The Lawfare Podcast: Alina Polyakova and Torrey Taussig on 'The Democracy Playbook'

By Jen Patja Howell
Saturday, March 21, 2020, 9:30 AM

Democracies around the world are under assault, with their norms and institutions undermined by authoritarian actors. From Hungary to India and beyond, illiberal or populist governments are weakening the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the integrity of elections.

As part of a two-episode Lawfare podcast series on the state of global democracy, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Alina Polyakova and Torrey Taussig about democracy promotion. Alina Polyakova is the president of the Center for European Policy Analysis, and Torrey Taussig is a non-resident fellow at Brookings’ Foreign Policy program and a research director of the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. On Tuesday, we will release a second episode with experts at Freedom House on their annual “Freedom in the World” report.

In this episode, Ben, Alina, and Torrey discussed “The Democracy Playbook,” a report by Alina and Torrey—along with Brookings experts Norman Eisen, Andrew Kenealy, and Susan Corke—outlining strategies that supporters of liberal democracy can implement to prevent and reverse democratic backsliding. They talked about Central and Eastern Europe, the drivers of democratic discontent, and how all of this compares to the situation in the United States.