website statistics The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure

Availability: Ready to download

"[A] brave and necessary book . . . Anyone interested in the future of liberal democracy, in the US or anywhere else, should read this book." --Anne Applebaum "A convincing, humane, and hopeful guide to the present and future by one of our foremost democratic thinkers." --George Packer "A rare thing: [an] academic treatise . . . that may actually have influence in the a "[A] brave and necessary book . . . Anyone interested in the future of liberal democracy, in the US or anywhere else, should read this book." --Anne Applebaum "A convincing, humane, and hopeful guide to the present and future by one of our foremost democratic thinkers." --George Packer "A rare thing: [an] academic treatise . . . that may actually have influence in the arena of practical politics. . . . Passionate and personal." --Joe Klein, New York Times Book Review From one of our sharpest and most important political thinkers, a brilliant big-picture vision of the greatest challenge of our time--how to bridge the bitter divides within diverse democracies enough for them to remain stable and functional Some democracies are highly homogeneous. Others have long maintained a brutal racial or religious hierarchy, with some groups dominating and exploiting others. Never in history has a democracy succeeded in being both diverse and equal, treating members of many different ethnic or religious groups fairly. And yet achieving that goal is now central to the democratic project in countries around the world. It is, Yascha Mounk argues, the greatest experiment of our time. Drawing on history, social psychology, and comparative politics, Mounk examines how diverse societies have long suffered from the ills of domination, fragmentation, or structured anarchy. So it is hardly surprising that most people are now deeply pessimistic that different groups might be able to integrate in harmony, celebrating their differences without essentializing them. But Mounk shows us that the past can offer crucial insights for how to do better in the future. There is real reason for hope. It is up to us and the institutions we build whether different groups will come to see each other as enemies or friends, as strangers or compatriots. To make diverse democracies endure, and even thrive, we need to create a world in which our ascriptive identities come to matter less--not because we ignore the injustices that still characterize the United States and so many other countries around the world, but because we have succeeded in addressing them. The Great Experiment is that rare book that offers both a profound understanding of an urgent problem and genuine hope for our human capacity to solve it. As Mounk contends, giving up on the prospects of building fair and thriving diverse democracies is simply not an option--and that is why we must strive to realize a more ambitious vision for the future of our societies.


Compare

"[A] brave and necessary book . . . Anyone interested in the future of liberal democracy, in the US or anywhere else, should read this book." --Anne Applebaum "A convincing, humane, and hopeful guide to the present and future by one of our foremost democratic thinkers." --George Packer "A rare thing: [an] academic treatise . . . that may actually have influence in the a "[A] brave and necessary book . . . Anyone interested in the future of liberal democracy, in the US or anywhere else, should read this book." --Anne Applebaum "A convincing, humane, and hopeful guide to the present and future by one of our foremost democratic thinkers." --George Packer "A rare thing: [an] academic treatise . . . that may actually have influence in the arena of practical politics. . . . Passionate and personal." --Joe Klein, New York Times Book Review From one of our sharpest and most important political thinkers, a brilliant big-picture vision of the greatest challenge of our time--how to bridge the bitter divides within diverse democracies enough for them to remain stable and functional Some democracies are highly homogeneous. Others have long maintained a brutal racial or religious hierarchy, with some groups dominating and exploiting others. Never in history has a democracy succeeded in being both diverse and equal, treating members of many different ethnic or religious groups fairly. And yet achieving that goal is now central to the democratic project in countries around the world. It is, Yascha Mounk argues, the greatest experiment of our time. Drawing on history, social psychology, and comparative politics, Mounk examines how diverse societies have long suffered from the ills of domination, fragmentation, or structured anarchy. So it is hardly surprising that most people are now deeply pessimistic that different groups might be able to integrate in harmony, celebrating their differences without essentializing them. But Mounk shows us that the past can offer crucial insights for how to do better in the future. There is real reason for hope. It is up to us and the institutions we build whether different groups will come to see each other as enemies or friends, as strangers or compatriots. To make diverse democracies endure, and even thrive, we need to create a world in which our ascriptive identities come to matter less--not because we ignore the injustices that still characterize the United States and so many other countries around the world, but because we have succeeded in addressing them. The Great Experiment is that rare book that offers both a profound understanding of an urgent problem and genuine hope for our human capacity to solve it. As Mounk contends, giving up on the prospects of building fair and thriving diverse democracies is simply not an option--and that is why we must strive to realize a more ambitious vision for the future of our societies.

