From the Publisher
"[The Groundwork Guides] are excellent books, mandatory
for school libraries and the increasing body of young people
prepared to take ownership of the situations and problems previous
generations have left them." - Globe and Mail
In this eye-opening work, political scientist and award-winning
author James Laxer warns readers that our common assumptions about
democracy - that it is a natural progression of advanced societies
and that it is on the rise worldwide - are misguided. Democracy, in
fact, is very fragile.
Showcasing examples from all over the world, this book explains
the rise of democracy in the twentieth century and examines the
current status of democracy in advanced countries and in Asia,
Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Laxer warns that
globalization and the widening gap between the rich and poor
threaten to weaken democracy and the vigor of democratic regimes -
even in countries where it has been long established.
About the Author
Award-winning author James Laxer has written many books, including
Stalking the Elephant: My Discovery of America
by New Press in the US as Discovering America) and The Border:
Canada, the U.S. and Dispatches from the Forty-ninth Parallel
James Laxer appears regularly on television discussions of issues
of the day. He was the host and co-author of Reckoning
prize-winning series of films on the global economy produced by the
National Film Board of Canada. James Laxer is a professor of
political science at York University in Toronto.
Jane Springer is the author of Genocide, part of the
Groundwork Guides series for which she is also the series editor.
She is a consultant in international development and has lived and
worked in Mozambique and India. She is the author of Listen to
Us: The World''s Working Children and translator of the
Portuguese-language books Nest Egg and Tales from the
Amazon. Jane Springer lives in Toronto.
About the Book
"Democracy" explains the rise of this form of government and how women and minorities struggled for and won democratic rights for themselves. In clear prose, author James Laxer relates the story of the replacement of Communist regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe by ostensibly democratic political systems. In some of these countries, he argues, democracy has flourished, while in others authoritarianism is on the rise. Showcasing examples from all over the world, the book examines the current status of democracy in both developed and developing nations. Throughout, Laxer demonstrates that democracy is about much more than the right to vote, warning readers that globalization and the widening gap between rich and poor threatens to weaken democracy and the vigor of democratic regimes -- even in countries where it has been long established. Only sustainable environmental policies and basic economic fairness, says Laxer, offer hope for democracy's survival.