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How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future by Steven Levitsky at Abbey's Bookshop,

How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future

Steven Levitsky Daniel Ziblatt



History: theory & methods;
Religion & politics;
Politics & government;
Comparative politics;
Political structures: democracy;


256 pages

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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.

By:   Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt
Imprint:   Viking
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 135mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   341g
ISBN:   9780241336496
ISBN 10:   024133649X
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   February 2018
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

What's the worst thing to happen to US democracy recently? Most answers to that question start and end with Donald Trump. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, though as horrified by Trump as anyone, try to take a wider view. This book looks to history to provide a guide for defending democratic norms when they are under threat, and finds that it is possible to fight back. Provocative and readable. -- David Runciman * The Guardian * There are two must-read books about the Trump presidency at the moment. This is the one you probably haven't heard of. It is also the one that is most useful to British readers. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt are anti-Donald Trump politics professors at Harvard. And the big advantage of political scientists over even the shrewdest and luckiest of eavesdropping journalists is that they have the training to give us a bigger picture.They set out some rules about the slow, internal collapse of democracies, which are entirely relevant to Britain... -- Andrew Marr * The Times * 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 * In this brilliant historical synthesis, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how the actions of elected leaders around the world have paved the road to democratic failure, and why the United States is now vulnerable to this same downward spiral. This book should be widely and urgently read as a clarion call to restore the shared beliefs and practices-beyond our formal constitution-that constitute the essential 'guardrails' for preserving democracy. -- Larry Diamond, author of The Spirit of Democracy In a new book about Trump's America, two political scientists from Harvard, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, discuss How Democracies Die . In it they emphasise the importance of not just political rules but how we behave ... Got that, Donald? -- Andrew Marr * Evening Standard * Magisterial, compelling... sweeps across the globe and through history to analyze how democracies die. The result is an unforgettable framework for diagnosing the state of affairs here and our prospects for recovery. -- Danielle Allen, author of Our Declaration and Cuz Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have offered a brilliant diagnosis of the most important issue facing our world: Can democracy survive? With clinical precision and an extraordinary grasp of history, they point to the warning signs of decay and define the obligations of those who would preserve free government. If there is an urgent book for you to read at this moment, it is How Democracies Die. -- E.J. Dionne Jr., co-author of One Nation After Trump After the populist revolts of 2016, the big question on everybody's lips is will democracy be up to the challenge? In this incredibly timely and informative book, Levitsky and Ziblatt take you on a global tour of the big challenges to democracy and along the way equip readers with a far stronger understanding of what is happening and what could happen next. I don't say must read often but this is book sits firmly within that category. -- Professor Matt Goodwin, author of Revolt on the Right '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 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 * The sobriety is welcome and it adds a quiet, understated chill to the text. -- Roger Boyes * The Times * Grander, more didactic ambitions underpin How Democracies Die ... a more scholarly approach * The Economist *

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