30 review for The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stetson

    If the great experiment is to be truly successful, it must offer a realistic account of human nature and be honest about the injustices of the past. But it must also be unapologetically sanguine about the possibility that members of different groups can pull together to build fair and thriving democracies whose members share a sense of common purpose. The Great Experiment by Yascha Mounk is a brief argument (see above quote) for maintaining and strengthening the system of liberal democracy in inc If the great experiment is to be truly successful, it must offer a realistic account of human nature and be honest about the injustices of the past. But it must also be unapologetically sanguine about the possibility that members of different groups can pull together to build fair and thriving democracies whose members share a sense of common purpose. The Great Experiment by Yascha Mounk is a brief argument (see above quote) for maintaining and strengthening the system of liberal democracy in increasingly diverse (in ethnic, religious, and ideological dimensions) Western countries, especially the United States. Mounk's book has a tripartite structure. First, he describes the challenges that face diverse societies then responds to the questions that these challenges provoke. Finally, he concludes with some reasons for optimism and policy prescriptions. Mounk's writing is accessible though maybe overly simplistic. Nonetheless, he succinctly provides a traditional center-left position on liberal governance with some idiosyncratic heterodoxies mixed in. These philosophical divergences include Mounk's foundational view of human nature, which is admittedly Hobbesian, his acknowledgement of the stickiness of identitarian/tribal psychology, and his rejection of the "demography is destiny" hypothesis. These idiosyncrasies make the work more interesting because for any reader versed in college-level political philosophy the work will largely feel like well-organized normie platitudes. Mounk's work fits neatly at the replacement-level into the ongoing public discourse concerning the status and fate of liberalism in diverse societies. It is an incredibly competitive publishing space with many provocative and erudite options: Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam, Coming Apart by Charles Murray, Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen, Why Liberalism Works by Deidre McCloskey, Suicide of the West by Jonah Goldberg, The Narrow Corridor by Daron Acemoğlu and James A. Robinson, Liberalism and Its Discontents by Francis Fukuyama, etc. Relative to the works just listed, this book benefits from being designed for a broader (more popular) audience. Don't let the long bibliography and notes section convince you otherwise. Generally, these notes do also serve as a satisfactory reference for digging deeper into the issues Mounk raises, which I would recommend. Despite the clarity and accessibility, The Great Experiment suffers a bit from an uneven tone and unnecessary personal color passages that add little to the overall work. This detracts from the gravity of work and makes some of the claims seem irresolute, ambivalent, or thoughtlessly optimistic. This with the fact that much of the work contains predictably center-left liberal arguments or recycles the works of others, underscores that this book could probably be boiled down to a pamphlet-type essay (though obviously economic and attention incentives compel book length works). Clones of Mounk's perspective are easy to access across numerous platforms, including his own, Persuasion. There are of course some silly policy prescriptions in the book (again, sort of made off-the-cuff near the end) and other things I have political, philosophical, or descriptive quibbles with but these aren't things that should get in the way of reading and enjoying it. The Great Experiment makes for a decent read for a high school or college level student with little prior background in political philosophy but still has general interests in civics. *Disclosure: I received this as an ARC through NetGalley. Links to Podcast Interview with Yascha Mounk (more to come I'm sure) Yascha Mounk on Making Diverse Democracies Work -> https://www.persuasion.community/p/mo... Yascha Mounk: The Most Dangerous Idea in American Politics -> https://www.thebulwark.com/podcast-ep... The Lawfare Podcast: Yascha Mounk on the Future of Diverse Democracies -> https://www.lawfareblog.com/lawfare-p...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chris Boutté

