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NMSU to host lecture on risks to democracy in US and around the world

One of the most dangerous threats to democracy is the kind of political tribalism that divides people into factions according to a professor from Boston, who will give a lecture at New Mexico State from 4:45-5:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, in the Nick Franklin Seminar Room in Breland Hall, Room 179.


Head and shoulders of man wearing glasses
Benjamin R. Cole, assistant professor of political science and international relations at Simmons College in Boston will give a lecture at New Mexico State University titled “Republic at Risk: Democracy and the Mischief of Faction,” based on his forthcoming book, “Democratization and the Mischief of Faction.” (Courtesy photo)

Benjamin R. Cole is an assistant professor of political science and international relations at Simmons College in Boston. He teaches courses on democratization, comparative politics, and public policy. He also coauthored the State Fragility Index and “Global Report” series from 2008 to 2016.

Cole’s lecture, hosted by NMSU’s Department of Government, is titled, “Republic at Risk: Democracy and the Mischief of Faction,” based on his forthcoming book, “Democratization and the Mischief of Faction.”

The book and lecture are the results of a six-year study of every change in governance in every country in the world since 1946, and finds that factionalism, or the division of people into different factions is the most dangerous problem facing young democracies and threatens mature democracies (including the US) in ways not previously understood. The book makes suggestions as to best practices for avoiding the worst "mischief of faction" in both emerging and consolidated democracies.

Cole’s research works to develop, maintain, and use innovative cross-national datasets to measure, analyze, and explain global trends in democratization and state fragility.

Refreshments will be served at the lecture, which is free and open to the public.

For more information, call Patricia Vargas: 575-646-4935 or visit https://deptofgov.nmsu.edu/.