Anger, Injustice, and a Crisis of Democracy

Webcast Recording

In a moment when legacies of structural racism are tearing us apart, how to we begin to see each other’s pain as our own? What happens in a democracy when the public no longer consents to being governed by institutions they perceive as being illegitimate? What mechanisms do the public have to enter into relationships of shared governance that should be the hallmark of any democracy? In a society that is so full of suffering, what is the vision of the new world that we can seek? Join SNF Agora Conversations as we try to understand the nature and causes of the current crisis and explore pathways forward.


  • Vesla Mae Weaver is the Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. She has contributed to scholarly debates around the persistence of racial inequality, colorism in the United States, the causes and consequences of the dramatic rise in prisons, and the consequences of rising economic polarization. She is co-author of Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Contro(2014, with Amy Lerman) and Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America(2012, with J. Hochschild and T. Burch).  
  • Daniel Ziblatt is Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard Universityandis also currently the Karl W. Deutsch Visiting Professor at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB). He specializes in the study of Europe and the history of democracy. His books include How Democracies Die (2018, with Steve Levitsky), Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy (2017),and Structuring the State: The Formation of Italy and Germany and the Puzzle of Federalism (2006). 
  • Robbie Shilliam, moderator, is a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University. He researches the political and intellectual complicities of colonialism and race in the global order. He is co-editor of the Rowman & Littlefield book series, Kilombo: International Relations and Colonial QuestionShilliam was a co-founder of the Colonial/Postcolonial/Decolonial working group of the British International Studies Association and is a long-standing active member of the Global Development section of the International Studies Association. He is author of Race and the Undeserving Poor: From Abolition to Brexit (2018).