How has democracy become so threatened – and what can we do to save it?
With the clarity and brilliance that made their first book, How Democracies Die, a global bestseller, leading Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt offer a coherent new framework for understanding the dangerous times we live in. They draw on a wealth of examples – from the Capitol riots to Edwardian Britain, from 1930s France to present-day Thailand – to explain why political parties turn against democracy, and how to see when this will happen.
In this razor-sharp analysis, Levitsky and Ziblatt offer in particular an urgent warning about right-wing efforts to undermine the very foundations of the American political system. Multiracial democracy is something few societies have ever achieved – but even the prospect of this change can spark an authoritarian backlash whose dangerous effects will resonate long into the future. Donald Trump’s astonishing lead in the run-up to the Republican nomination, even after his indictment and imprisonment on charges of election interference, is evidence of that.
With its attention on factors from election losses to demographic change and voting rights, its urgent call for a reform of our politics to balance the need for majority rule with the need for minority protections, and a citizens’ movement to put enough pressure on lawmakers to act before it’s too late, Tyranny of the Minority is a must-read for everyone keen to see more vibrant democracy – and to understand where future threats may come from.
About the Author
Steven Levitsky is a Professor of Government at Harvard University. His research and teaching focus on political parties, democracy and authoritarianism and weak and informal institutions in Latin America and across the developing world. He is the author of two books, Competitive Authoritarianism and Informal Institutions and Democracy.
Daniel Ziblatt, a Professor of Government at Harvard University, is a leading authority on contemporary Europe and democracy and authoritarianism in Europe from the 19th century to the present. He is the author of Structuring the State and Conservative Political Parties and the Birth of Modern Democracy in Europe, of which Francis Fukuyama said ‘revolutionizes the literature on democratic transitions’.