Democracy in Retreat by Joshua Kurlantzick
The Revolt of the Middle Class and the Worldwide Decline of Representative Government (Council on Foreign Relations Books)

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The U.S., according to the author, has erroneously used shallow measures of democracy, like elections, to consider countries transformed, when in reality little has changed.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Since the end of the Cold War, the assumption among most political theorists has been that as nations develop economically, they will also become more democratic—especially if a vibrant middle class takes root. This assumption underlies the expansion of the European Union and much of American foreign policy, bolstered by such examples as South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, and even to some extent Russia. Where democratization has failed or retreated, aberrant conditions take the blame: Islamism, authoritarian Chinese influence, or perhaps the rise of local autocrats. But what if the failures of democracy are not exceptions? In this thought-provoking study of democratization, Joshua Kurlantzick proposes that the spate of retreating democracies, one after another over the past two decades, is not just a series of exceptions. Instead, it reflects a new and disturbing trend: democracy in worldwide decline. The author investigates the state of democracy in a variety of countries, why the middle class has turned against democracy in some cases, and whether the decline in global democratization is reversible.
 

About Joshua Kurlantzick

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Joshua Kurlantzick is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he studies Southeast Asia and democratization, as well as global views on human rights and democracy. He is a frequent contributor to publications including Time, The New Republic, The American Prospect, and Mother Jones. He lives in Baltimore, MD.
 
Published March 19, 2013 by Yale University Press. 302 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Publishers Weekly

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on Apr 01 2013

The U.S., according to the author, has erroneously used shallow measures of democracy, like elections, to consider countries transformed, when in reality little has changed.

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