How Democracies Die

Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt

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Beschreibung

“Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies have collapsed elsewhere—not just through violent coups, but more commonly (and insidiously) through a gradual slide into authoritarianism.... 
How Democracies Die is a lucid and essential guide to what can happen here.”
—The 
New York Times

“If you want to understand what’s happening to our country, the book you really need to read is 
How Democracies Die.”—
Paul Krugman

“Fair warning: reading Levitsky and Ziblatt will leave you very, very unsettled. They make a powerful case that we really and truly are in uncharted territory, living in a moment when the line between difficult times and dark times has blurred.”—
Washington Monthly

“Carefully researched and persuasive... the authors show the fragility of even the best democracies and also caution politicians... who think they can somehow co-opt autocrats without getting burned....
How Democracies Die provides a guide for Americans of all political persuasions for what to avoid.”
—USA Today


“Scholarly and readable, alarming and level-headed… the greatest of the many merits of Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s contribution to what will doubtless be the ballooning discipline of democracy death studies is their rejection of western exceptionalism. There are no vaccines in American (or, I would add, British) culture that protects us: just ways of doing business that now feel decrepit.”—
The Guardian

"[An] important new book."
—Nicholas Kristof, The 
New York Times


“The political-science text in vogue this winter is 
How Democracies Die.”
—The New Yorker


“How Democracies Die studies the modern history of apparently healthy democracies that have slid into autocracy. It is hard to read this fine book without coming away terribly concerned about the possibility Trump might inflict a mortal wound on the health of the republic.... It is simplistic to expect boots marching in the streets, but there will be a battle for democracy.”—
Jonathan Chait
New York magazine

“The great strength of Levitsky and Ziblatt’s
How Democracies Die is that it rejects the exceptionalist account of US democracy. Their lens is comparative. The authors say America is not immune to the trends that have led to democracy’s collapse in other parts of the world.”
—Financial Times

"A powerful wake-up call."
—Foreign Affairs

“The big advantage of political scientists over even the shrewdest and luckiest of eavesdropping journalists is that they have the training to give us a bigger picture.... [Levitsky and Ziblatt] bring to bear useful global and historical context... [showing] the mistakes democratic politicians make as they let dangerous demagogues into the heart of power.”


The Sunday Times

“If this were fiction, the thrills of this book would remind you of the thrills you had when you first read
1984,
It Can’t Happen Here,
The Plot Against America and
The Handmaid’s Tale. If this were fiction, you could lie in the sand and enjoy the read. But this book is not fiction. And this book is not just about the past. And this book is not just about other countries. [It] should be on your reading list this summer.”   
—Tufts Now

“The authors argue, with good evidence, that democracies aren’t destroyed because of the impulses of a single man; they are, instead, degraded in the course of a partisan tit-for-tat dynamic that degrades norms over time until one side sees an opening to deliver the death blow. Donald Trump is not a dictator. But it’s impossible to read
How Democracies Die without worrying that our collective decay of democratic norms may open the door to one down the line—perhaps even one of an entirely different ideological persuasion.”
—The Wall Street Journal

"Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt offer one of the best forensic accounts available of the crimes against democracy in America.... The diagnosis is compelling, and their book is essential, even compulsive, reading.”
—Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

“[
How Democracies Die] is a stellar deep-dive into a series of modern democracies that ceased to be.”
—Daily Kos

"Maybe have a drink before digging into this one. Levitsky and Ziblatt trace the fall of democracies throughout history with agonizing clarity, going right up to our current perilous moment."
—Entertainment Weekly

“Levitsky and Ziblatt are not entirely pessimistic… but they leave readers in no doubt that they should be worried about the state of American democracy.”
Slate


“Chilling… A provocative analysis of the parallels between Donald Trump's ascent and the fall of other democracies.”—
Kirkus Reviews

"Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have offered a brilliant diagnosis of the most important issue facing our world: Can democracy survive? With clinical precision and an extraordinary grasp of history, they point to the warning signs of decay and define the obligations of those who would preserve free government. If there is an urgent book for you to read at this moment, it is
How Democracies Die."—
E.J. Dionne Jr., co-author of
One Nation After Trump

 

"Levitsky and Ziblatt are leading scholars of democracy in other parts of the world, who with great energy and integrity now apply their expertise to the current problems of the United States. The reader feels the intellectual excitement, and also the political warning, as the authors draw the connections from their own vast knowledge to the chaos that we experience each day."


