Jan-Werner Müller is a professor of politics at Princeton University. He is the author of Another Country: German Intellectuals, Unification and National Identity, A Dangerous Mind: Carl Schmitt in Post-War European Thought, Was ist Populismus? His Christian Democracy: A New Intellectual History, based on his Carlyle Lectures in Oxford, is forthcoming with Harvard University Press; his Democracy Rules was released in July 2021 by with Farrar, Straus, Giroux.
OI take: Warner-Muller’s nemesis, authoritarian populism, can undermine the constitutional protections of democracy. Kleptocrat rule by military juntas, theocratic dictatorships, Chinese and Russian electoral meddling, and Cold War left-overs already have robbef billions of people from any exercise of democratic rights and freedoms.
Professor Werner-Muller’s prescription is bang on. Foremost, the political parties need to get their Mojo back. Parties should revitalize the legislative branch by using constructive hard-nosed debate and strategic cooperation to reduce the destructive polarization brought about not only by populism, but also by the excessive accumulation of power by the judicial and the executive branch.
A long shot. OI is sending a letter inviting him to be a featured guest in our podcast series.