One of the greatest threats to democracy is the idea that it is unassailable.

At a time of potential danger to American demo­c­ra­t­ic norms and insti­tu­tions, it is more urgent than ever for scholars to highlight the risks to our system of gov­ern­ment. In this spirit, Bright Line Watch brings together a group of political sci­en­tists to monitor demo­c­ra­t­ic practices, their resilience, and potential threats.

Featured report

American democracy at the start of the Biden presidency

January-February 2021

U.S. democracy passed a milestone on January 20, 2021 with the inau­gu­ra­tion of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Donald Trump’s pres­i­den­cy presented unprece­dent­ed chal­lenges to this country’s demo­c­ra­t­ic norms and practices. His role in a violent insur­rec­tion, sparking a second impeach­ment has fueled further debate over how to preserve American democracy and prevent further erosion. In this context, Bright Line Watch conducted its 14th expert survey and 11th public survey.

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Bright Line Watch in the media

Advantage, GOP
by FiveThirtyEight, 4/29/21

Why Political Sectarianism Is a Growing Threat to American Democracy
by The New York Times, 4/19/21

Democracy reform should guide voting proposals
by Penscola News Journal, 3/13/21

Democrats Are More United Today Than The Last Time They Passed Major Legislation
by FiveThirtyEight, 2/22/21

Opinion: Why Democrats aren’t fraidy cats anymore
by E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post, 2/17/21





How Long Can Democracy Survive QAnon and Its Allies?
by The New York Times, 2/10/21

What you need to know about how many Americans condone political violence — and why
by The Washington Post, 1/11/21

Trump Helped Take Extremist Views From The Fringes Of Society To A Mob Attacking The Capitol
by FiveThirtyEight, 1/8/21


Bright Line Watch is grateful for funding from these organizations

William & Flora Hewlett Foundation