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Penguin presents the audiobook edition of How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, read by Fred Sanders.

Two Harvard professors explain the dangerous world we face today. Democracies can die with a coup d'état - or they can die slowly. This happens most deceptively when in piecemeal fashion, with the election of an authoritarian leader, the abuse of governmental power and the complete repression of opposition. All three steps are being taken around the world - not least with the election of Donald Trump - and we must all understand how we can stop them.

In How Democracies Die, Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt draw insightful lessons from across history - from the rule of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile to the quiet undermining of Turkey's constitutional system by President Recip Erdogan - to shine a light on regime breakdown across the 20th and 21st centuries. Notably they point to the dangers of an authoritarian leader faced with a major crisis.

Based on years of research, they present a deep understanding of how and why democracies die; an alarming analysis of how democracy is being subverted today in the US and beyond; and a guide for maintaining and repairing a threatened democracy, for governments, political parties and individuals. History doesn't repeat itself. But we can protect our democracy by learning its lessons before it's too late.

©2018 Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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Global
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Utilisateur anonyme
  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 17/08/2018

insightful

Thoroughly insightful on the deliberate tear down of democratic systems of governments... historical and current approaches.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Jaydson Gomes
  • Jaydson Gomes
  • 10/01/2020

A book about a frightening global pattern

For anyone who can see a frightening global pattern in politics and democracy in recent years, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future. The authors, both political scientists and professors at Harvard, are accurate in presenting the obvious: There are structural flaws in our democracy. The most critical point - and the one that impacted me the most - was the fact that undemocratic governments seized power through democracy. It is an amazing paradox and throughout Steven and Daniel’s narrative it is clear that we are on the verge of collapse. The book makes a great parallel with Trump in the US and the advancement of the far right in Europe and Latin America with the rise of Hitler and Mussolini in the 30s and also the Latin American dictatorships in the 70s. The approach is interesting, showing that sometimes democracies are gradually eroded and sometimes this happen even unintentionally. There are many cases where power becomes more important than the democratic process itself and this is a sign of the decline. Authoritarianism seems to be the cornerstone of the fall of a democracy. The authors make an analysis, looking at history, showing us how easy it is to identify authoritarians and their behaviors. It is striking to see that in the US - where we were supposed to have the most solid of democracies - Trump followed the authoritarian imaginary handbook strictly. Even the authors make it very clear that Trump was the only presidential candidate who broke all barriers and used every possible “technique” that characterizes a dictator. Some of the characteristics are as follows: Attacking the media, refuting election results, threatening competing candidates, violence in speech. Any resemblance to any other government? 🤔 (I’m from Brazil). The foundations of democracy are very fragile. Steven and Daniel stress that two basic norms must be followed for a democracy to work well: mutual toleration e forbearance. Mutual toleration means you should accept that a political opponent is legitimate. It is accepting that rivals are also loyal citizens. Forbearance is the act of not exercising a certain legal power, and this may be more difficult. Imagine that in the US the president has the power to pardon any crime at any time. The conclusion is that Trump is not the problem but the symptom. The problem is much deeper. While reading “How Democracies Die” was daunting, it was also very rewarding. The analysis, counterpoints and comparisons with history made me reflect a lot on the current moment we are living in Brazil. Democracy may be broken at some parts and there will always be those who will try to bring it down for good, but an even more democratic and fair future is possible.

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  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • agschaid
  • 30/07/2019

How American democracy might fail.

Focuses quite a bit on the American history, political landscape and future. That's interesting too. But title and description of the book led me to expect a more general approach.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ingo
  • 14/09/2018

Demokratie keine Selbstverständlichkeit

Interessant, spannend und ausgewogen! Nach dem Ende des Buches wird einem noch mal klar, was für ein schützenwertes Gut Demokratie ist - und keine Selbstverständlichkeit!

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dom
  • 19/08/2020

Handwerklich gut, aber nicht brillant

Bietet einen sehr guten Überblick über die politische Situation in den USA. Wer sich allerdings sowieso viel mit den USA beschäftigt, wird über viele Dinge, die im Buch besprochen werden, schon Bescheid wissen. Kein absoluter Augenöffner, aber dennoch interessant.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Image de profile pour Anika Welter
  • Anika Welter
  • 16/08/2020

Very insightful

This book was very insightful and I hope it can be a wake-up call to people all over the world. Standing up for democratic norms is what keeps democracies alive.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mikel
  • 03/05/2020

Partizan

this book is two Democrats telling the Republican Party how poorly they have done and dad it is the Republicans fault and that they need to make changes to save Americas democracy

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Stefan Krämer
  • Stefan Krämer
  • 09/04/2019

great analysis

this is a clear and well described analysis of the potential that democracies slip into authorisation states. Donald Trump is used as an example and the authors show hour dangerous new is for American democracy. however, the presented test for authoritarian politicians fits Germany's Gaulaud perfectly, so Germany beware!