Authoritarian Contagion: The Global Threat to Democracy by Luke Cooper (London School of Economics)
The 21st century has not seen the triumph of democracy that some predicted but instead, in many cases, a turn towards authoritarian forms of government as an imagined solution to the many crises facing humanity. This innovative and important book draws on examples from around the world to examine the spread of draconian and nationalistic forms of government: a lurch towards 'authoritarian protectionism' which observes a simple maxim, that 'the world may end for others, but not for us'. While there is hope that the COVID-19 crisis could lead to a reinvigoration of democracy and a new economic agenda, there is also the risk of a further slide towards authoritarian rule and an urgent need for democratic renewal and change to combat this. The novel conceptualization offered in this book will give readers a new and deeper insight into the changing nature of the authoritarian threat to democracy - and how it might be overcome.