2019 GPI Book Award Steven Levitsky

Steven Levitsky headshot


A discussion with Steven Levitsky, Ph.D.,
award-winning coauthor of "How Democracies Die"

Oct. 17, 2019 | 11:20 a.m.
Ahmanson Auditorium
Loyola Marymount University

  • Steven Levitsky is David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of Government at Harvard University. His research focuses on democratization and authoritarianism, political parties, and weak and informal institutions, mostly in Latin America. He is co-author (with Daniel Ziblatt) of "How Democracies Die" (Crown, 2018), which was a New York Times Best-Seller and has been published in 15 different languages. He is also author of "Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America: Argentine Peronism in Comparative Perspective" (Cambridge University Press 2003), co-author (with Lucan Way) of "Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War" (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and co-editor of "Argentine Democracy: The Politics of Institutional Weakness" (2005), "Informal Institutions and Democracy: Lessons from Latin America" (2006), "The Resurgence of the Left in Latin America"(2011) and "Challenges of Party-Building in Latin America" (2016).

    He is currently writing a book (with Lucan Way) on the durability of revolutionary regimes. Levitsky has also written for the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Vox, The New Republic and The Monkey Cage, and he has written regular columns in La República (Peru) and Folha Do Sao Paulo (Brazil).

    During the 2019 ceremony, Levitsky discussed his most recent book, "How Democracies Die" (Crown, 2018) and was awarded the 2019 Global Policy Institute Book Award with co-author Daniel Ziblatt.


    Presented by the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University in conjunction with LMU Global-Local Initiatives and the Political Science and International Relations Department.

    About Loyola Marymount University

    LMU is a private Catholic university with 6,000 undergraduates, 2,200 graduate students and 1,100 law students from diverse backgrounds and many perspectives. Our seven colleges and schools boast best-in-the-nation programs in film and television, business, education and more. Our stunning campus in West Los Angeles is a sun-soaked oasis overlooking the Pacific coast and a model of sustainability. We're rooted in the heart of Los Angeles, a global capital for arts and entertainment, innovation and technology, business and entrepreneurship. Our mission is grounded in a centuries-old Jesuit educational tradition that produces extraordinary men and women dedicated to service and social justice. We're proud of more than 85,000 LMU alumni whose professional achievements are matched by a deep commitment to improving the lives of others.

  • Black and white book cover with title How Democracies Die

    "How Democracies Die"

    Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.

    Reviews for "How Democracies Die"

    "Comprehensive, enlightening, and terrifyingly timely." — New York Times Book Review

    "Cool and persuasive...How Democracies Die comes at exactly the right moment." — The Washington Post

  • Steven Levitsky speaking


    A student asking a questionMichael A Genovese presenting the 2019 Book Award