The January 6th, 2025, Project

January 6th, 2025: The Day Democracy Dies?

The state of American democracy is well past the point of caution or concern--it is wavering on the brink of collapse. And democracy scholars owe the public a candid evaluation of the impending threats to our system of government.

For all practical purposes, American democracy may die on January 6th, 2025, unless deliberate and concerted steps are taken to avert this crisis.

The January 6th, 2025, Project will strive to clarify how we got here, how serious the situation could become, and what practical steps can be taken to strengthen our democracy.

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On January 6th, 2021, as Congress was trying to certify the 2020 presidential election, a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building, injuring numerous police officers, threatening to hang Vice President Mike Pence, and demanding that the certification process be stopped. This insurrection was not an isolated incident, but rather the most visible and shocking example of declining democratic norms in the United States over the last decade. The riot at the Capitol followed years of prominent political leaders undermining our democracy by attacking the free press, questioning the integrity of our elections without evidence, and insisting that any election with a disfavored winner was inherently illegitimate. And, in the time since the Capitol riot, political leaders have continued to deny the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, attack anyone who accepts the results of the election and support politicians, activists, and media figures who promote baseless claims of election fraud.

Mission Statement

The January 6th, 2025, Project seeks to understand the social, political, psychological, and demographic factors that led to the January 6th, 2021, insurrection and continue to threaten the stability of our democratic system of government. Through our research, teaching, and public engagement, we hope to offer an assessment of the state of our democracy and insight into how to protect and strengthen it, with a special emphasis on how to prepare for the attack on our electoral system that will likely occur on January 6th, 2025.


  • Created a report authored by leading scholars on the current threats to American democracy, including their causes, their likely effects, and how they might be averted, recently published as a special issue in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
  • Organize a series of events to promote the January 6th, 2025, Report release, including a conference to discuss the report and future steps, events targeted at specific audiences, and media appearances to promote public engagement with the report.
  • Identify concrete steps that Americans can take to strengthen our democracy and avert the impending democratic crisis on January 6th, 2025.


To learn more, contact Rooney Center director Matthew Hall.

Follow the Rooney Center on Twitter for related news and analysis. 


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