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Daniel Ziblatt

Daniel Ziblatt

speaker location icon United States


European Political Expert


Daniel Ziblatt is an author and prominent academic. Currently Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at the Center for European Studies, Harvard University, Daniel’s body of work around democratic structures and processes have distinguished him over the last twenty years.

After graduating magna cum laude B.A., Double Major in German Studies and Politics from Pomono College, California, Daniel went on to complete his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley in 2002. Already publishing at this stage, Daniel gained early recognition in 2003, winning the Ernst Haas Award for Best Dissertation in European Politics by the American Political Science Association.

While going on to receive a dozen further commendations from different academic bodies during his career, from the Luebbert Best Article Award to the Gabriel Almond Best Dissertation Award, in 2006 Daniel released his first full book, Structuring the State: The Formation of Italy and Germany and the Puzzle of Federalism.

A prolific decade would follow, as amidst teaching, Daniel co-edited the The Historical Turn in Democratization Studies with Giovanni Capoccia, and held a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences at Stanford.

2017 saw the publication of Daniel’s prize-winning second book, Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy, but the 2018 release of How Democracies Die, co-authored by fellow Harvard political scientist Steven Levitsky, brought his widest accolades to date. Charting the course of democratic decline in numerous parts of the world, this immensely pertinent work shot into the New York Times Bestsellers list, Newsweek’s 50 Best Books of the Year list and has been translated into 15 languages.

Currently, Daniel is active in his role at Harvard, including directing a historical geospatial data collection project, the “Comparative History of Elections Program” at the Institute of Quantitative Social Science.

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