Brian Klaas

"The Consitution and democratic institutions are not self-enforcing magical documents: They are only as strong as those who fight for them during times of distress."

Brian Klaas is an expert on democracy, authoritarianism, US Politics, Western foreign policy, political violence, and elections. In the past, he has advised governments, US political campaigns, international politicians, the European Union, NATO, and more.

Brian is the author of The Despot’s Accomplice, an account drawing on years of extensive interviews and fieldwork on why the West is losing the global battle for democracy and how to start winning again. The National praises The Despot’s Accomplice saying, “At a time when democracy is in retreat and the world seems headed for turbulence, this book can be the shot that revives this ailing patient.” He is also the author of two forthcoming books: The Despot's Apprentice: Donald Trump's Attack on Democracy (2017) and How to Rig an Election (2018).

Brian is a Fellow in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics. Recently, he has worked with individuals at the highest levels of government and public affairs in Thailand, Tunisia, Madagascar, Zambia, Belarus, Nigeria, and Côte d'Ivoire. Brian is a regular commentator on an extensive lineup of international media outlets, including MSNBC, CNN, BBC News, NPR News, CNBC, and Radio France Internationale. Previously in his career, Brian worked in many US political campaigns – including operating as the Policy Director/Deputy Campaign Manager for Mark Dayton’s successful bid for Governor of Minnesota.

Brian was previously the drummer for the Minnesota-based rock band “Contention One,” though given the sales of their albums, he's decided not to quit his day job.

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