The People Vs Democracy

The People Vs  Democracy
Available:
Author: Yascha Mounk
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780674976825
Release: 2018-03-05
Editor: Harvard University Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

From India to Turkey, from Poland to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power. Two core components of liberal democracy--individual rights and the popular will--are at war, putting democracy itself at risk. In plain language, Yascha Mounk describes how we got here, where we need to go, and why there is little time left to waste.

The People vs Democracy

The People vs  Democracy
Available:
Author: Yascha Mounk
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780674984790
Release: 2018-03-05
Editor: Harvard University Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

The world is in turmoil. From India to Turkey and from Poland to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power. As a result, Yascha Mounk shows, democracy itself may now be at risk. Two core components of liberal democracy—individual rights and the popular will—are increasingly at war with each other. As the role of money in politics soared and important issues were taken out of public contestation, a system of “rights without democracy” took hold. Populists who rail against this say they want to return power to the people. But in practice they create something just as bad: a system of “democracy without rights.” The consequence, Mounk shows in The People vs. Democracy, is that trust in politics is dwindling. Citizens are falling out of love with their political system. Democracy is wilting away. Drawing on vivid stories and original research, Mounk identifies three key drivers of voters’ discontent: stagnating living standards, fears of multiethnic democracy, and the rise of social media. To reverse the trend, politicians need to enact radical reforms that benefit the many, not the few. The People vs. Democracy is the first book to go beyond a mere description of the rise of populism. In plain language, it describes both how we got here and where we need to go. For those unwilling to give up on either individual rights or the popular will, Mounk shows, there is little time to waste: this may be our last chance to save democracy.

The People Vs Tech

The People Vs Tech
Available:
Author: Jamie Bartlett
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781473559127
Release: 2018-04-05
Editor: Random House

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

**Winner of the 2019 Transmission Prize** **Longlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Writing** ‘A superb book by one of the world’s leading experts on the digital revolution’ David Patrikarakos, Literary Review ‘This book could not have come at a better moment... The People Vs Tech makes clear that there is still time – just – for us to take back control’ - Camilla Cavendish, Sunday Times The internet was meant to set us free. Tech has radically changed the way we live our lives. But have we unwittingly handed too much away to shadowy powers behind a wall of code, all manipulated by a handful of Silicon Valley utopians, ad men, and venture capitalists? And, in light of recent data breach scandals around companies like Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, what does that mean for democracy, our delicately balanced system of government that was created long before big data, total information and artificial intelligence? In this urgent polemic, Jamie Bartlett argues that through our unquestioning embrace of big tech, the building blocks of democracy are slowly being removed. The middle class is being eroded, sovereign authority and civil society is weakened, and we citizens are losing our critical faculties, maybe even our free will. The People Vs Tech is an enthralling account of how our fragile political system is being threatened by the digital revolution. Bartlett explains that by upholding six key pillars of democracy, we can save it before it is too late. We need to become active citizens; uphold a shared democratic culture; protect free elections; promote equality; safeguard competitive and civic freedoms; and trust in a sovereign authority. This essential book shows that the stakes couldn’t be higher and that, unless we radically alter our course, democracy will join feudalism, supreme monarchies and communism as just another political experiment that quietly disappeared.

The Age of Responsibility

The Age of Responsibility
Available:
Author: Yascha Mounk
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780674978294
Release: 2017-05-09
Editor: Harvard University Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Yascha Mounk shows why a focus on personal responsibility is wrong and counterproductive: it distracts us from the larger economic forces determining aggregate outcomes, ignores what we owe fellow citizens regardless of their choices, and blinds us to key values such as the desire to live in a society of equals. In this book he proposes a remedy.

