DANGER Project at APSA 2023 in Los Angeles

Nils-Christian Bormann presented preliminary research results from the DANGER project at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) in Los Angeles from August 31 – September 3, 2023.

The DANGER project was involved in two scientific panels. The first, “The Promises and Perils of Power-Sharing in Global Perspective”, brought together scholars from Duke University, Gettysburg College, Harvard, the University of Geneva, and Witten/Herdecke University. Nils-Christian Bormann, PI of the DANGER project, introduced novel data and findings on ethnic and ideological power sharing in European parliaments between 1919 and 1939. In a joint study with Stefan Stojkovic, the two researchers find that increasing power for extreme left and minority parties triggered right-wing backlash with negative consequences for democratic quality. The paper raises important questions on how to protect democracy against backlashes during periods of economic and social transformation.

At the the second panel “Political Parties in 20th Century Regime Transitions: Europe and Turkey”, Bormann joined colleagues from Cornell, Oxford, and the University of California at Los Angeles. He presented a study coauthored with Lea Kaftan on the relationship between ideological polarization and democratic deconsolidation in interwar Europe. Next to confirming the negative effect of increasing polarization on democratic quality in contemporary democracies, the DANGER researchers also show that too little polarization harms democratic quality during the interwar period.