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.

This is not the time for complacency. On the contrary, democratic norms and values need to be actively defended and safeguarded.