Timothy Snyder, author of
On Tyranny

 

“We live in perilous times. Anyone who is concerned about the future of American democracy should read this brisk, accessible book. Anyone who is 
not concerned should definitely read it.” 

—Daron Acemoglu, co-author of 
Why Nations Fail

“Readers will not find an anti-Trump screed in
How Democracies Die. The book is more erudite than alarmist… but that makes [Levitsky and Ziblatt’s] clarity on the risk of both Trump and wider political developments all the more powerful.”
—California
magazine

"All Americans who care about the future of their country should read this magisterial, compelling book, which sweeps across the globe and through history to analyze how democracies die. The result is an unforgettable framework for diagnosing the state of affairs here at home and our prospects for recovery."—
Danielle Allen, author of
Our Declaration and
Cuz


 "Two years ago, a book like this could not have been written: two leading political scientists who are expert in the breakdown of democracy in other parts of the world using that knowledge to inform Americans of the dangers their democracy faces today. We owe the authors a debt of thanks for bringing their deep understanding to bear on the central political issue of the day."
—Francis Fukuyama, author of
Political Order and Political Decay

 

"In this brilliant historical synthesis, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how the actions of elected leaders around the world have paved the road to democratic failure, and why the United States is now vulnerable to this same downward spiral. This book should be widely and urgently read as a clarion call to restore the shared beliefs and practices—beyond our formal constitution—that constitute the essential ‘guardrails’ for preserving democracy."—
Larry Diamond, author of
The Spirit of Democracy

“Thorough and well-argued… the biggest strength of
How Democracies Die is its bluntness of language in describing American history—a bluntness that often goes missing when we discuss our own past.”
—Pacific Standard
 
“Required reading for every American… [
How Democracies Die] shows the daily slings and arrows that can gradually crush our liberties, without the drama of a revolution or a military coup.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer

A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2018
A Time Best Nonfiction Book of 2018
A Foreign Affairs Best Book of 2018
A WBUR Best Book of 2018
A Paste Best Nonfiction Book of 2018
A New York Times Book Review Best Book Cover of 2018
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

"The best death-of-democracy book I read in 2018."
-Carlos Lozada, Washington Post

"Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies have collapsed elsewhere-not just through violent coups, but more commonly (and insidiously) through a gradual slide into authoritarianism.... How Democracies Die is a lucid and essential guide to what can happen here."
-New York Times

"If you want to understand what's happening to our country, the book you really need to read is How Democracies Die."
-Paul Krugman

"The defining political book, so far, of 2018."
-The Philadelphia Inquirer

"We're already awash in public indignation-what we desperately need is a sober, dispassionate look at the current state of affairs. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, two of the most respected scholars in the field of democracy studies, offer just that."
-The Washington Post

"Where Levitsky and Ziblatt make their mark is in weaving together political science and historical analysis of both domestic and international democratic crises; in doing so, they expand the conversation beyond Trump and before him, to other countries and to the deep structure of American democracy and politics."
-Ezra Klein, Vox

"Fair warning: reading Levitsky and Ziblatt will leave you very, very unsettled. They make a powerful case that we really and truly are in uncharted territory, living in a moment when the line between difficult times and dark times has blurred."
-Washington Monthly

"If you only read one book for the rest of the year, read How Democracies Die... This is not a book for just Democrats or Republicans. It is a book for all Americans. It is nonpartisan. It is fact based. It is deeply rooted in history... the best commentary on our politics, no contest."
-Michael Morrell, former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (via Twitter)

"A smart and deeply informed book about the ways in which democracy is being undermined in dozens of countries around the world, and in ways that are perfectly legal."
-Fareed Zakaria, CNN

"Carefully researched and persuasive... the authors show the fragility of even the best democracies and also caution politicians... who think they can somehow co-opt autocrats without getting burned.... How Democracies Die provides a guide for Americans of all political persuasions for what to avoid."
-USA Today

"Scholarly and readable, alarming and level-headed... the greatest of the many merits of Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt's contribution to what will doubtless be the ballooning discipline of democracy death studies is their rejection of western exceptionalism. There are no vaccines in American (or, I would add, British) culture that protects us: just ways of doing business that now feel decrepit."
-The Guardian

