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Books about the future of Democracies
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07 the future of Countries & Democracies

. Books about the future of Democracies

Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred
by John Lukacs

This interesting and troubling book is the product of a lifetime of reflection and study of democracy. In it, John Lukacs addresses the questions of how democracy has changed and why we have become vulnerable to the shallowest possible demagoguery. Lukacs contrasts the political systems, movements and ideologies that have bedeviled the twentieth century: democracy, Liberalism, nationalism, fascism, Bolshevism, National Socialism, populism. Reflecting on American democracy, Lukacs describes its evolution from the eighteenth century to its current form - a dangerous and possibly irreversible populism. This involves, among other things, the predominance of popular sentiment over what used to be public opinion. This devolution has happened through the gigantic machinery of publicity, substituting propaganda - and entertainment - for knowledge and ideology, for a sense of history. It is a kind of populism that relies on nationalism and militarism to hold society together. Lukacs's observations are original, biting, timely, and are sure to inspire lively debate about the precarious state of American democracy today.

The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad
by Fareed Zakaria

A national bestseller, including extended stays on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post lists, this major work by Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria has been touted by the New York Times as "brave and ambitious...updated Tocqueville" and the Chicago Tribune as "essential reading for anyone worried about the promotion and preservation of liberty."

Democracy has reshaped politics, economics, and culture around the world. This provocative book asks, can you have too much of a good thing?

Today we judge the value of every idea, institution, and individual by one test: is it popular? Or, more practically, do the majority of those polled like it? This transformation has affected not just politics but also business, law, culture, and even religion. Every institution and profession in society must democratize or die. Democracy has gone from being a form of government to a way of life.

Like any broad transformation, however, the trends that democracy unleashes are not uniformly benign. Democracy has its dark sides, yet to question it has been to provoke instant criticism that you are "out of sync" with the times. No more. "Intensely provocative and valuable," according to Business Week, and with an easy command of history, philosophy, and current affairs, The Future of Freedom calls for a restoration of the balance between liberty and democracy and shows how liberal democracy has to be made effective and relevant for our time. Woodrow Wilson said the challenge of the twentieth century was to make the world safe for democracy. This penetrating book challenges us to make democracy safe for the world.


East Asian Democratization : Impact of Globalization, Culture, and Economy

by Robert W. Compton

What is the future of Asian democracy? The Asian Crisis and ongoing globalization suggest that traditional governance is increasingly questioned. Compton explores Asian politics through a cultural lens, and he tests an Asian political development model through quantitative analysis and comparative case studies of Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.

It may be tempting to view political development and democratization in East Asia from a global view and conclude that the contours of democracy will converge throughout the world. However, a close examination of the cultural and economic development of Asian societies suggests a contrary picture. The story of Asia is one of political and economic survival, in which political elites sought to legitimate their authority through the use of both traditional and modern symbols.

Rethinking Europe`s Future (Century Foundation Book)

by David P. Calleo
Rethinking Europe's Future is a major reevaluation of Europe's prospects as it enters the twenty-first century. David Calleo has written a book worthy of the complexity and grandeur of the challenges Europe now faces. Summoning the insights of history, political economy, and philosophy, he explains why Europe was for a long time the world's greatest problem and how the Cold War's bipolar partition brought stability of a sort. Without the Cold War, Europe risks revisiting its more traditional history. With so many contingent factors - in particular Russia and Europe's Muslim neighbors - no one, Calleo believes, can pretend to predict the future with assurance. Calleo's book ponders how to think about this future.

Understanding the European Union: A Concise Introduction, Second Edition

by John McCormick

Despite the plethora of textbooks available on the European Union and the wide range of interdisciplinary and non-specialist courses on which it is studied, there has, surprisingly, until now been no single text providing concise coverage of all its major dimensions and implications. Rather than focusing just on the history or the politics or the economics of the EU or on detailed coverage of its institutions and/or policies, John McCormick's new book introduces all aspects of European integration combining a very clear and accessible thematic narrative with boxed summaries of a wide range of essential facts and figures.
This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

The EU, NATO and the Integration of Europe : Rules and Rhetoric (Themes in European Governance)
by Frank Schimmelfennig

Why did Western European states agree to the enlargement of the EU and NATO? Frank Schimmelfennig analyzes the history of the enlargement process and develops a theoretical approach of ‘rhetorical action’ to explain why it occurred. While rationalist theory explains the willingness of East European states to join the NATO and EU, it does not explain why member states decided to admit them. Using original data, Schimmelfennig shows that expansion to the East can be understood in terms of liberal democratic community building. Drawing on the works of Jon Elster and Erving Goffman, he demonstrates that the decision to expand was the result of rhetorical action. Candidates and their supporters used arguments based on collective identity, norms and values of the Western community to shame opponents into acquiescing to enlargement. This landmark book makes an enormous contribution to theory in international relations and to the study of European politics.

Democracy and Regulation: How the Public Can Govern Privatized Essential Services

by Greg Palast

Essential services are being deregulated the world over. Whether it's water, gas, electricity or the phone network, everywhere from Sao Paulo in Brazil to Leeds in the UK is following the US economic model and handing public services over to private companies whose principal interest is raising prices.

Yet it's one of the world's best kept secrets that Americans pay astonishingly little for high quality public services. Uniquely in the world, every aspect of US regulation is wide open to the public. How is this done and why has this process not taken root elsewhere? How is regulation threatened even in the US? And what power does the public have to ensure that services are regulated along these US lines?

