Empire of Democracy

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2019-06-25
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster

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A groundbreaking and accessible history of western liberal democracy over the last forty years, from a fundamental series of changes in the 1970s, to its latest, present challenges.

Over the course of a decade and a half, from the early 1970s to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the western democracies of the world reinvented themselves. They did so by realigning the balance of power between liberalism and democracy, effectively downgrading the importance of equality in favor of individual liberty.

In America, an era of Democratic hegemony gave way to one of Republican hegemony; the progressive Supreme Court of civil rights and Brown v. Board of Education became the more conservative Supreme Court of Citizens United. But there were other changes, too. In Europe, the social and political mission of the integration project begun under the auspices of the European community morphed into the liberalizing mission of the European Union. Similar changes began to unfold elsewhere around the world, as social idealism gave way to economic realism. From the return of immigration to the front pages of the news, or the obsession with security that emerged in the post 9/11 era, all have been shaped by the changes taking place within the West.

Simon Reid-Henry, based on exhaustive research and with a remarkable ability to distill the events that shaped the evolution of democracy, tells the story of these changes in the West. He explains the consequences of these four decades and shows how this era represents a distinctive age in itself—a global account pivotal to understanding the challenges confronting us in the present moment.

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