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Eric Posner



Articles by Eric Posner

Biden’s Precarious Victory

27 days ago

After surviving a grueling election campaign and a cliff-hanger election, Joe Biden will most likely enter the White House with a significant achievement under his belt, but little to look forward to. Congressional Republicans and a right-wing Supreme Court will ensure that any attempt at meaningful reform or governance is dead on arrival.

CHICAGO – Joe Biden has survived a grueling election campaign and a cliff-hanger election. Next, he must fend off legal challenges from US President Donald Trump’s campaign. While he will most likely enter the White House on January 20, 2021, he will wonder when he gets there whether the prize he sought for so long is a poisoned chalice.

One America, Two

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Is the Long-Awaited Constitutional Crisis at Hand?

October 21, 2020

Throughout US President Donald Trump’s first term, there has been constant hand wringing over a "constitutional crisis" that never arrived. The irony is that an administration led by Joe Biden would almost certainly confront such a crisis, owing to Trump’s transformation of the Supreme Court into a right-wing redoubt.

CHICAGO – Since Donald Trump’s election in 2016, legal academics like me have been bombarded with emails from journalists asking whether the United States is undergoing or heading for a “constitutional crisis.” Most of these queries have been motivated by the president’s norm-busting, including his interference with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the election,

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What the US Election Is Really About

October 14, 2020

For all the hand wringing over Donald Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric, the 2020 US election is not really about the incumbent. It is about deep-seated suspicion regarding the national government’s role, which makes populism a recurring feature of American political history.

CHICAGO – Next month’s United States election is not about policy, nor is it even about President Donald Trump. It is about America’s constitutional system. This is not to suggest that the election could end that system. While Trump has an authoritarian temperament and admires dictators like Russian President Vladimir Putin, he is unlikely to become an autocrat even if he is re-elected. The real question that America faces concerns the role of

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Avoiding the Trump Trap

August 10, 2020

As US President Donald Trump’s popularity continues to drop ahead of November’s election, he has sought new ways to stoke the public fear and panic that led him to victory in 2016. For his presumptive opponent, Joe Biden, the best strategy may be to make Trump’s demagoguery a theme of his campaign.

CHICAGO – With Joe Biden’s lead in the polls, many Democrats and Republican Never-Trumpers are increasingly optimistic that US President Donald Trump will lose in November. But it would be a mistake to count Trump out. He has formidable advantages that will become more salient as the election nears. These advantages have nothing to do with his accomplishments or failures, and everything to do with his mastery of political

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The Impeachment Trap

October 1, 2019

America’s Democrats have made a serious mistake by launching impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. They are replaying the Republican impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998, a futile exercise that damaged Republicans, enhanced Clinton’s power, and caused institutional damage as well.

CHICAGO – America’s Democrats have made a serious mistake by launching impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. They are replaying the Republican impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998, a futile exercise that damaged Republicans, enhanced Clinton’s power, and caused institutional damage as well.
The Constitution Won’t Save American Democracy

Brendan Smialowski/Getty

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The Meritocracy Muddle

September 13, 2019

Populist resentment against "elites" is a recurring feature of modern democracy, owing to the fact that popular sovereignty is at odds with the careful management of increasingly complex economies. But what causes public discontent to explode at some times rather than others?

Mark Bovens and Anchrit Wille, Diploma Democracy: The Rise of Political Meritocracy, Oxford University Press, 2017.Robert H. Frank, Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy, Princeton University Press, 2016.Daniel Markovits, The Meritocracy Trap: How America’s Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite, Penguin Press, 2019.Tom Nichols, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against

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