‘Democracy: trap, tragedy or crisis?’


I have recently been coming across a number of books reflecting on the health of democracy and questioning whether it is now in a state of crisis. As I was reading them for my own research, I thought it might be interesting and useful to do a synthesis review for some of them. So I did it and the piece was accepted for publication by Political Studies Review. The books I considered were: Wendy Brown’s Undoing the Demos, Philip Coggan’s The Last Vote, John Dunn’s Breaking Democracy’s Spell, S Steven Johnston’s American Dionysia, Joshua Kurlantzick’s Democracy in Retreat, Peter Mair’s Ruling the Void and David Runciman’s The Confidence Trap. Of these, I particularly liked Brown’s and Runciman’s. I am not sure when the article will be published, but according to the copyright agreement, I am allowed to post the original version I submitted to the journal. It is not greatly different from the version that will be published, mainly just some tweaks and fixing of poor phrasing. So if interested, here it is:

Christopher Hobson, ‘Democracy: trap, tragedy or crisis?‘ (original version of an article forthcoming in Political Studies Review).