How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky

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“Cool and persuasive... How Democracies Die comes at exactly the right moment.”
The Washington Post

Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we’d be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one.

Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.

About Steven Levitsky

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Steven Levitsky is a professor of government at Harvard University. He is the coauthor of Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War, author of Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America, and coeditor of Informal Institutions and Democracy, the last also published by Johns Hopkins. Kenneth M. Roberts is a professor of government at Cornell University, the author of Deepening Democracy?, and the coeditor of Beyond Neoliberalism in Latin America.
Published January 16, 2018 by Crown. 322 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for How Democracies Die

For one thing, they note, the United States has never been immune to democratic breakdown: “Writing this book has reminded us that American democracy is not as exceptional as we sometimes believe.” The Founding Fathers themselves indulged in emphatically zero-sum politics.

Jan 11 2018 | Read Full Review of How Democracies Die

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