Democracy Unmoored: Populism and the Corruption of Popular Sovereignty

Book by Samuel Issacharoff: “The end of the 20th century marked a triumphant moment for liberal democracies, which sold their vision of governance on the basis of their strong markets, economic redistribution to their citizens, and a robust constitutional order. But today democracies young and old, fragile and resilient alike are under threat—not from military conflict, nor from autocracies beyond their borders, but primarily from within. New tactics employed by would-be autocrats, whether in Hungary, India, Brazil, or the United States, exploit cracks that have emerged in democratic institutions since the 2008 financial crisis. Why have democracies weakened, how has populism emerged in its place, and what are its implications for the long-term future of democratic governance around the world? Democracy Unmoored: Populism and the Corruption of Popular Sovereignty examines these questions in three parts. The first addresses the recent ascendancy of populism around the world, arguing that populism has emerged as democracies have grown less able to deliver on their promises and the economic, social, and cultural narratives underpinning democracy unraveled amidst economic dislocation, migration, and demographic change. The second explores how populists govern when they take power and the intralegal ways that populists wield democratic institutions against democratic governance. The third and final part offers suggestions to better insulate democracies against the populist tide, including the application of ordinary tools of criminal and administrative law; improving state capacity, checks on the executive and citizen participation; and exploring novel electoral frameworks…(More)”.