28 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2009 Last revised: 1 Sep 2010

See all articles by Eric A. Posner

Eric A. Posner

University of Chicago - Law School

Adrian Vermeule

Harvard Law School

Date Written: September 15, 2009


Tyrannophobia - the fear of dictatorship - is a dominant theme in American political discourse. Yet dictatorship has never existed in the United States or even been likely.The hypothesis that tyrannophobia itself has prevented dictatorship from occurring is implausible; better evidence exists for alternative hypotheses. We conclude that tyrannophobia is an irrational political attitude that has interfered with, and continues to interfere with, needed institutional reform.

Keywords: executive power, democracy, dictatorship

Suggested Citation

Posner, Eric A. and Vermeule, Adrian, Tyrannophobia (September 15, 2009). U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 276, Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 09-44, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1473858 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1473858

Eric A. Posner

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0425 (Phone)
773-702-0730 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/posner-e/

Adrian Vermeule (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1525 Massachusetts
Griswold 500
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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