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Crises of Democracy


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; Part I. The Past: Crises of Democracy: 2. General patterns; 3. Some stories; 4. Lessons from history: what to look for?; Part II. The Present: What Is Happening?: 5. The signs; 6. Potential causes; 7. Where to seek explanations?; 8. What may be unprecedented?; Part III. The Future?: 9. How democracy works; 10. Subversion by stealth; 11. What can and cannot happen?

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Examines the economic, social, cultural, as well as purely political threats to democracy in the light of current knowledge.

About the Author

Adam Przeworski is the Carroll and Milton Professor of Politics and Economics at New York University. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1991, he is the recipient of the 1985 Socialist Review Book Award, the 1998 Gregory M. Luebbert Article Award, the 2001 Woodrow Wilson Prize, the 2010 Lawrence Longley Article Award, the 2018 Sakip Sabanci International Award, and the 2018 Juan Linz Prize. In 2010, he received the Johan Skytte Prize. He recently published Why Bother with Elections? (2018).


'The mood in the democratic world these days is one of pessimism, but we are fortunate to have one of the grandmasters of comparative politics to help us understand the situation. Crises of Democracy is incisive, clear and full of insights into where we have been and where we might go.' Tom Ginsburg, Leo Spitz Professor of Law, University of Chicago
'In this sober, highly illuminating look at the shaky state of democracy around the world, Adam Przeworski seeks to understand the causes of the explosion of populist, anti-establishment forces that have overtaken mature democracies in Europe and have resulted in the election of Donald Trump in the United States. Every page is chock full of insights. Przeworski, arguably the most brilliant comparativist of our time, carefully defines 'democracy crisis' and shows why many mature democracies are facing one now.' Mitchell A. Seligson, Centennial Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee
'In the age of Trump, Putin, and Brexit, ordinary people and pundits alike increasingly wonder whether democracy is in a crisis or even danger. The flood of explanations ranges from factors as different as the decline of traditional parties, rising economic inequality, and the emergence of social media - to name just a few. What is sorely lacking is a perspective that separates what is unique about the present moment from what is history just repeating itself. Adam Przeworski, the world's leading authority on democracy and democratization, delivers precisely that - and he does so with an unparalleled historical perspective and the rigor of modern social science.' Milan Svolik, Yale University, Connecticut
'The wealth of information and lucid narrative make Crises of Democracy an informative read.' Michal Boncza, Morning Star

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