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Liberal democracy is at risk. Its hallmark institutions - political pluralism, separation of powers, and rule of law--are coming under pressure, as authoritarian sentiment is growing around the globe. While liberal-democratic backsliding features prominently in social science scholarship, especially the branches concerned with political parties and political behavior, public administration research lags behind. However, without considering illiberal approaches towards the executive, efforts of actual and aspiring authoritarians remain only partly understood. State bureaucracies are, after all, important instruments of power. This timely and important volume addresses the administrative implications of liberal-democratic backsliding. It studies public administrations as objects and subjects in the context of illiberal dynamics. For this purpose, the volume brings together an international group of scholars to analyze authoritarian tendencies in several countries. The contributions combine theoretical with empirical work, providing the first comparative perspective on an overlooked aspect of one of the most important contemporary political trends.
A leading political scientist examines the dramatic rise in violent extremism around the globe and sounds the alarm on the increasing likelihood of a second civil war in the United States "Like those who spoke up clearly about the dangers of global warming decades ago, Walter delivers a grave message that we ignore at our peril."--David Remnick, The New Yorker Political violence rips apart several towns in southwest Texas. A far-right militia plots to kidnap the governor of Michigan and try her for treason. An armed mob of Trump supporters and conspiracy theorists storms the U.S. Capitol. Are these isolated incidents? Or is this the start of something bigger? Barbara F. Walter has spent her career studying civil conflict in places like Iraq, Ukraine, and Sri Lanka, but now she has become increasingly worried about her own country. Perhaps surprisingly, both autocracies and healthy democracies are largely immune from civil war; it's the countries in the middle ground that are most vulnerable. And this is where more and more countries, including the United States, are finding themselves today. Over the last two decades, the number of active civil wars around the world has almost doubled. Walter reveals the warning signs--where wars tend to start, who initiates them, what triggers them--and why some countries tip over into conflict while others remain stable. Drawing on the latest international research and lessons from over twenty countries, Walter identifies the crucial risk factors, from democratic backsliding to factionalization and the politics of resentment. A civil war today won't look like America in the 1860s, Russia in the 1920s, or Spain in the 1930s. It will begin with sporadic acts of violence and terror, accelerated by social media. It will sneak up on us and leave us wondering how we could have been so blind. In this urgent and insightful book, Walter redefines civil war for a new age, providing the framework we need to confront the danger we now face--and the knowledge to stop it before it's too late. Praise for How Civil Wars Start "It turns out that there is a discipline that you might call 'civilwarology'--the study of the factors that lead to civil war. . . . Barbara F. Walter became a civilwarologist nearly a quarter of a century ago and her entry is evidently well-thumbed in the Rolodexes of the CIA and the U.S. State Department. In other words, she knows what she's talking about--which makes this book rather scary."--The Times (U.K.)
In the face of increasing political disenchantment, many Western governments have experimented, with innovations which aim to enhance the working and quality of democracy as well as increasing citizens' political awareness and understanding of political matters. This text is the most comprehensive account of these various democratic innovations. Written by an outstanding team of international experts it examines the theories behind these democratic innovations, how they have worked in practice and evaluates their success or failure. It explains experiments with new forms of democratic engagement such as: Direct Democracy Deliberative Democracy Co-Governance E-Democracy Drawing on a wide variety of theoretical perspectives and with a broad range of case studies, this is essential reading for all students of democratic theory and all those with an interest in how we might revitalise democracy and increase citizen involvement in the political process.
Assaults on democracy are increasingly coming from the actions of duly elected governments, rather than coups. Backsliding examines the processes through which elected rulers weaken checks on executive power, curtail political and civil liberties, and undermine the integrity of the electoral system. Drawing on detailed case studies, including the United States and countries in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa, the book focuses on three, inter-related causal mechanisms: the pernicious effects of polarization; realignments of party systems that enable elected autocrats to gain legislative power; and the incremental nature of derogations, which divides oppositions and keeps them off balance. A concluding chapter looks at the international context of backsliding and the role of new technologies in these processes. An online appendix provides detailed accounts of backsliding in 16 countries, which can be found at www.cambridge.org/backsliding.