    This was the first book I’ve read from Yascha Mounk, and I’m a fan. This was a really interesting book with a fresh take on issues going on in the United States as well as other democratic countries. Yascha Mounk starts by telling the story about how he was speaking somewhere and said “The Great Experiment” isn’t working, and he got some backlash. Basically, he discusses how the diversity of all these different cultures mixing together leads to problems we never really considered or planned for, This was the first book I’ve read from Yascha Mounk, and I’m a fan. This was a really interesting book with a fresh take on issues going on in the United States as well as other democratic countries. Yascha Mounk starts by telling the story about how he was speaking somewhere and said “The Great Experiment” isn’t working, and he got some backlash. Basically, he discusses how the diversity of all these different cultures mixing together leads to problems we never really considered or planned for, and this is still kind of new. As a psychology nerd, what I really liked was how Mounk starts out by explaining how we’re naturally tribal and the research that explains why that is like the minimal group paradigm research. He then dives into a ton of different issues we face while also providing stories from around the world, which educated me quite a bit and let me know that this isn’t uniquely American. Many of the issues he discusses and his diagnosis were some things I haven’t considered, so it was pretty enlightening. Finally, I think he ended the book incredibly. He discussed the “chapter 10 dilemma”, which is when authors tackle big issues and big ideas in a book, but there aren’t easy fixes. So, he lays out some ideas that are pretty well thought out. Overall, I highly recommend the book, and I’ll probably start reading some more of his stuff soon.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    I've read a lot of books about democracy in the past year and this is one of my favorites, because it is realistic, practical and hopeful. My intention is to read it a second time soon. I've read a lot of books about democracy in the past year and this is one of my favorites, because it is realistic, practical and hopeful. My intention is to read it a second time soon.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Steele

    Very glad I found this positive and clever book. Wide-ranging and thoughtful (such a nice change to find a writer who’s as comfortable talking about Europe as America) with lots of solid examples of the pitfalls and potential of how society might succeed in the future. To boil it down, success will depend on a combination of fairness, representation, participation, gratitude and all stakeholders letting go of the resentments of the past. I would suggest the latter will be the most difficult. Mounk Very glad I found this positive and clever book. Wide-ranging and thoughtful (such a nice change to find a writer who’s as comfortable talking about Europe as America) with lots of solid examples of the pitfalls and potential of how society might succeed in the future. To boil it down, success will depend on a combination of fairness, representation, participation, gratitude and all stakeholders letting go of the resentments of the past. I would suggest the latter will be the most difficult. Mounk is careful to avoid taking sides while giving fair representation to both (or all) sides of complex issues, and to spell out viable blueprints for how working solutions might be found. I got this on audiobook, but found it so useful as a reference companion that I’ve since downloaded the kindle version.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

    3.5 stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Izzy

    Review of the Great Experiment by yascha Mounck I read the first nine chapters closely looking forward to the 10th which would explain Yascha’s reasons for optimism, despite the dismal dilemmas facing so many democracies at the current time….unfortunately, he delivers only the pious optimism that the “fake” demographic dilemma- replacement of the majority white by a majority minority may not ever occur, because of self identification as “white” of many of the offspring of increasingly frequent mi Review of the Great Experiment by yascha Mounck I read the first nine chapters closely looking forward to the 10th which would explain Yascha’s reasons for optimism, despite the dismal dilemmas facing so many democracies at the current time….unfortunately, he delivers only the pious optimism that the “fake” demographic dilemma- replacement of the majority white by a majority minority may not ever occur, because of self identification as “white” of many of the offspring of increasingly frequent mixed marriages, as well as by many Latinos. The book is a good companion to Pankaj Mishra’s Age of Anger, but I wasn’t convinced of the basis for the optimism which Mounck espouses for the future of democracies, much as I would like to…..

