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In Defence of Democracy
By Roslyn Fuller
Published By


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


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.


“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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  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.

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