Stranger in My Own Country

Stranger in My Own Country
Available:
Author: Yascha Mounk
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781429953788
Release: 2014-01-07
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

A moving and unsettling exploration of a young man's formative years in a country still struggling with its past As a Jew in postwar Germany, Yascha Mounk felt like a foreigner in his own country. When he mentioned that he is Jewish, some made anti-Semitic jokes or talked about the superiority of the Aryan race. Others, sincerely hoping to atone for the country's past, fawned over him with a forced friendliness he found just as alienating. Vivid and fascinating, Stranger in My Own Country traces the contours of Jewish life in a country still struggling with the legacy of the Third Reich and portrays those who, inevitably, continue to live in its shadow. Marshaling an extraordinary range of material into a lively narrative, Mounk surveys his countrymen's responses to "the Jewish question." Examining history, the story of his family, and his own childhood, he shows that anti-Semitism and far-right extremism have long coexisted with self-conscious philo-Semitism in postwar Germany. But of late a new kind of resentment against Jews has come out in the open. Unnoticed by much of the outside world, the desire for a "finish line" that would spell a definitive end to the country's obsession with the past is feeding an emphasis on German victimhood. Mounk shows how, from the government's pursuit of a less "apologetic" foreign policy to the way the country's idea of the Volk makes life difficult for its immigrant communities, a troubled nationalism is shaping Germany's future.

Against Democracy

Against Democracy
Available:
Author: Jason Brennan
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9781400888399
Release: 2017-09-26
Editor: Princeton University Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

A bracingly provocative challenge to one of our most cherished ideas and institutions Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government. They believe people have the right to an equal share of political power. And they believe that political participation is good for us—it empowers us, helps us get what we want, and tends to make us smarter, more virtuous, and more caring for one another. These are some of our most cherished ideas about democracy. But Jason Brennan says they are all wrong. In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results—and the results are not good enough. Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government. But democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, and it all too often falls short. Furthermore, no one has a fundamental right to any share of political power, and exercising political power does most of us little good. On the contrary, a wide range of social science research shows that political participation and democratic deliberation actually tend to make people worse—more irrational, biased, and mean. Given this grim picture, Brennan argues that a new system of government—epistocracy, the rule of the knowledgeable—may be better than democracy, and that it's time to experiment and find out. A challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable, Against Democracy is essential reading for scholars and students of politics across the disciplines. Featuring a new preface that situates the book within the current political climate and discusses other alternatives beyond epistocracy, Against Democracy is a challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable.

They Rule

They Rule
Available:
Author: Paul Street
Pages: 252
ISBN: 9781317250593
Release: 2015-11-17
Editor: Routledge

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

They Rule reflects on key political questions raised by the Occupy movement, showing how similar questions have been raised by previous generations of radical activists: who really owns and rules the US? Does it matter that the nation is divided by stark class disparities and a concentration of wealth in the hands of a few? Along the way, this book sharpens readers' sense of who the US oligarchy are, including how their fortunes have changed over the course of US history, how they live and think and how to detect and de-cloak them. They Rule is a masterful historical and political analysis, revealing what lies beneath the surface of US society and what ordinary people can do to bring about social change.

How Democracies Die

How Democracies Die
Available:
Author: Steven Levitsky,Daniel Ziblatt
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781524762957
Release: 2018-01-16
Editor: Crown

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Comprehensive, enlightening, and terrifyingly timely.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice) WINNER OF THE GOLDSMITH BOOK PRIZE • SHORTLISTED FOR THE LIONEL GELBER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Time • Foreign Affairs • WBUR • Paste 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. Praise for How Democracies Die “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.”—The Washington Post “Where Levitsky and Ziblatt make their mark is in weaving together political science and historical analysis of both domestic and international democratic crises; in doing so, they expand the conversation beyond Trump and before him, to other countries and to the deep structure of American democracy and politics.”—Ezra Klein, Vox “If you only read one book for the rest of the year, read How Democracies Die. . . .This is not a book for just Democrats or Republicans. It is a book for all Americans. It is nonpartisan. It is fact based. It is deeply rooted in history. . . . The best commentary on our politics, no contest.”—Michael Morrell, former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (via Twitter) “A smart and deeply informed book about the ways in which democracy is being undermined in dozens of countries around the world, and in ways that are perfectly legal.”—Fareed Zakaria, CNN

The Founding Fathers V the People

The Founding Fathers V  the People
Available:
Author: Anthony King
Pages: 242
ISBN: 9780674062597
Release: 2012-01-02
Editor: Harvard University Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

The founding fathers emphasized a system in which “the people” were allowed to play only a limited role. Radical democrats insisted that the people, and only the people, should rule. Anthony King shows how this initial conflict has played out in the turmoil of our nation’s public life, and he offers a way to address it.