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Laliberte

    I enjoyed this book for it gave some constructive insights into how we can work together to develop a unified democracy, even with all the chaos that we currently are dealing with. I wish Mr. Mounk would have addressed the concept of TRUTH. I believe he only mentioned it in passing. Truth is fundamental for our relationships, let alone our democracy. We have for the past 6+ years lived in a world where falsehoods - flat our lies! - have become the norm for governing, for some. This is unacceptabl I enjoyed this book for it gave some constructive insights into how we can work together to develop a unified democracy, even with all the chaos that we currently are dealing with. I wish Mr. Mounk would have addressed the concept of TRUTH. I believe he only mentioned it in passing. Truth is fundamental for our relationships, let alone our democracy. We have for the past 6+ years lived in a world where falsehoods - flat our lies! - have become the norm for governing, for some. This is unacceptable. Even with this omission, it is a worthwhile read. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mike Horne

    Lots of stuff I agree with and others I disagree with. And then stuff I don't know the answer to. Two take aways. I. How you personally can stop our diverse democracy from falling apart Don't believe something just because it is the opposite of your enemy. Criticize your own side. Don't ridicule or vilify; engage and persuade. II. The liberal democracy based on Thomas Hobbes and John Locke places the individual and their liberties as basic building blocks of society and politics. Yet men are politica Lots of stuff I agree with and others I disagree with. And then stuff I don't know the answer to. Two take aways. I. How you personally can stop our diverse democracy from falling apart Don't believe something just because it is the opposite of your enemy. Criticize your own side. Don't ridicule or vilify; engage and persuade. II. The liberal democracy based on Thomas Hobbes and John Locke places the individual and their liberties as basic building blocks of society and politics. Yet men are political animals. They are born into families, religious tribes, societies. The Lockean liberalism does not seem to “deal” with the communitarian nature of man. “An even bigger problem is that such a communitarian conception would, even as it seemingly protects people from persecution and allows them to be true to their inherited identity, make it impossible for them to chart their own course through life. Individuals who do not agree with the customs of the communities into which they were born would, on the model of diverse democracy advocated by Kukathas and his allies, be left at the mercy of an oppressive cage of norms. States that conceive of themselves as a mere "association of associations" have no apparent justification for interfering in the internal affairs of these groups. This means that they would have to stand aside when groups fail to tolerate internal dissent, render their children incapable of living a self-determined life, or stop those who want to strike out on their own from exiting the “group.” “On the liberal view, diverse democracies are constituted by a broad variety of individuals, not a set of groups. They should be committed to protecting the core freedoms of these individuals. And so it seems straightforward that a just democracy has a legitimate reason, and even an obligation, to step in when ethnic or religious groups attempt to coerce their own members.”

  9. 5 out of 5

    Roland Glotzer

    This book which is a plea for democracy is good in its intentions but was too basic and superficial for me. I would recommend the book to anyone interested in understanding the pros and cons of inclusive democratic regimes in an environment confronted with inequality, immigration, terrorism, racism, etc..with no prior knowledge of the topics. However for anyone with some understanding of these challenges and the history that led to them, the book will appear to be very basic.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Serge

    A much more optimistic book than I expected with practical recommendations for creating coalitions that can sustain civic virtue in the face of authoritarian populism. I found his description of structured anarchy convincing and never before fathomed that there could be something more pernicious than the war of all against all. Did not see the Manu Chao love coming at the end of book. I am a fan.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sid Groeneman

