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Global Politics and Strategy
Volume 60, 2018 - Issue 2
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Review Essay

Democracies Don’t Die, They Are Killed

Pages 201-210 | Published online: 20 Mar 2018


How Democracies Die offers one of the best accounts available of the crimes against democracy in America. But its prescriptions for redress are underwhelming.


1 See also Erik Jones and Matthias Matthijs, ‘Democracy without Solidarity: Political Dysfunction in Hard Times’, Government and Opposition, vol. 52, no. 2, 2017, pp. 185–210.

2 See Edward Luce, The Retreat of Western Liberalism (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017); and Ivan Krastev, After Europe (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).

3 I want to be careful how I use the term ‘populism’ here. There is an important body of literature mapped out by writers such as Cas Mudde that has made great strides in helping us to understand what ‘populism’ is. I do not need to engage with that literature to make my argument, but I do not want to deny their important accomplishments either. See, for example, Cas Mudde, On Extremism and Democracy in Europe (Abingdon: Routledge Focus, 2016).

4 James Madison, ‘The Same Subject Continued: The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection’, Federalist Papers, no. 10, 1787.

5 Erik Jones, ‘The Decline and Fall of Three Hegemonic Parties in Europe’, SAIS Review, vol. 37, no. 1S, supplement 2017, pp. S71–S87.

6 Wade Jacoby, ‘Grand Coalitions and Democratic Dysfunction: Two Warnings from Central and Eastern Europe’, Government and Opposition, vol. 52, no. 2, 2017, pp. 329–55.

7 See, for example, Matthias Matthijs, Ideas and Economic Crises in Britain from Attlee to Blair (Abingdon: Routledge, 2011).

8 See, for example, Cas Mudde, ‘The Single-Issue Party Thesis: Extreme Right Parties and the Immigration Issue’, West European Politics, vol. 22, no. 3, 1999, pp. 182–97.

9 Desmond King, ‘Forceful Federalism against American Racial Inequality’, Government and Opposition, vol. 52, no. 2, 2017, pp. 356–82.

10 R. Daniel Kelemen, ‘Europe's Other Democratic Deficit: National Authoritarianism in Europe's Democratic Union’, Government and Opposition, vol. 52, no. 2, 2017, pp. 211–38.

Additional information

Notes on contributors

Erik Jones

Erik Jones is Professor of European Studies and Director of European and Eurasian Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University; Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford; and a Contributing Editor to Survival.

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