The Limits of Democracy

daniel bellThese are not great times for electoral politics in America. Our primary system has put wind in the sails of a demagogue riding xenophobia and bigotry to the ballot box. Our principal legislative institution keeps flirting with the idea of actually shutting down the government it is in charge of. And a handful of billionaires and business interests are ploughing so much money into political campaigns that it kind of makes you wonder if voting will even matter. So what do the alternatives look like? We’ll talk to Daniel Bell about how China chooses leaders without elections. Plus: President Obama just outlawed solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons – so what about everyone else? We’ll talk to the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.


  • Jennifer Kim, program director at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
  • Daniel A. Bell, Chair Professor of the Schwarzman Scholars program at Tsing-hua University in Beijing, and the author of several books on political theory – most recently The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy.


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