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In Defence of Democracy
Fuller-hi-res
By Roslyn Fuller
Published By

Polity

ISBN 9781509533121
Fiction Genre Other
Publication Date 09/06/2019
Price 15.99
Paperback Hyperlink https://www.wiley.com/en-gb/In+Defence+of+Democracy-p-9781509533138
Hardcopy Hyperlink https://www.wiley.com/en-gb/In+Defence+of+Democracy-p-9781509533121
Ebook Hyperlink https://www.wiley.com/en-gb/In+Defence+of+Democracy-p-9781509533152

Synopsis

Should Brexit or Trump cause us to doubt our faith in democracy? Are ‘the people’ too ignorant or stupid to rule? Numerous commentators are seriously arguing that the answer to these questions might be ‘yes’.

In this take-no-prisoners book, Canadian-Irish author Roslyn Fuller kicks these anti-democrats where it hurts the most – the facts.

Fuller shows how many academics, journalists and politicians have embraced the idea that there can be ‘too much democracy’, and deftly unravels their attempts to end majority rule, whether through limiting the franchise, pursuing Chinese ‘meritocracy’ or confining participation to random legislation panels. She shows that Trump, Brexit or whatever other political event you may have disapproved of recently aren’t doing half the damage to democracy that elite self-righteousness and corruption are. In fact, argues Fuller, there are real reasons to be optimistic. Ancient methods can be combined with modern technology to revitalize democracy and allow the people to truly rule.

Authors Biography

Dr. Roslyn Fuller is the world’s foremost authority on applying ancient Athenian democratic principles to modern-day political institutions. After studying law in Germany and obtaining her PhD in International Law at Trinity College in Ireland, Dr. Fuller has worked as a university lecturer, advised NGOs on democratic innovation and now manages the Solonian Democracy Institute, where academics and practitioners from three continents work on creating the future of democracy.

The author of five books, Dr. Fuller is widely published in international media (e.g. The Nation, BBC, Forbes, Financial Times) and speaks at conferences around the world about empowering people through direct, digital democracy.

Reviews

“In Defence of Democracy offers us a preview of what democracy is about to become: much more representative, more direct, more digital, more local and transnational. A winning concept described by this winning writer.

Get it! Read it!”

Bruno Kaufmann
Democracy International

“In an era when, remarkably, the merits of democracy seem to be up for debate, it is invaluable to have so many of the arguments of the anti-democrats dispelled so comprehensively. If you’ve ever felt like you needed the arguments to defend the ability of the people to govern themselves, you’ll find what you need here.”

Robin McAlpine
Director of CommonWeal

“takes apart the pessimists’ arguments”
Washington Post

“a valuable guide”
LA Review of Books

“argues passionately in defence of democracy against the attack by the elites”
Catholic Herald

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55 Comments

  1. I can’t stress enough how important this book is right now. Not just for defending the principle of democracy at a time it’s under attack, but for expanding its practice fit for the 21st century. The next few years will be crucial for the future of democracy and Fuller’s writing needs to reach as wide an audience as possible.

  2. An important book. Deliberative & participative democracy is at a key stage of its evolution in many countries. Until recently, it’s been a positive, largely collaborative, gradual shift (over 50 years) towards improving the quantity & quality of democracy. More recently, it’s become a more competitive, factionalised, even corporatised ‘project’ with lots of interest groups.

    What was a highly transparent, accountable movement has sadly become characterised by misinformation, spin, and lobby groups; even political parties being formed with a manifesto to abolish elections (!) and replace them with sortition based citizens’ assemblies – and claiming this is an enhancement to democracy whilst effectively calling for removing citizens’ right to vote! The Suffragettes would turn in their grave!

    We all need to read widely (and listen , learn, apply a healthy critical eye) and make our own minds up. Roslyn Fuller’s book ‘In Defence of Democracy’ is definitely one to add to your reading list.

  3. Excellent work from Dr. Roslyn Fuller

  4. This book stands apart from so many of the “how to fix democracy” volumes now coming out–because it goes beyond just “fixing around the edges” (e.g. end money in politics, eliminate gerrymandering, extend the number of Supreme Court justices, etc).–and instead asks for a more radical transformation by translating the ancient Athenian model via technology to capture a more classical sense of true democracy. The more radical proposal deserves to be lifted up for the continuing debates now at hand.

  5. Thought provoking!

  6. Wonderfully thought provoking subject by Roslyn Fuller!

  7. A book with subject matter perfect for this current political climate… We’ll done Roslyn Fuller!

  8. Excellent book. Really well written, thought provoking and often entertaining. What more can you ask for?

  9. Perfect timing for this book. Highly recommended. Got get it!

  10. Truly brings home to us the cause and effect of what this is about. Should be on the New York Times Bestseller.

  11. Excellent book by Roslyn Fuller. Democracy is not the problem, its the abuses and the abusers of democracy that are the problems

  12. Excellent book by Roslyn Fuller. Democracy is not the problem, its the abuses and the abusers of democracy that are the problems

  13. This is an excellent work by Roslyn Fuller. Read it and then think of Trump’s efforts to destru the Will of the majority of Americans, not to think what’s happening here in Ireland today. I highly recommend it.

