A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice A Newsweek 50 Coolest Books to Read This Summer Choice A Financial Times Summer Book of 2018
The world is in turmoil. From Russia and Turkey across Europe to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power as two core components of liberal democracy'individual rights and the popular will'are increasingly at war. As the role of money in politics soared, a system of rights without democracy has taken 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. Yascha Mounk offers a clear and trenchant analysis of what ails our democracy and what it will take to get it back on track.
Two core components of liberal democracyindividual rights and the popular willare 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, as Yascha Mounk shows in this brilliant and timely book, 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, fear 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 describe both how we got here and what we need to do now. For those unwilling to give up either individual rights or the concept of the popular will, Mounk argues that urgent action is needed, as this may be our last chance to save democracy.
Democracy is going through its worst crisis since the 1930s But what exactly is the nature of this crisis? And what is driving it? The People vs. Democracy stands out in a crowded field for the quality of its answers to these questions. 'The Economist
A trenchant survey from 1989, with its democratic euphoria, to the current map of autocratic striving. 'David Remnick, New Yorker
Brilliant As this superb book makes clear, we need both the liberal framework and the democracy, and bringing them back together is the greatest challenge of our time. 'Mickey Edwards, Los Angeles Times
Mounk's extraordinary new book provides a clear, concise, persuasive, and insightful account of the conditions that made liberal democracy work'and how the breakdown in those conditions is the source of the current crisis of democracy around the world. 'The Guardian