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Making Liberal Democracies - A Review of Daniel Ziblatt's New Book

April 20, 2017

Making Liberal Democracies

April 20, 2017
in Harvard Magazine

In the wake of Brexit and last November’s U.S. election, with many citizens and scholars fretting over the fate of the liberal order, a Harvard government professor is offering a novel argument about how that order arose in the first place. According to Daniel Ziblatt’s Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy, the continent’s liberal democracies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries lived or died not as a result of rising living standards, the agitation of the working and middle classes, or quirks of national character, but rather due to the factional strength of the countries’ old-regime elites.