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.

Bright Line Watch Updates

Has the Trump admin­is­tra­tion crossed the “bright lines” of democracy?
by Julia Azari
Vox, 10/23/17

Democracy Can Plant the Seeds of Its Own Destruction

by Thomas B. Edsall
New York Times, 10/19/17

20 of America’s top political sci­en­tists gathered to discuss our democracy. They’re scared.
by Sean Illing
Vox, 10/13/17

Bright Line Watch Survey Report: Wave 3
by John Carey, Gretchen Helmke, Brendan Nyhan, and Susan Stokes

Bright Line Watch is grateful for funding from these organizations

William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

Democracy Fund


Bright Line Watch Co-Directors

John Carey, Wentworth Professor in the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College
Gretchen Helmke, Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester
Brendan Nyhan, Professor of Government at Dartmouth College
Susan Stokes, John S. Saden Professor of Political Science at Yale University