For a variety of reasons, emerging global trends – embodied by Trump’s presidency, the Brexit process, the results of many recent elections in Europe, Erdogan's Turkey, and Modi's India – appear to confirm the growing gap separating democracy from the liberal principles that have always inspired it, especially in the West. Yet we live in a world that – despite appearances to the contrary – is not experiencing any major socio-economic deterioration, nor heightened inequality. This book provides an overview of the crisis and highlights its causes (including demographic trends, aging populations, and the West’s fading status in the world). It also explores the weaknesses of liberal democracy, which performs well when economic growth is strong but then proves inadequate in times of stagnation and declining resources. The text also provides a stimulating critique of progressive narratives (especially those centred on the concepts of equality and meritocracy), examines the impetuous rise of populist and illiberal political movements, and explores the crisis of traditional left-wing parties.
Andrea Graziosi teaches Contemporary History at the Federico II University in Naples.