Civil war might be the most likely escalation pathway towards disaster for our country. On the flipside, learning how to avoid civil conflict — and more ambitiously, repair our civic fabric — might have the greatest leverage for addressing the challenges we face.
Our guest Barbara F. Walter is one of the world's leading experts on civil wars, political violence, and terrorism. She’s the author of How Civil Wars Start: And How To Stop Them, which provides insight into the drivers of civil war, how social media fuels conflict, and how we might repair our broken democracies.
Together, we explore what makes for a healthy liberal democracy, why democracies worldwide are in decline, and the role of resentment and hope. Join us in an exploration of the generator functions for civil war in the digital age, and how we might prevent them.
Barbara F. Walter is the Rohr Professor of International Relations at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Walter helps to run the award-winning blog Political Violence at a Glance and has written for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, and Foreign Affairs.
You may be surprised by what a 21st century civil war looks like:
What are the generator functions of civil war in the digital age?
Who incites civil wars?
How does social media accelerate civil war?
Is the United States an anocracy?
What solutions does Barbara Walter see?
Barbara F. Walter’s latest book and the subject of our conversation, identifying the conditions that give rise to modern civil war in order to address them
An award-winning online magazine about the causes and consequences of violence and protest, co-authored by Barbara and other experts
Publications, analysis, and other resources from the organizations that measures for democracies and anocracies on a 21-point scale