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The Despot's Accomplice : How the West Is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy
by Brian Klaas


Overview - For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the world is steadily becoming less democratic. The true culprits are dictators and counterfeit democrats. But, argues Klaas, the West is also an accomplice, inadvertently assaulting pro-democracy forces abroad as governments in Washington, London and Brussels chase pyrrhic short-term economic and security victories.  Read more...

 
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More About The Despot's Accomplice by Brian Klaas
 
 
 
Overview
For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the world is steadily becoming less democratic. The true culprits are dictators and counterfeit democrats. But, argues Klaas, the West is also an accomplice, inadvertently assaulting pro-democracy forces abroad as governments in Washington, London and Brussels chase pyrrhic short-term economic and security victories. Friendly fire from Western democracies against democracy abroad is too high a price to pay for a myopic foreign policy that is ultimately making the world less prosperous, stable and democratic.

The Despot's Accomplice draws on years of extensive interviews on the frontlines of the global struggle for democracy, from a poetry-reading, politician-kidnapping general in Madagascar to Islamist torture victims in Tunisia, Belarusian opposition activists tailed by the KGB, West African rebels, and tea-sipping members of the Thai junta. Cumulatively, their stories weave together a tale of a broken system at the root of democracy's global retreat.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780190668013
  • ISBN-10: 0190668016
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publish Date: April 2017
  • Page Count: 256
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Political Science > International Relations - General
Books > Political Science > World - General
Books > Political Science > Political Ideologies - Democracy

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2017-02-06
  • Reviewer: Staff

This efficient and thought-provoking plea for the U.S. and other Western countries to prioritize democracy promotion is a must-read, especially with the pending development of President Trumps foreign policy. Klaas, a fellow in comparative politics at the London School of Economics, is no armchair academic, and his analyses of policymaking challenges are informed by extensive, and sometimes dangerous, field work. This accessible read does not sacrifice depth for breadth as Klaas reviews the history of democracy before making convincing cases for his 10 principles for nurturing its expansion, which include stop trying to improve democracy with war, and encourage new democracies to include the old regime during transitions. Hes a vigorous opponent of Kissinger-style realpolitik, but he also advocates positions that he anticipates will be opposed by the left. The volumes seriousness, appropriate given democracys global decline over the past decade, is leavened by gallows humor, as when he notes that a USAID program reported that Cambodia had exceeded expectations for democratic valuesa year after an anti-democratic coup. Klaas is able to make his points simply and clearly, as in his observation that democracy, like free speech, must be protected regardless of whether it yields a preferred result. (May)

 
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