The Future of Freedom
Book

The Future of Freedom

Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad

W.W. Norton, 2003 more...

Editorial Rating

9

Qualities

  • Innovative

Recommendation

This is a great example of a highly acclaimed book that actually deserves its reputation. Author Fareed Zakaria’s refreshing perspective explains the political and economic world in a new way. He tackles political theory with bright witty style, so you barely notice that you are traveling through intellectually dense presentations on the distinctions between democracy and liberalism, how to rechannel Islamic fundamentalism, the problem with lobbying, the decline of American political parties and the end of authoritarianism. Zakaria clarifies many of the problems relating to the downside of democracy by providing an innovative perspective on the world’s most serious problems. In this creative, well-researched and thought-provoking volume, he addresses economics, politics and social institutions around the globe. getAbstract.com highly recommends this exceptional book, which is packed with informative, provocative material. Corporate leaders and managers who are interested in the future of liberal democracy and the challenges facing modern society should read every page.

Summary

Rethinking Democracy

"Democracy," which means "the rule of the people," has been the most powerful political trend over the last 100 years. In 1900, no country in the world allowed all of its citizens (regardless of gender, race, land ownership or other criteria) to vote in open elections. But, by 2004, 119 countries could be classified as democracies. Today, the global movement toward "democratization" is continuing as power is being pushed down the political hierarchy. The democratization trend included the flattening of hierarchies, the growing transparency of organizational systems and the distribution of economic power to a wider group of people.

The power behind the forcefulness of democratization can be traced to technology, wealth, the expanding middle class, the elimination of communism and the rise of America. However, technology alone is not a powerful singular force in fostering democracy. During the 1920s, when radio and movies were becoming more popular, power was centralized. This form of centralized power meant that information could be controlled. The Internet has dissipated this control even further. Today, democratization in the cultural realm rests...

About the Author

Fareed Zakaria is the editor of Newsweek International and a political analyst for ABC News. He was managing editor of Foreign Affairs for eight years. Yale- and Harvard-educated, he is the author of From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America’s World Role and co-editor of The American Encounter. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Yorker and Slate.com.


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