Suzanne Schneider in n+1:
FLOATING SOMEWHERE BETWEEN the optimism that Donald Trump will soon be fired by the American people and the fear that he will eke out a victory, a number of anxious questions circulate: Will he honor the results? Will he try to discredit the election? Will the task of deciding the presidency come down to the courts, for the second time in two decades? What if he refuses to go? Will the military really dispatch him with the swiftness that Joe Biden has promised? What if the transfer of power happens but is anything but peaceful—accompanied by protestors, police, vigilantes, and federal troops facing off on American streets? Pundits stress how unprecedented, and thus dangerous, it is to be even asking such questions; friends share ominous magazine articles about right-wing militias gearing up for civil war. In major cities, corporations are boarding up their storefronts in advance of Election Day.
For many scholars like myself, whose academic work chiefly concerns developments in the Global South, there is a certain familiarity to this disaster-in-the-making. The United States is facing a legitimation crisis of epic proportions, one that will not evaporate should Joe Biden oust Trump from the presidency.