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How Democracies Live

Power, Statecraft, and Freedom in Modern Societies

How Democracies Live

Power, Statecraft, and Freedom in Modern Societies

Times have not been kind to democracy. This book is in its defense.

In the new century, the triumph of democracy at the end of the Cold War turned to retrenchment. The core democracies, in America and Britain, succumbed to polarization and misrule. Dictatorships, such as China, made themselves assertive. New democracies in Central Europe turned to muddled ideologies of “illiberal democracy.” In this book, Stein Ringen offers a meditation on what democracy is, the challenges it faces, and how it can be defended. Ringen argues that democracy must be rooted in a culture that supports the ability of citizens to exchange views and information among themselves and with their rulers.
Drawing on the ideas of Machiavelli, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Max Weber, and others, Ringen shows how power is the fuel of government, and statecraft turns power into effective rule. Democracy should prize freedom and minimizing unfairness, especially poverty. Altogether, Ringen offers powerful insight on the meaning of democracy, including a new definition, and how countries can improve upon it and make it function more effectively. Timely and thought-provoking, How Democracies Live is a sober reminder of the majesty of the democratic enterprise. 

216 pages | 6 x 9

Political Science: Comparative Politics

Table of Contents

Preface            We Need Democracy
Book One        The Problem of Power
Book Two       The Problem of Statecraft
Book Three     The Problem of Freedom
Book Four       The Problem of Poverty
Book Five       The Problem of Democracy
Postscript        We Need to Talk about Democracy

About the Author

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