The Eyes of the People

The Eyes of the People
Available:
Author: Jeffrey Edward Green
Pages: 284
ISBN: 9780195372649
Release: 2010
Editor: Oxford University Press on Demand

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

For centuries it has been assumed that democracy must refer to the empowerment of the People's voice. In this pioneering book, Jeffrey Edward Green makes the case for considering the People as an ocular entity rather than a vocal one. Green argues that it is both possible and desirable to understand democracy in terms of what the People gets to see instead of the traditional focus on what it gets to say.The Eyes of the People examines democracy from the perspective of everyday citizens in their everyday lives. While it is customary to understand the citizen as a decision-maker, in fact most citizens rarely engage in decision-making and do not even have clear views on most political issues. The ordinary citizen is not a decision-maker but a spectator who watches and listens to the select few empowered to decide. Grounded on this everyday phenomenon of spectatorship, The Eyes of the People constructs a democratic theory applicable to the way democracy is actually experienced by most people most of the time.In approaching democracy from the perspective of the People's eyes, Green rediscovers and rehabilitates a forgotten "plebiscitarian" alternative within the history of democratic thought. Building off the contributions of a wide range of thinkers-including Aristotle, Shakespeare, Benjamin Constant, Max Weber, Joseph Schumpeter, and many others-Green outlines a novel democratic paradigm centered on empowering the People's gaze through forcing politicians to appear in public under conditions they do not fully control.The Eyes of the People is at once a sweeping overview of the state of democratic theory and a call to rethink the meaning of democracy within the sociological and technological conditions of the twenty-first century.

Anti Pluralism

Anti Pluralism
Available:
Author: William A. Galston
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9780300235319
Release: 2020-02-01
Editor: Yale University Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

The Great Recession, institutional dysfunction, a growing divide between urban and rural prospects, and failed efforts to effectively address immigration have paved the way for a populist backlash that disrupts the postwar bargain between political elites and citizens. Whether today’s populism represents a corrective to unfair and obsolete policies or a threat to liberal democracy itself remains up for debate. Yet this much is clear: these challenges indict the triumphalism that accompanied liberal democratic consolidation after the collapse of the Soviet Union. To respond to today’s crisis, good leaders must strive for inclusive economic growth while addressing fraught social and cultural issues, including demographic anxiety, with frank attention. Although reforms may stem the populist tide, liberal democratic life will always leave some citizens unsatisfied. This is a permanent source of vulnerability, but liberal democracy will endure so long as citizens believe it is worth fighting for.

Twilight of Democracy

Twilight of Democracy
Available:
Author: Anne Applebaum
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780771005862
Release: 2020-07-21
Editor: Signal

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

A finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize One of Back Obama's Favourite Books of the Year A Pulitzer Prize–winning historian explains, with electrifying clarity, why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism. From the United States and Britain to continental Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege, while authoritarianism is on the rise. In Twilight of Democracy, Anne Applebaum, an award-winning historian of Soviet atrocities who was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West, explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy. In this captivating essay, she contends that political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else. Despotic leaders do not rule alone; they rely on political allies, bureaucrats, and media figures to pave their way and support their rule. The authoritarian and nationalist parties that have arisen within modern democracies offer new paths to wealth or power for their adherents. Applebaum describes many of the new advocates of illiberalism in countries around the world, showing how they use conspiracy theory, political polarization, social media, and even nostalgia to change their societies. Elegantly written and urgently argued, Twilight of Democracy is a brilliant dissection of a world-shaking shift and a stirring glimpse of the road back to democratic values.

