Democracies die in three stages: the election of an authoritarian leader, the concentration and abuse of governmental power and finally, the complete repression of opposition and citizens. The first step was taken by the US with the election of Donald Trump; we must all learn how we can prevent all three.From how General Augusto Pinochet dramatically seized power in Chile in 1973 to the quiet undermining of Turkey's constitutional system by President Recip Erdogan, Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt draw insightful lessons from democracies in crisis across history to shine a light on governmental breakdown across the 20th and 21st centuries.Based on years of research, How Democracies Die is both an alarming exploration of the unthinkable - how democracy is subverted or destroyed - and a guide for the roads ahead, for governments and individuals. The route democracy takes will hinge, to a large extent, on how leaders, and we ourselves, respond, and this masterpiece will help us do so.
Steven Levitsky is 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'