Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

Authoritarian Contagion

The Global Threat to Democracy

By Luke Cooper

Published

Jun 23, 2021

Page count

160 pages

ISBN

978-1529217797

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Jun 23, 2021

Page count

160 pages

ISBN

978-1529217803

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Jun 23, 2021

Page count

160 pages

ISBN

978-1529217803

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Authoritarian Contagion

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.

"An excellent and engaging book that traces the drift towards authoritarianism haunting so many societies across the globe in the 21st century. In the midst of warning us about coming dangers, Luke Cooper also reminds us of the emancipatory potential the power of democracy can still hold." Dr Kojo Koram, Birkbeck College, University of London

"A vital and compelling read. Luke Cooper warns that the struggle between democrats and authoritarians is far from over. In fact, it will define our politics for decades still to come." Paul Mason, author of Postcapitalism

"A readable, fascinating and stimulating book. The concept of authoritarian protectionism offers a new conceptual framework through which to understand the contemporary spread of dangerous political phenomena." Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics and Political Science

"A chilling analysis of how authoritarian politics promising protection are becoming hegemonic across the globe, from their most strident forms, to their creeping normalization in ‘respectable’ politics. Required reading for our pandemic times." Luiza Bialasiewicz, University of Amsterdam

“A compelling analysis of the manifold threats currently facing pluralist democracies. As well as the excellent theoretical framing, the interviews allow the complex transformations of the socio-political landscape in Europe and beyond to be deconstructed. A must-read for graduate students and scholars alike." Ruth Wodak, Lancaster University

Luke Cooper is a consultant researcher based at LSE IDEAS, the foreign policy think tank at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was previously a Visiting Fellow on the Europe’s Futures programme at the IWM (Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna) and is currently researching European politics and the global rise of authoritarianism. He runs a podcast called the Another Europe is Possible Podcast, with Zoe Williams of The Guardian.

1. On the March

2. Them and Us

3. 'I Will Protect You'

4. Pandemic Politics

5. Sino-America

6. Authoritarian Futures?