Books > The Malaise of Democracy
Liberal democracy has a beautiful history, repeated in all languages: a history of freedom and progress, of infinite challenges to overcome and of individuals, groups and whole societies aspiring to a better world.
This common rhetoric of a "brilliant future" doesn't fit with the here and now of disorganized, disoriented political communities with ideological and partisan divisions that only seem to intensify with time, and a state of noise and confusion that threatens to break them into a thousand pieces. Why does this world we characterize as democratic and liberal suffer from this bipolar disorder,swinging from self-complacency to exasperation?
In this incisive and provocative essay, Víctor Pérez-Díaz explores the generalized malaise in liberal democracies and warns of the need to find out if, in this current moment of disorder, these societies are sufficiently prepared to face their representative and existential problems, and seeks out the root of their difficulties in doing so.
Translated by Julie Scales
(Madrid, Spain, 1938). He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University and has taught Political Science at Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, San Diego, and the Institut d'Études Politiques in Paris. He has been a fellow at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study and Directeur d'Études Associé at the École des Hautes Études in Paris. He is currently the Sociology Chair at the Complutense University of Madrid, head of the Analistas Socio-Políticos Gabinete de Estudios, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academia Europea.