CONDITIONS OF DEMOCRATIC EROSION: HAS U.S. DEMOCRACY REACHED A TIPPING POINT?
Tubbs, Christian D.
Peters, Lynda A.
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This thesis provides readers an in-depth analysis of the alleged existence of democratic erosion in the United States using Peru, Hungary, and pre–World War II Germany as case studies to show historical examples of the phenomenon. Using Mayring’s qualitative analytical model, this thesis finds that these three countries demonstrated conditions that became tipping points toward erosion as a result of the consolidation of power by their leaders. While the analysis finds the precursors of tipping points to democratic erosion in the three case studies, the analysis does not find signs of democratic erosion in the United States. It finds that the constitutional separation of powers and the checks and balances of the U.S. system continue to function as designed. The thesis does find, however, that the U.S. democratic system is being strained, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to bridge the ideological divide, and if the democratic system cannot resolve these challenges, or if elected officials and the electorate violate constitutional rules, it will experience a constitutional crisis.
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