American Democracy at Risk: A Global Comparative Perspective

Zoom Webinar
12:30 p.m.–1:45 p.m., October 26, 2020

This event has now concluded. A full-length recording is available below.

Democratic norms within the United States have been undermined in recent years by unsustainable pressure on judicial independence, the media, rule of law, and other pillars of democracy. Challenges to the integrity of the electoral process, threats of violence, and President Donald Trump’s refusal to guarantee a peaceful power transfer should he lose have created uncertainty about the election and its aftermath, with worrisome implications for the long-term health of American democracy. 

While these circumstances are unprecedented in the modern American context, experts studying threats to democracy and volatile elections in other countries can provide perspective for understanding and addressing current risks in the American election. 

A new policy paper from the Keough School of Global Affairs, American Democracy at Risk: A Global Comparative Perspective, addresses these concerns. The report, which draws on a recent survey of international election experts, sheds light on American democracy and elections in a global context.

Join us for this timely discussion with the paper’s authors to learn more about safeguarding American democracy in both the short and long term.

During this event, panelists will discuss key findings and recommendations, including:

  • Educating voters about their electoral rights and voting. 
  • Informing people of what to expect when polls close, and highlighting possible delays in certifying results due to a large number of mail-in ballots. 
  • Making the Election Day voting process more credible and transparent with neutral and nonpartisan observers. 
  • Mitigating the damaging effects of a premature announcement of results.
  • Working with federal officials and agencies as well as law enforcement to tighten social media regulation in order to prevent and halt disinformation campaigns. 
  • Reforming the voting process to make it easier for Americans to register to vote and cast ballots.

This event is presented by the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs.


Abby Córdova

Associate Professor of Global Affairs, Keough School of Global Affairs

Paul Friesen

PhD candidate, Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

Bishara Ali Mohamed

Master of Global Affairs Student, Keough School of Global Affairs

Maggie Shum

Research Associate, Keough School of Global Affairs

David Cortright

Director of the Global Policy Initiative, Professor of the Practice Emeritus, Keough School of Global Affairs