"While people profess a disdain for politics, in a democracy politics is the primary vehicle for citizens to influence the decisions and decision makers that shape public policy at every level. This widely acclaimed book provides a clear and concise overview of public policymaking, designed to equip citizens to participate more effectively in the policymaking process. It gently introduces the reader to the players and institutions that comprise the public policymaking process of American society, and it demonstrates the many access points in the public policymaking process where one can participate. This fully updated third edition includes: A discussion of growing modes of public policymaking participation, including social media and voting by mail. An evaluation of the impediments to participation, including voter suppression. An examination of the role of whistleblowers as part of bureaucratic responsibility. All new case studies throughout the book on topics of interest to students and citizens alike, such as the policy response to COVID-19, George Floyd and police reform, homelessness, and the Affordable Care Act. Student projects throughout the text, along with a glossary, and extensive coverage on Project Citizen, a format that provides students with hands-on tools for participating in the policymaking process. Public Policymaking in a Democratic Society, Third Edition may be used in introductory courses on public policy, internships, or service-learning programs. It equally serves as an invaluable resource for any organized effort to involve citizens in community service and the exercise of civic responsibility"--
"How can democratization move forward in an era of populist-nationalist backlash? Many countries in Asia, and elsewhere, face the challenge of navigating between China and the United states in a period of intensifying polarization in their policies tied to democracy. East Asia has shown the way to democratization in Asia-with Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong linking national identity to democratization. In other parts of Asia, especially Southeast Asia, nationalist governments have tended to move away from democratization. This book investigates how national identity can both help and hinder democratization, illustrated by a series of examples from across Asia. A valuable guide for students and scholars both of democratization and of Asian politics"--
An exploration of the factors behind neoliberalism's resilience in developing economies and what this could mean for democracy's future Since the 1980s, neoliberalism has withstood repeated economic shocks and financial crises to become the hegemonic economic policy worldwide. Why has neoliberalism remained so resilient? What is the relationship between this resiliency and the backsliding of Western democracy? Can democracy survive an increasingly authoritarian neoliberal capitalism? Neoliberal Resilience answers these questions by bringing the developing world's recent history to the forefront of our thinking about democratic capitalism's future. Looking at four decades of change in four countries once considered to be leading examples of effective neoliberal policy in Latin America and Eastern Europe--Argentina, Chile, Estonia, and Poland--Aldo Madariaga examines the domestic actors and institutions responsible for defending neoliberalism. Delving into neoliberalism's political power, Madariaga demonstrates that it is strongest in countries where traditional democratic principles have been slowly and purposefully weakened. He identifies three mechanisms through which coalitions of political, institutional, and financial forces have propagated neoliberalism's success: the privatization of state companies to create a supporting business class, the use of political institutions to block the representation of alternatives in congress, and the constitutionalization of key economic policies to shield them from partisan influence. Madariaga reflects on today's most pressing issues, including the influence of increasing austerity measures and the rise of populism. A comparative exploration of political economics at the peripheries of global capitalism, Neoliberal Resilience investigates the tensions between neoliberalism's longevity and democracy's gradual decline.
Politics in the United States has become increasingly polarized in recent decades. Both political elites and everyday citizens are divided into rival and mutually antagonistic partisan camps, with each camp questioning the political legitimacy and democratic commitments of the other side. Does this polarization pose threats to democracy itself? What can make some democratic institutions resilient in the face of such challenges? Democratic Resilience brings together a distinguished group of specialists to examine how polarization affects the performance of institutional checks and balances as well as the political behavior of voters, civil society actors, and political elites. The volume bridges the conventional divide between institutional and behavioral approaches to the study of American politics and incorporates historical and comparative insights to explain the nature of contemporary challenges to democracy. It also breaks new ground to identify the institutional and societal sources of democratic resilience.
Two of America's leading national security experts offer a definitive account of the global impact of COVID-19 and the political shock waves it will have on the United States and the world order in the 21st Century. "Informed by history, reporting, and a truly global perspective, this is an indispensable first draft of history and blueprint for how we can move forward." --Ben Rhodes The COVID-19 pandemic killed millions, infected hundreds of millions, and laid bare the deep vulnerabilities and inequalities of our interconnected world. The accompanying economic crash was the worst since the Great Depression, with the International Monetary Fund estimating that it will cost over $22 trillion in global wealth over the next few years. Over two decades of progress in reducing extreme poverty was erased, just in the space of a few months. Already fragile states in every corner of the globe were further hollowed out. The brewing clash between the United States and China boiled over and the worldwide contest between democracy and authoritarianism deepened. It was a truly global crisis necessitating a collective response--and yet international cooperation almost entirely broke down, with key world leaders hardly on speaking terms.Colin Kahl and Thomas Wright's Aftershocks offers a riveting and comprehensive account of one of the strangest and most consequential years on record. Drawing on interviews with officials from around the world and extensive research, the authors tell the story of how nationalism and major power rivalries constrained the response to the worst pandemic in a century. They demonstrate the myriad ways in which the crisis exposed the limits of the old international order and how the reverberations from COVID-19 will be felt for years to come.