The Parties Versus the People

The Parties Versus the People
Available:
Author: Mickey Edwards
Pages: 233
ISBN: 9780300186024
Release: 2012-08-22
Editor: Yale University Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

“An urgent and engaging look at how American politics have become the founding fathers’ worst nightmare” (The Daily Beast). America’s political system is dysfunctional. We know it, yet the problem seems intractable—after every election, voters discover yet again that political “leaders” are simply quarreling in a never-ending battle between the two warring tribes. As a former congressman, Mickey Edwards witnessed firsthand how important legislative battles can devolve into struggles not over principle but over party advantage. He offers graphic examples of how this problem has intensified and reveals how political battles have become nothing more than conflicts between party machines. In this critically important book, he identifies exactly how our political and governing systems reward intransigence, discourage compromise, and undermine our democracy—and describes exactly what must be done to banish the negative effects of partisan warfare from our political system and renew American democracy. “Overcoming tribalism and knee-jerk partisanship is the central challenge of our time. Mickey Edwards shows why and how in this fascinating book filled with sensible suggestions.” —Walter Isaacson, New York Times–bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci “Many Americans, whether Democrats, Republicans, independent or otherwise, would welcome a few more like [Edwards] in office.” —The Boston Globe

What Is Populism

What Is Populism
Available:
Author: Jan-Werner Muller
Pages: 136
ISBN: 9780812248982
Release: 2016-08-22
Editor: University of Pennsylvania Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Donald Trump, Silvio Berlusconi, Marine Le Pen, Hugo Chávez—populists are on the rise across the globe. But what exactly is populism? Should everyone who criticizes Wall Street or Washington be called a populist? What precisely is the difference between right-wing and left-wing populism? Does populism bring government closer to the people or is it a threat to democracy? Who are "the people" anyway and who can speak in their name? These questions have never been more pressing. In this groundbreaking volume, Jan-Werner Müller argues that at populism's core is a rejection of pluralism. Populists will always claim that they and they alone represent the people and their true interests. Müller also shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, populists can govern on the basis of their claim to exclusive moral representation of the people: if populists have enough power, they will end up creating an authoritarian state that excludes all those not considered part of the proper "people." The book proposes a number of concrete strategies for how liberal democrats should best deal with populists and, in particular, how to counter their claims to speak exclusively for "the silent majority" or "the real people." Analytical, accessible, and provocative, What Is Populism? is grounded in history and draws on examples from Latin America, Europe, and the United States to define the characteristics of populism and the deeper causes of its electoral successes in our time.

Data versus Democracy

Data versus Democracy
Available:
Author: Kris Shaffer
Pages: 120
ISBN: 9781484245408
Release: 2019-07-02
Editor: Apress

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Human attention is in the highest demand it has ever been. The drastic increase in available information has compelled individuals to find a way to sift through the media that is literally at their fingertips. Content recommendation systems have emerged as the technological solution to this social and informational problem, but they’ve also created a bigger crisis in confirming our biases by showing us only, and exactly, what it predicts we want to see. Data versus Democracy investigates and explores how, in the era of social media, human cognition, algorithmic recommendation systems, and human psychology are all working together to reinforce (and exaggerate) human bias. The dangerous confluence of these factors is driving media narratives, influencing opinions, and possibly changing election results. In this book, algorithmic recommendations, clickbait, familiarity bias, propaganda, and other pivotal concepts are analyzed and then expanded upon via fascinating and timely case studies: the 2016 US presidential election, Ferguson, GamerGate, international political movements, and more events that come to affect every one of us. What are the implications of how we engage with information in the digital age? Data versus Democracy explores this topic and an abundance of related crucial questions. We live in a culture vastly different from any that has come before. In a society where engagement is currency, we are the product. Understanding the value of our attention, how organizations operate based on this concept, and how engagement can be used against our best interests is essential in responsibly equipping ourselves against the perils of disinformation. Who This Book Is For Individuals who are curious about how social media algorithms work and how they can be manipulated to influence culture. Social media managers, data scientists, data administrators, and educators will find this book particularly relevant to their work.

Democracies and the Populist Challenge

Democracies and the Populist Challenge
Available:
Author: Y. Meny,Y. Surel
Pages: 258
ISBN: 9781403920072
Release: 2001-12-06
Editor: Springer

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Populism has become a favourite catchword for mass media and politicians faced with the challenge of protest parties or movements. It has often been equated with radical right leaders or parties. This volume offers a different perspective and underlines that populism is an ambiguous but constitutive component of democratic systems torn between their ideology (government of the people, by the people, for the people) and their actual functioning, characterised by the role of the elites and the limits put on the popular will by liberal constitutionalism.

