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The People vs. Democracy Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It


Harvard University Press, 2018
Description

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  democrac

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