POLITICAL SCIENCE

Empire of Democracy: The Remaking of the West Since the Cold War

S. & S. Jun. 2019. 880p. notes. index. ISBN 9781451684964. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781451684988. POL SCI
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OrangeReviewStarWith this latest work, Reid-Henry (geography, Queen Mary Coll., Univ. of London; The Political Origins of Inequality) details how states and economies have changed from 1970 to the present, and how the consequences of those changes affect, and take hold over, popular government in supposedly democratic Western societies. The author pursues this transformation along two axes, political and economic, showing how changes in both arenas have interacted with current crises to create a near perfect storm of change in the notion and practices of what it means to be a democracy today—long-held notions and practices on the importance of equality, including the idea that everyone has the right to be heard, have been put aside in favor of market freedom and the ascendancy of a new economic elite. Reid-Henry writes as a historian but comes across accessibly: this is what happened and here is where we are now. He concludes not with recommendations for reform so much as a plea for hope.
VERDICT One of the important books of the current dialog on Western democracy. All serious scholars and informed political science and history readers should find it worth the effort.

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