Search
£12.99
Published
3 May 2022
HB
9781913083212
Ebook
9781913083229
Press Release
Coming soon.
By John Keane:

 

DEMOCRACY HAS A LONG, EVENTFUL PAST. DOES IT HAVE A FUTURE?

The roots of democracy stretch back beyond Athens to Syria- Mesopotamia and the Indian subcontinent, where citizens’ assemblies held privilege and power to account over 3,000 years before the French Revolution. In this timely and illuminating new global history, John Keane gets to the heart of a complex, ever-evolving ideal.

Today, American-style democracy may appear to be in decline, but Keane shows that this isn’t the whole story. In many places, such as Taiwan and Senegal, India and South Africa, distinctly local varieties are coming into being. Yet it’s impossible to ignore the proliferation of populist strongmen on every continent: the Putins and the Bolsonaros, the Trumps and Lukashenkos. Is democracy past its sell-by date, as they would have us believe? Or is it time to embrace the true, radical potential of an ancient idea?

Old Street Publishing The Shortest History of Democracy

DEMOCRACY HAS A LONG, EVENTFUL PAST. DOES IT HAVE A FUTURE?

The roots of democracy stretch back beyond Athens to Syria- Mesopotamia and the Indian subcontinent, where citizens’ assemblies held privilege and power to account over 3,000 years before the French Revolution. In this timely and illuminating new global history, John Keane gets to the heart of a complex, ever-evolving ideal.

Today, American-style democracy may appear to be in decline, but Keane shows that this isn’t the whole story. In many places, such as Taiwan and Senegal, India and South Africa, distinctly local varieties are coming into being. Yet it’s impossible to ignore the proliferation of populist strongmen on every continent: the Putins and the Bolsonaros, the Trumps and Lukashenkos. Is democracy past its sell-by date, as they would have us believe? Or is it time to embrace the true, radical potential of an ancient idea?

12.99
 
 

‘The best, most readable book on the radical potential of democracy’ —Professor Takashi Inoguchi, Tokyo University

 
 
  • ‘Remarkable… It covers a vast historical landscape while also delivering intellectual depth.’
    Professor Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield
  • ‘Shortest – and best! Provocative, passionate, fun, and even a bit hopeful’
    Professor Michael Schudson, Columbia University
  • ‘A short, concentrated but deep analysis. Those who do not know will learn… those who know will also learn.’
    Professor Xavier Philippe, University of Sorbonne
  • ‘[Keane is] the pre-eminent scholar of the history of democratic ideas… A gem of a book.’
    Professor Paul ’t Hart, Utrecht Univ.
  • ‘An insightful history of democracy, a perceptive reflection on its fragility and an intelligent and original analysis of its present problems.’
    Enrique Krauze, author of REDEEMERS: IDEAS AND POWER IN LATIN AMERICA
 
 
John Keane

John Keane founded the London Centre for Democracy. He is currently Professor of Politics at the University of Sydney and the Wissenschaftszentrum, Berlin. He is the author of numerous books, most recently THE NEW DESPOTISM (2020) and TO KILL A DEMOCRACY: INDIA'S PASSAGE TO DESPOTISM (2021, with Debasish Roy Chowdhury). The Times has described him as ‘one of the world’s leading political thinkers’.