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Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe From the Ancien Régime to the Collapse of Communism

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Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe From the Ancien Régime to the Collapse of Communism by Berman, Sheri, 9780199373192
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  • ISBN: 9780199373192 | 0199373191
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2/1/2019
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At the end of the twentieth century many believed the story of European political development had come to an end with the entire continent united in the democratic camp for the first time in history. But by the early twenty-first century this story had already begun to unravel as some of the continent's newer democracies slid back towards dictatorship and citizens in many of its older democracies began questioning democracy's functioning and even legitimacy. And of course it is not merely in Europe where democracy is under siege. Across the globe the immense optimism accompanying the third wave has been replaced by pessimism as many new democracies in Latin America, Africa, and Asia began "backsliding," the Arab Spring quickly turned into the Arab winter, and many wondered if Donald Trump represented a threat to the future of liberal democracy in the United States. Indeed, it is increasingly common today for leaders, intellectuals, commentators, and others to claim that rather than democracy some form dictatorship or illiberal democracy is the wave of the future.

Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe examines the development of various political regimes in Europe from the ancien régime up through the present day. It analyzes why democracy flourishes at some times and in some places but not others and draws lessons from European history that can help us better understand the political situation the world finds itself in today.

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