Skip to main content


An aerial view of River Campus at sunset.

The Democracy Center

Building a community of scholars to shed light on the most pressing challenges facing democracy.

An American flag dappled with sunlight


Jamie Druckman on the State of American Democracy

Studies have shown that using dehumanizing language to refer to political opponents—whether directed at the actual candidates or their supporters—has a destabilizing effect on democracy in the United States. According to James Druckman, Democracy Center Faculty Affiliate and the Martin Brewer Anderson Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester, negative rhetoric has changed how both elites and average citizens talk about politics. It has also affected average people’s political attitudes and their willingness to engage in politics.


Listen to the interview here

Want more information about the Democracy Center? Contact us.