Two Harvard professors explain the dangerous world we face today.
Democracies can die with a coup d'etat - or they can die slowly. This happens most deceptively when in piecemeal fashion, with the election of an authoritarian leader, the abuse of governmental power and the complete repression of opposition.
All three steps are being taken around the world - not least with the election of Donald Trump - and we must all understand how we can stop them.
In How Democracies Die, Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt draw insightful lessons from across history - from the rule of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile to the quiet undermining of Turkey's constitutional system by President Recip Erdogan - to shine a light on regime breakdown across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Notably they point to the dangers of an authoritarian leader faced with a major crisis. Based on years of research, they present a deep understanding of how and why democracies die; an alarming analysis of how democracy is being subverted today in the US and beyond; and a guide for maintaining and repairing a threatened democracy, for governments, political parties and individuals.
History doesn't repeat itself. But we can protect our democracy by learning its lessons, before it's too late.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 461 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 30 mm
"The show is likely to go on. To work out why, readers should turn to...How Democracies Die. The great strength of it is that it rejects the exceptionalist account of US democracy." - Edward Luce, Financial Times
"How Democracies Die' is a lucid and essential guide . . . Levitsky and Ziblatt assiduously dismantle the myth of American exceptionalism." - Jennifer Szalai, New York Times
"How Democracies Die' comes at exactly the right moment. We're already awash in public indignation - what we desperately need is a sober, dispassionate look at the current state of affairs. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, two of the most respected scholars in the field of democracy studies, offer just that." - Christian Caryl, Washington Post
"The greatest of the many merits of Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt's contribution to what will doubtless be the ballooning discipline of democracy death studies is their rejection of western exceptionalism. They tell inspiring stories I had not heard before...excellent, scholarly and readable, alarming and level-headed." - Nick Cohen, The Guardian
"With great energy and integrity [Levitsky and Ziblatt] apply their expertise to the current problems of the United States." - Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny
"We owe the authors a debt of thanks for bringing their deep understanding to bear on the central political issue of the day." - Francis Fukuyama, author of Political Order and Political Decay
"Anyone who is concerned about the future of democracy should read this brisk, accessible book. Anyone who is not concerned should definitely read it." - Daron Acemoglu, co-author of Why Nations Fail
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