Political Order and Political Decay
In The Origins of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama took us from the dawn of mankind to the French and American Revolutions. Here, he picks up the thread again in the second instalment of his definitive account of mankind’s emergence as a political animal.
This is the story of how state, law and democracy developed after these cataclysmic events, how the modern landscape – with its uneasy tension between dictatorships and liberal democracies – evolved and how in the United States and in other developed democracies, unmistakable signs of decay have emerged.
If we want to understand the political systems that dominate and order our lives, we must first address their origins – in our own recent past as well as in the earliest systems of human government. Fukuyama argues that the key to successful government can be reduced to three key elements: a strong state, the rule of law and institutions of democratic accountability.
This magisterial account is required reading for anyone wishing to know more about mankind’s greatest achievements.
The best account I have read of how we reached this point ... a wealth of insights worthy of the greatest writers about democracy -- David Runciman * FT * A basic rule of intellectual life is that celebrity destroys quality ... Francis Fukuyama is a glorious exception to this rule * The Economist * To his credit, Francis Fukuyama extracts no catchy global lessons from this story of political decay ... so often unjustly accused of cold-war triumphalism, [he] is giving us a wake-up call * Irish Times * Fukuyama writes about the degeneration of America's political system with the passion and frustration of a prophet straining to be heard over a cacophony of partisanship and ideological dogma. It is to be hoped that he will make himself heard: this excellent volume of comparative history and political science should be read by politicians and public alike -- Tim Bouverie * The Spectator * The ground covered is astonishing... Read these wonderful books so that you can never again say that we haven't been warned. And read them, too, for the way they make uncertainty seem not just tolerable but the only sane way to look at the world -- Nick Fraser * Observer *
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