All political systems come to an end, even democracies - David Runciman shows us how to recognise the signs and how to think about what might come next.
‘Scintillating … thought-provoking … Runciman’s flair for turning a pithy and pungent phrase is one of the things to admire about his writing. The cogency, subtlety and style with which he teases out the paradoxes and perils faced by democracy makes this one of the very best of the great crop of recent books on the subject.’ - Observer
Democracy has died hundreds of times, all over the world. We know what that looks like: chaos descends and the military arrives to restore order, until the people can be trusted to look after their own affairs again. Often, that moment never comes, but there is a danger that this picture is out of date.
Until very recently, most citizens of Western democracies would have imagined that the end was a long way off, and very few would have thought it might be happening before their eyes as Trump, Brexit and paranoid populism have become a reality.
Are we looking for a better way of doing politics, or are we looking for something better than politics? David Runciman, one of the UK's leading professors of politics, answers all this and more as he surveys the political landscape of the West, helping us to recognise the signs of a collapsing democracy and advising us on what to do next.
David Runciman is Professor of Politics at Cambridge University and Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies. He is the author of five previous books, including Political Hypocrisy, The Confidence Trap and Politics (for the Ideas in Profile series). He writes regularly about politics for the London Review of Books and hosts the widely acclaimed weekly podcast Talking Politics.
Politics & Government
Politics & government