In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Nicholas Davis joins Julia and Lee to discuss how Americans define democracy. Davis is an assistant professor at the University of Alabama. His research focuses on political psychology, public opinion, ideology, and how Americans understand democratic values more broadly. He is the co-author of Democracy’s Meanings: How the Public Understands Democracy and Why It Matters (the University of Michigan Press).

How have Americans defined democracy differently over time? What are its essential characteristics? Do Americans view democracy in procedural terms? Is its primary function the protection of civil liberties? Or do Americans understand democracy in social terms? Do they believe it is central to helping people meet their material needs? And what about the people who hold views between these two poles? These are some of the questions Nicholas, Julia, and Lee ask in this week’s episode.