"[An] important new book."
-Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

"The political-science text in vogue this winter is How Democracies Die."
-The New Yorker

"How Democracies Die studies the modern history of apparently healthy democracies that have slid into autocracy. It is hard to read this fine book without coming away terribly concerned about the possibility Trump might inflict a mortal wound on the health of the republic.... It is simplistic to expect boots marching in the streets, but there will be a battle for democracy."
-Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

"The great strength of Levitsky and Ziblatt's How Democracies Die is that it rejects the exceptionalist account of US democracy. Their lens is comparative. The authors say America is not immune to the trends that have led to democracy's collapse in other parts of the world."
-Financial Times

"A powerful wake-up call."
-Foreign Affairs

Steven Levitsky and
Daniel Ziblatt are Professors of Government at Harvard University. Levitsky’s research focuses on Latin America and the developing world. He is the author of
Competitive Authoritarianism and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards. Ziblatt studies Europe from the nineteenth century to the present. He is the author, most recently, of
Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy. Both Levitsky and Ziblatt have written for
Vox and
The New York Times, among other publications.

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 320
Erscheinungsdatum 15.01.2019
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-984825-77-3
Verlag Random House LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 16,5/10,7/3 cm
Gewicht 201 g
Verkaufsrang 131

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  • We tend to think of democracies dying at the hands of men with guns. During the Cold War, coups d'état accounted for nearly three out of every four democratic breakdowns, and more recently, military coups toppled Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014. In these cases democracy dissolved in spectacular fashion, through military power and coercion.

    But there is another way to break a democracy. It is less dramatic but equally destructive.

    In Venezuela, for example, Hugo Chávez was a political outsider who railed against what he cast as a corrupt governing elite, promising to build a more "authentic" democracy that used the country's vast oil wealth to improve the lives of the poor. Skillfully tapping into the anger of ordinary Venezuelans, many of whom felt ignored or mistreated by the established political parties, Chávez was elected president in 1998. As a woman in Chávez's home state of Barinas put it on election night, "Democracy is infected. And Chávez is the only antibiotic we have."

    When Chávez launched his promised revolution, he did so democratically. In 1999, he held free elections for a new constituent assembly, in which his allies won an overwhelming majority. It wasn't until 2003 that Chávez took his first clear steps toward authoritarianism, stalling a referendum that would have recalled him from office. In 2004, the government blacklisted those who had signed the recall petition and packed the supreme court. The chavista regime grew more repressive after 2006, closing a major television station, arresting or exiling opposition politicians, judges, and media figures on dubious charges, and eliminating presidential term limits so that Chávez could remain in power indefinitely. After Chávez's death a year later, his successor, Nicolás Maduro, won another questionable reelection. It was only when a new single-party constituent assembly usurped the power of Congress in 2017, nearly two decades after Chávez first won the presidency, that Venezuela was widely recognized as an autocracy.

    This is how democracies now die. Blatant dictatorship-in the form of fascism, communism, or military rule-has disappeared across much of the world. Military coups and other violent seizures of power are rare. Most countries hold regular elections. Since the end of the Cold War, most democratic breakdowns have been caused not by generals and soldiers but by elected governments themselves. Like Chávez in Venezuela, elected leaders have subverted democratic institutions in Georgia, Hungary, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Ukraine. Democratic backsliding today begins at the ballot box.

    How vulnerable is American democracy to this form of breakdown? The foundations of our democracy are certainly stronger than those in Venezuela, Turkey, or Hungary. But are they strong enough? Answering such a question requires stepping back from daily headlines and breaking news alerts to widen our view, drawing lessons from the experiences of other democracies around the world and throughout history.

    We know that extremist demagogues emerge from time to time in all societies, even in healthy democracies. The United States has had its share of them, including Henry Ford, Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, and George Wallace. An essential test for democracies is not whether such figures emerge but whether political leaders, and especially political parties, work to prevent them from gaining power in the first place-by keeping them off mainstream party tickets, refusing to endorse or align with them, and when necessary, making common cause with rivals in support of democratic candidates.

    Once a would‑be authoritarian makes it to power, democracies face a second critical test: Will the autocratic leader subvert democratic institutions or be constrained by them? America failed the first test in November 2016, whe