Democracy and Its Crisis

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"Mr. Grayling incisively surveys attempts by Western thinkers, from Plato and Aristotle to Madison and Tocqueville, to resolve what he calls the 'dilemma of democracy': the tension between the belief that power belongs ultimately to the people, and the desire for stable and humane government."
--The Wall Street Journal

Prompted by the EU referendum in the UK and the presidential election in the USA, A. C. Grayling investigates why the institutions of representative democracy seem unable to hold up against forces they were designed to manage, and why, crucially, it matters.

First he considers moments in history -- Periclean Athens, the English Civil War, the American and French Revolutions, among them -- in which the challenges we face today were first encountered and what solutions, however imperfect, were found. Then he lays bare the specific problems of democracy in the twenty-first century and maps out a set of urgently needed reforms.

With the advent of authoritarian leaders and the simultaneous rise of populism, representative democracy appears to be caught between a rock and a hard place, yet it is this space that it must occupy, says Grayling, if a civilized society, that looks after all its people, is to flourish.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781786072894
Publication Date: 
2017-10-17
Author: 
Publisher: 
Binding: 
Hardcover