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All political systems come to an end – even democracies. What will democratic failure mean in the twenty-first century? Might there be something better after it?
Democracy has died hundreds of times, all over the world. We think we know what this looks like: chaos descends, and the military arrives to restore order until the people can be trusted again. But perhaps we are focusing on the wrong threats. 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.
David Runciman, one of the UK’s leading political scientists, surveys the political landscape of the West and shows us how to spot the new signs of trouble ahead. Our societies are too affluent, too elderly, and too networked to fall apart as they did in the past. History never repeats itself. Instead, it is increasingly decayed institutions that pose a severe risk to the future of our democracies.
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