Reactionary Democracy

Reactionary Democracy
Available:
Author: Aurelien Mondon,Aaron Winter
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781788734257
Release: 2020-05-05
Editor: Verso Books

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Democracy must be anti-racist. Any less is cowardly. Any less is reactionary. Democracy is not necessarily progressive, and will only be if we make it so. What Mondon and Winter call 'reactionary democracy' is the use of the concept of democracy and its associated understanding of the power to the people (demos cratos) for reactionary ends. The resurgence of racism, populism and the far right is not the result of popular demands as we are often told. It is rather the logical conclusion of the more or less conscious manipulation by the elite of the concept of 'the people' and the working class to push reactionary ideas. These narratives place racism as a popular demand, rather than as something encouraged and perpetuated by elites, thus exonerating those with the means to influence and control public discourse through the media in particular. This in turn has legitimised the far right, strengthened its hand and compounded inequalities. These actions diverts us away from real concerns and radical alternatives to the current system. Through a careful and thorough deconstruction of the hegemonic discourse currently preventing us from thinking beyond the liberal vs populist dichotomy, this book develops a better understanding of the systemic forces underpinning our current model and its exploitative and discriminatory basis. The book shows us that the far right would not have been able to achieve such success, either electorally or ideologically, were it not for the help of elite actors (the media, politicians and academics). While the far right is a real threat and should not be left off the hook, the authors argue that we need to shift the responsibility of the situation towards those who too often claim to be objective, and even powerless, bystanders despite their powerful standpoint and clear capacity to influence the agenda, public discourse, and narratives, particularly when they platform and legitimise racist and far right ideas and actors.

Democracy in Decline

Democracy in Decline
Available:
Author: Larry Diamond,Marc F. Plattner
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9781421418186
Release: 2015-07-30
Editor: JHU Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

"Is Democracy in Decline? is a short book that takes up the fascinating question on whether this once-revolutionary form of government--the bedrock of Western liberalism--is fast disappearing. Has the growth of corporate capitalism, mass economic inequality, and endemic corruption reversed the spread of democracy worldwide? In this incisive collection, leading thinkers address this disturbing and critically important issue. Published as part of the National Endowment for Democracy's 25th anniversary--and drawn from articles forthcoming in the Journal of Democracy--this collection includes seven essays from a stellar group of democracy scholars: Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Thomas Carothers, Marc Plattner, Larry Diamond, Philippe Schmitter, Steven Levitsky, Ivan Krastev, and Lucan Way. Written in a thought-provoking style from seven different perspectives, this book provides an eye-opening look at how the very foundation of Western political culture may be imperiled"--

Public Opinion

Public Opinion
Available:
Author: Walter Lippmann
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780486119908
Release: 2012-07-12
Editor: Courier Corporation

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

A penetrative study of democratic theory and the role of citizens in a democracy, this classic by a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner offers a prescient view of the media's function in shaping public perceptions.

Uncivil Agreement

Uncivil Agreement
Available:
Author: Lilliana Mason
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9780226524689
Release: 2018-04-16
Editor: University of Chicago Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Political polarization in America is at an all-time high, and the conflict has moved beyond disagreements about matters of policy. For the first time in more than twenty years, research has shown that members of both parties hold strongly unfavorable views of their opponents. This is polarization rooted in social identity, and it is growing. The campaign and election of Donald Trump laid bare this fact of the American electorate, its successful rhetoric of “us versus them” tapping into a powerful current of anger and resentment. With Uncivil Agreement, Lilliana Mason looks at the growing social gulf across racial, religious, and cultural lines, which have recently come to divide neatly between the two major political parties. She argues that group identifications have changed the way we think and feel about ourselves and our opponents. Even when Democrats and Republicans can agree on policy outcomes, they tend to view one other with distrust and to work for party victory over all else. Although the polarizing effects of social divisions have simplified our electoral choices and increased political engagement, they have not been a force that is, on balance, helpful for American democracy. Bringing together theory from political science and social psychology, Uncivil Agreement clearly describes this increasingly “social” type of polarization in American politics and will add much to our understanding of contemporary politics.