  14. Timely defence of democracy against elite corruption!

  15. Such an important and timely book at this juncture in our history. An accessible and expert primer on how to learn from the past in protecting and revitalising democracy.

  16. Great writing and crucial for our times

  17. No better authority to address this crucial matter the inimitable Dr. Fuller. In this age of ravings and lunacy wr must atone to, and follow these voices of reason. Congratulations.

  18. Fuller reminds us of the critical importance of citizens in holding public officials accountable for our democratic values.

  19. A significant contribution from Roslyn who actively takes part in the effort to enhance our democratic way of governing ourselves. Although we need ensure that our electoral processes are reliable, valid and resilient, we also need to see to it that we also enhance the checks and balances to limit the scope for excess (or action or inertia) by the powerful -be they elected or appointed, public or private, local/regional/national/transnational.

  20. A strong argument, well presented, very topical. The timing of the publication makes this book a “must” for those who are interested in the course, and above all the protection and preservation of democracy.

  21. Democratic principles have long been touted as the champion advocate of human societies. However, recent events especially in the so-called established democracies have revealed the flaws in some of these assumptions. There is no running from the truth. Democracies are encountering problems and totalitarianism seems set to become fashionable if the trend continues. The honest questions to be confronted are whether there are inherent inadequacies in our democratic standards. What with the increasing polarization in our political terrain? Are the perceived inadequacies in democratic ideals a reflection of innate human deficiencies? These and more are the questions that Roslyn Fuere’s book attempts to tackle head-on.

  22. Democratic principles have long been touted as the champion advocate of human societies. However, recent events especially in the so-called established democracies have revealed the flaws in some of these assumptions. There is no running from the truth. Democracies are encountering problems and totalitarianism seems set to become fashionable if the trend continues. The honest questions to be confronted are whether there are inherent inadequacies in our democratic standards. What with the increasing polarization in our political terrain? Are the perceived inadequacies in democratic ideals a reflection of innate human deficiencies? These and more are the questions that Roslyn Fuller’s book attempts to tackle head-on.

  23. A book that is timely, relevant and important, given the increasing pressures being but on democratic systems and principles right across the world.

  24. This book is especially relevant given the current political climate. A great contribution to the subject.

  25. An important book for our time and the future.

  26. An important book

  27. Fine piece of literary work.
    Very relevant in the current world political discourse.

    Valid contributions to the political discourse.

  28. I strongly endorse Roslyn Fuller and In Defence of Democracy!

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  32. Roslyn is able to see where we are going because she’s taken the time to understand how we got to where we are, and where we lost ourselves along the way.

    In Defence of Democracy is an important book at a critical time in the evolution of democracy. Roslyn makes the case for bringing citizens back into decision-making – and on this matter, not only do I agree – I think it’s a critical requirement to correct our current trajectory.

  33. Najwazniejsza rzecza jest, aby cieszyc sie swoim zyciem – byc szczesliwym – tylko to sie liczy. – Audrey Hepburn

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  35. Kto zycia nie ceni, nie wart go. – Leonardo da Vinci

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  46. A book focused on a crucial issue for the present and the future. I think that both democracy and voting as pillars of our society are too often taken for granted, but precisely because they are simply “written on paper” without a constant popular support they can be easily emptied of their effective power to “guarantee democracy”. In a digital age, I ask to myself where are the digital platforms for the contact between citizens & politics. Not only to receive one-way information or to post comments that can be filtered, but where a real turnover of power positions is generated, together with civic engagement on the local areas. Where are the tools for mass participation in digital democracy which are key factors for transparency and sharing of strategic information? In my opinion, Roslyn Fuller has proved to be a great critical thinker over the years, a person who is worth supporting. This due to her background, number of activities, acute observations that present the reader with the bigger picture and trends towards which such important issues are heading. These are my reasons for voting her new book today.

  47. Dr. Fuller’s work provides important resistance to the mounting trend towards authoritarianism. Absent such, we will soon witness a renaissance of the Dark Ages, where critical thinking becomes the antithesis of institutionally driven culture.

  48. Rosalyn what a wonderful synopsis of the true picture of what democracy is all about. Great job 👏🏽, am really impressed with your writings, they have always been phenomenal👌

  49. Rosalyn what a wonderful synopsis of the true picture of what democracy is all about. Great job 👏🏽, am really impressed with your writings, they have always been phenomenal👌

  50. Fuller captured it well with this title. “In Defence Of Democracy “.we must defend Democracy at all cost. Your synopsis says it all. Good job Fuller

  51. Great book written by Dr. Fuller. In this age where Democracy and its principles are being misused, this is a welcoming book teaching us the core facts of Democracy and its real essence.

  52. Great book when written

  53. A punchy and polemical defence of democracy that wears its learning lightly but tackles the arguments in detail and head-on. A sadly necessary contribution in these increasingly anti-democratic times.

  54. We really need to think deeply about democracy. This book helps us to do that

  55. Please keep up your great work Roslyn. Old patterns are breaking down. In time we will have a phase-transition to Self-Organisation, but work of this nature is essential to facilitating this transition.

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