeit Online and Deutschlandfunk Kultur, as well as the German podcast series Pasta & Politik, featuring leading female politicians and thinkers in Germany. In 2021, she received the International Music Journalism Award as Music Journalist of the Year. She has previously taught at King’s College London and the Humboldt University Berlin.
Lisa Bartfai (producer) is an award-winning independent radio journalist, podcast producer, and translator. She is the producer and editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books podcast 55 Voices for Democracy, and the producer, editor, and host of Bowdoin Presents, a podcast by Bowdoin College. Bartfai’s own reporting was included in the Columbia Review of Journalism’s “Best journalism of 2020: Covering racial justice,” and has been awarded second place in the Society for Features Journalism 2021 Excellence-in-Features, in the Best Podcast category. Bartfai is a mentor with Report for America, and a proud alumni of the KALW Audio Academy.