Dr. Robin Lauermann, Professor of Politics and International Relations & Chair of History, Politics, and International Relations, edits this series

(This post is the first of a set on Anne Applebaum’s Twilight of Democracy.  Click to learn more about the segment and the series, From the Field.)

Our capstone students engaged this latest text, focused on the trajectory of democracy around the world and at home, with rich and nuanced thought, conversation and writing.  Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Anne Applebaum, known for her several works on the extremities of Soviet rule, tackles the latest global authoritarian trends in Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism by centering in the development of recent political trends in Poland, and tying them to events in other countries.   Blending analysis with personal experience, her work complements both country-specific writings, such as that of Polish constitutional law scholar Wojciech Sadurski  and the findings of global autocratic trends by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, among many other careful, evidence-based analyses.  Although contemporary democracy does not reflect large-scale versions of Athenian society or New England town halls, it remains centered on popular sovereignty, an ultimate responsibility to the people.  As such, Applebaum’s work calls all members of society to take responsibility to note trends and to promote options that allow each to have input into the system and security under the law.

Wishing you thought-provoking reads!


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