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Breaking Point

Martin Loughlin: Militant Constitutionalism, 25 April 2024

Tyranny of the Minority: How to Reverse an Authoritarian Turn and Forge a Democracy for All 
by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.
Viking, 368 pp., £20, October 2023, 978 0 241 58620 4
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... proportion to the growing power of the people. In How Democracies Die (2018), Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt presented an alternative to Tocqueville’s thesis, arguing that contemporary democracies are being damaged by elected leaders’ subversion of the democratic processes through which they acquired power. Leaders win elections in accordance ...

Gove or Galtieri?

Colin Kidd: Popular Conservatism, 5 October 2017

Crown, Church and Constitution: Popular Conservatism in England 1815-67 
by Jörg Neuheiser, translated by Jennifer Walcoff Neuheiser.
Berghahn, 320 pp., £78, May 2016, 978 1 78533 140 4
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Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy 
by Daniel Ziblatt.
Cambridge, 450 pp., £26.99, April 2017, 978 0 521 17299 8
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Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism, 1830-1914: An Intellectual History 
by Emily Jones.
Oxford, 288 pp., £60, April 2017, 978 0 19 879942 9
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Kind of Blue: A Political Memoir 
by Ken Clarke.
Pan, 525 pp., £9.99, June 2017, 978 1 5098 3720 5
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... as a national, broad-based democratic party. In Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy Daniel Ziblatt conducts a comparative analysis of the European transition to democratic politics between roughly the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. He notices an unwelcome truth, that the successful and – perhaps more important – stable transition to ...

In a Frozen Crouch

Colin Kidd: Democracy’s Ends, 13 September 2018

How Democracy Ends 
by David Runciman.
Profile, 249 pp., £14.99, May 2018, 978 1 78125 974 0
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Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth – And How to Fix It 
by Dambisa Moyo.
Little, Brown, 296 pp., £20, April 2018, 978 1 4087 1089 0
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How Democracies Die 
by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.
Viking, 311 pp., £16.99, January 2018, 978 0 241 31798 3
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Anti-Pluralism: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy 
by William Galston.
Yale, 158 pp., £25, June 2018, 978 0 300 22892 2
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... States presents a distinctive version of democracy’s current malaise. As Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt note, Trump was elected not by a majority of the popular vote, but by an institution, the electoral college, devised as a defence against rabble-rousers of his ilk. It is scant consolation that the Founding Fathers saw him coming. In the ...

Short Cuts

Vera Tolz: Troll Factories, 3 December 2020

... that starts and ends with the man himself. In How Democracies Die (2018), Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s analysis helps us to understand why more than seventy million US citizens voted for Trump in November, and why multiple Republican officials supported claims of electoral fraud despite the absence of evidence. For a democratic system to ...

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