Northwestern Events Calendar


A Crisis in the Making: The U.S. Election in Global Perspective—A Roundtable

When: Monday, November 2, 2020
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Danny Postel  


Category: Global & Civic Engagement, Academic, Lectures & Meetings


Please join Northwestern University's Center for International & Area Studies and the Evanston Public Library for this roundtable discussion examining the U.S. election in global, and historical perspective.

What happens when the leader of a country loses an election and refuses to leave office? What are the implications of President Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the 2020 election, his repeated claims that he won’t accept the election results unless he wins, and his encouragement of militant and paramilitary groups — “an army for Trump” — to descend upon polling sites to “monitor” the election? What lessons are there from history and from other countries where this has happened? And what role will voter suppression and intimidation — tactics with a long history in the U.S. — play in the 2020 election?

We will explore these questions with a panel of experts on elections, democracy, authoritarianism, voter suppression, and civil resistance — internationally and in the U.S.


Rachel Beatty Riedl is Director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, John S. Knight Professor of International Studies, and Professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University. She is the author of Authoritarian Origins of Democratic Party Systems in Africa (2014) and co-author (with Gwyneth McClendon) of From Pews to Politics: Religious Sermons and Political Participation in Africa (2019). She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Chair of the Comparative Democratization section of the American Political Science Association. She co-hosts the podcast Ufahamu Africa, which features interviews about life and politics on the African continent. Previously, she was Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research, and Director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern.

Maria J. Stephan is the co-author (with Erica Chenoweth) of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, which was awarded the 2012 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Prize by the American Political Science Association for the best book published in political science, and the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. She is also the co-author of Bolstering Democracy: Lessons Learned and the Path Forward (2018), co-editor of Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback? (2015), and editor of Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization and Governance in the Middle East (2009). Stephan served in the U.S. State Department from 2009-2014, where she worked on Afghanistan and Syria; co-directed the Atlantic Council's Future of Authoritarianism initiative; directed academic and policy engagement at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict; and taught at Georgetown and American Universities.

Jeffrey C. Isaac is the James H. Rudy Professor of Political Science at Indiana University. He is the author of #AgainstTrump: Notes from Year One (2018), Democracy in Dark Times (1998), and Arendt, Camus, and Modern Rebellion (1992), and co-editor (with Aurelian Craiutu) of America Through European Eyes (2009). He is former Editor in Chief of Perspectives on Politics, a flagship journal of the American Political Science Association. He is a contributing editor and a columnist for Public Seminar and writes for such publications as Dissent, The Guardian, The Nation, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He also writes a blog called Democracy in Dark Times. In March 2020 he drafted and circulated an open letter from political scientists titled “We Must Urgently Work to Guarantee Free and Fair Democratic Elections in November.”

June Cross is a writer, filmmaker, and Professor of Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School, where she is Director of the Documentary Journalism Program. She is one of the directors of the new PBS Frontline documentary WHOSE VOTE COUNTS, which investigates voter suppression and the 2020 presidential election. She has been a producer for Frontline and CBS News. She covered the 1980 and 1984 Presidential campaigns for the PBS NewsHour. Her reporting for the NewsHour on the 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada won her an Emmy. Her autobiographical film Secret Daughter, which examined how race and color impacted her family, won an Emmy in 1997 and was honored that same year with a duPont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. Her memoir, Secret Daughter: A Mixed-Race Daughter and the Mother Who Gave Her Away, was published in 2006.  

This event is free and open to everyone, but registration is required. Use this link to register for the event: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the meeting.

Register Add to Calendar

Add Event To My Group:

Please sign-in