This book, based on work for the United Nations International Labor Office and written by experts with unrivalled practical experience in utility regulation, is the first step-by-step guide to the way that public services are regulated in the United States. It explains how decisions are made by public debate in a public forum. Profits and investments of private companies are capped, and companies are forced to reduce prices for the poor, fund environmental investments and open themselves to financial inspection.

In a world where privatization has so often led to economic disaster - in Peru, telephone charges increased by 3000%; in Rio de Janeiro, 40% of electricity workers lost their jobs; in Britain water prices rose by 58% - this book is essential reading. Palast, Oppenheim and MacGregor examine what's right with the traditional American system, why regulation elsewhere has failed, and - most importantly - what can be done to fix it.

Representative Government in Modern Europe

by Michael Gallagher

Uniting theory and application, the third edition of Representative Government in Modern Europe continues the tradition of previous editions by first examining the themes, debates, developments and structures driving European politics, and then investigating the way in which the theories behind them are manifested, comparing the historical development, distinct interpretations and present condition of several major European governments.

A thematically arranged text which introduces readers to current debates among those who analyze European politics, the 3rd edition of Representation Government in Modern Europe delves into the evolution of European politics as we embark on the 21st century. Since the last edition, astonishing changes have occurred on the political scene in Europe. Democratic transformations have taken place throughout the East, along with the emergence of a strong European Union. These two topics, as well as the state of economics in the region, have dominated the previous decade in Europe and are discussed throughout the 3rd edition.

A Constitution of Direct Democracy : Pure Democracy and the Governance of the Future ~ Locally and Globally ~

by Michael Noah Mautner

In the coming decades, humanity faces profound decisions: democracy or totalitarianism; mass weapons or disarmament; religious freedom or fundamentalism; genetic modification, robots, space colonies, population growth and even biological immortality.

Our decisions will control the future of humanity, even the future of all Life. How can we assure that these developments assure our survival and serve the human interest? This is best assured by the common wisdom rooted in human nature, which desires above all the shared needs of security, physical sustenance and dignity. Communal decisions distil this shared human wisdom from the diverse wishes of people.

New information technologies allow public governance that reflects this shared wisdom. "The Constitution of Direct Democracy" describes the structure, fictional case studies and ethical principles of a model system that can be applied from local to national governments, up to a world Direct Democracy World Government.

Can this ideal democracy be achieved smoothly and peacefully? The book presents a simple approach to transform the current representative systems to Direct Democracies through Direct Democracy Representatives or Parties operating on this platform: "On every major issue, I shall vote in Congress or Parliament as instructed by the majority of my Constituents." Without any change in the existing systems, Direct Democracy is introduced this way and developed gradually with public participation, toward a system of full public governance. Election campaigns are encouraged to publicise Direct Democracy and to gain true public representation. Practical suggestions and sample materials are presented, based on the experiences of the first model campaign in Maryland, USA, for use by Direct Democracy Representative campaigns for Congress or Parliament.

The author is a Research Professor of Chemistry and space science, with over 140 scientific papers and book chapters, and articles on science, society and the future in "The Futurist" and "Spaceflight".

The New Challenge of Direct Democracy

Direct Democracy involves citizens in discussion and decisions about what the government is to do, rather than leaving these decisions to officials or parliaments. It thus challenges the restrictions placed by representative democracies such as Britain and the United States on political consultation and popular participation. This book confronts arguments for and against mass debate in light of new communication developments which make Direct Democracy technically feasible in a mass society. The result is a highly original and innovative account of the possibility of the direct involvement of citizens in the governance of their own affairs.

Direct Democracy in Switzerland

by Gregory A. Fossedal

"An important book must either impart vital information or bring forth a compelling new idea, and an interesting book needs to tell a good story. In Direct Democracy in Switzerland, Gregory Fossedal has done a little bit of all three. The result is a highly readable narrative, a tale of William Tell defying arrogant lords and brave mountain men fighting off empires on four sides to establish the world's most distinctive democracy. At the same time, the book tells how a country blessed with few physical resources has come to be, arguably, the most successful economy in the world, and how a nation with sharp religious and linguistic divisions enjoys deep social tranquility. It is, as well, a compelling drama, a good story by a writer who combines high ideals with a human touch."

"A great nation deserves a great work which defines, explores, and elaborates its truths and myths. In Direct Democracy in Switzerland, a great nation has received the telling in history and the placement in history it deserves. It should be widely read in America and Europe, and will, hopefully, have a significant influence on man's understanding and practice of democracy itself."

Direct Democracy: The Politics of Initiative, Referendum & Recall

by Thomas E. Cronin, M. J. Rossant

Direct democracy is an excellent introduction into the workings of democracy and the ambiguity of the various systems which claim the title of democracy. In almost textbook fashion, the book analyses the history of the democratic process and its possible continued evolution. An easy to read book that should be in every political theory classroom and on every citizen's bookshelf. If you are a student of democratic or social theory this text is invaluable as a guide to the multitude of implications democracy harbours. If you are an active citizen I would urge you to read this book to be aware of the manchinery of democracy. If you are not an active citizen read Thomas E. Cronin's Direct Democracy and you will become one.

Mediated Politics : Communication in the Future of Democracy

by W. Lance Bennett (Editor), Robert M. Entman (Editor)

This book explores the changing nature of democracy in light of dramatic changes in the media of mass communication: the Internet, the decline of network television news and the daily newspaper; the growing tendency to treat election campaigns as competing product advertisements; the blurring lines among news, ads, and entertainment. It explores such questions as: Does the Internet make it easier for citizens to find political information? Do today's highly competitive old and new mass media serve the needs of democratic citizenship? Does the new media environment produce public opinion that is more or less manipulated, or manipulated in new ways?

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