The Paradox of Democracy

  • Samuel RachlinEmail author


This chapter discusses political fault lines and issues of a new political era. Populism has been an unexpected and dominating political phenomenon in the first two decades of the century. Some even call it a political revolution or a disruption like other disruptions the world has encountered in this period. It’s not new as a political force that takes shape under certain economic and social circumstances, but it’s still a challenge to cope with and define in the context of modern Western democracies. Populists have succeeded in gaining real power as presidents, prime ministers, and members of government coalitions. They have achieved these positions through democratic elections and not by coups or violence. They seem to be willing to play by the accepted rules in pluralistic, democratic societies, but in some countries in Europe and overseas, populist leaders have tended to follow a course towards nationalism and authoritarianism and thereby become a threat to established liberal democracies.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent Danish Journalist and WriterWashingtonUSA

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