    Yascha Mount is a professor of the practice of international relations at Johns Hopkins University and regular contributor to The Atlantic magazine. Born in Germany after his mother earlier fled anti-Semitism in Poland, he came to the U.S. as a Ph.D. student at Harvard after getting his B.A. at Cambridge. As someone who has lived in five countries and spent considerable time in ten others, Mounk is well-equipped to take on this ambitious analysis. A superficial assessment might pan the book as a Yascha Mount is a professor of the practice of international relations at Johns Hopkins University and regular contributor to The Atlantic magazine. Born in Germany after his mother earlier fled anti-Semitism in Poland, he came to the U.S. as a Ph.D. student at Harvard after getting his B.A. at Cambridge. As someone who has lived in five countries and spent considerable time in ten others, Mounk is well-equipped to take on this ambitious analysis. A superficial assessment might pan the book as an unimaginative naive application of philosophical liberalism, laced with optimistic invocations of empathy toward minorites, greater economic equality, tolerance of outgroups, making it easier for previously excluded groups to vote, social integration, and so forth. But this would be wrong and a disservice to Mounk. For one thing, he states (and illustrates) from the outset the hard-headed view that people are naturally drawn to identify with and join groups of others like themselves and easily prone to discriminate against others based on race, class, religion, and nation. In addition, he is just as critical toward the left's tendency to double-down on minority groups' supposed interests and values over accommodation and compromise with the majority. In so doing, he convincingly debunks the fashionable "demography is destiny"concept. Mounk also takes down two other popular ideas--commutarianism and consociational democracy, both of which focus on power-sharing among a nation's minority groups--as inadequate long-term solutions because they (1) do little to promote a common identity across groups (vital for a diverse democracy to thrive), and (2) do not address the within-group "cage of norms" that can oppress those unwilling to fully conform to the strictures inside their group. But integrating formerly excluded segments by getting them to embrace even some of the majority culture in the quest of a common identity is a difficult process. Similarly for the majority to accept the newly emergent and immigrant populations who they perceive threaten their way of life. Citing real progress that has been made, Mounk admits to being more optimistic than is currently fashionable. The concluding chapters contains a list of sage but incremental actions and policies to help diverse democracies succeed. These include shared economic growth, universal social welfare programs (not aimed at specific minority groups), electoral reforms (open primaries, rank voting, making it easier to vote), maintaining border security, mandatory national service, and, last but not least, getting out of your bubble. The Great Experiment offers a refreshing intermediate perspective between radical overhaul of the system from the left or return to an earlier time from the right, on the one hand, and political despair that things will not change. But as Mounk is quick to admit, it does not contain a formula likely to produce meaningful progress in the short term.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Rumeau

    Yasha Mounk embarked on an ambitious topic when he decided to write this book. I think he did a pretty good job at describing how democracies are dealing with their countries becoming more and more diverse. The task of trying to summarize that among all democracies seemed like a taunting job when I first started reading it, however he efficiently provides an overview and chooses to illustrate his points by picking examples here and there. Sometimes I feel like he used the United States a bit too Yasha Mounk embarked on an ambitious topic when he decided to write this book. I think he did a pretty good job at describing how democracies are dealing with their countries becoming more and more diverse. The task of trying to summarize that among all democracies seemed like a taunting job when I first started reading it, however he efficiently provides an overview and chooses to illustrate his points by picking examples here and there. Sometimes I feel like he used the United States a bit too much. I like his optimistic outlook because I mostly concur with him. The last chapter is about policies that could improve “the great experiment.” This is the section I disagreed the most with him. He focuses too much on the United States, and most of his policies are just Democrats talking points that frankly seem irrelevant to the topic at end. At one point he is talking about DC statehood and voting rights. I failed to understand how that would harmonize a more diverse society. I do agree with trying to secure the borders as people would feel they have more input on who can come to their countries, and probably be more welcoming. But when you have people like Angela Merkel deciding on her own who can come their country with barely any input from the people that doesn’t seem very Democratic, and therefore that makes people less accepting of foreigners. Overall though I thought that was a good book on a controversial topic.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kendra Ramada

    This made me really re-think how I approach politics and how I think about American political progress. I really appreciated the perspective and the wake up call. Well researched and well stated stuff.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    The crispest prose and most readable analysis Clearest non-fiction prose in a long time. The scope of country and historical examples is good even if the theme is unavoidably IS centric. Read alongside How To Be Anti -Racist

  15. 5 out of 5

    Robert D

    Incredibly well written an readable. The next few years will be incredibly challenging and the outcome of our experiment is far from assured. A very good primer on how we could and should approach our future.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ben Edwards

    This one really made me think, challenged my worldview, and gave me a dash of hope for the future. I recommend this for anyone who really values diverse democracy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    3 stars. I refer you to two Goodreads reviews which I agree closely with: Izzy dated May 24, 2022 and Roland Glotzer dated May 6, 2022.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stephan Winter

  19. 4 out of 5

    James

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ava

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Guster

  22. 5 out of 5

    Philip Bolger

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sheerwan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mark E

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne Abelsæth

  26. 5 out of 5

    Koen Bruning

  27. 5 out of 5

    Perrichon Florent

  28. 5 out of 5

    Judson Neer

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephen King

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gary Kinsman

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...