Cover: A World of Insecurity: Democratic Disenchantment in Rich and Poor Countries, from Harvard University PressCover: A World of Insecurity in HARDCOVER

A World of Insecurity

Democratic Disenchantment in Rich and Poor Countries

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$27.95 • £24.95 • €25.95

ISBN 9780674259843

Publication Date: 10/18/2022

Academic Trade

240 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


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Situating American Trumpism within a global story of the rise of antidemocratic politics in other big, diverse countries like Brazil and India,…[Bardhan] presents a sober contemplation of demagogues like Jair Bolsonaro and Narendra Modi, who weaken democracy with the support of disaffected electoral majorities.—Alexander Burns, New York Review of Books

[Bardhan] proposes that liberalism’s ethical principles—its normative claims—are still as palpable today in our present historical circumstances, in the political ruins we call neoliberalism and populism, as they were at their origin in the seventeenth century.—James Livingston, Project Syndicate

Not poverty, not inequality, but insecurity is at the root of the worldwide upsurge in populism and disenchantment with democracy. This is the main message of A World of Insecurity…[Bardhan’s] impressively comprehensive, richly informed and balanced book.—Philippe Van Parijs, Brussels Times

Bardhan’s contribution to a growing body of literature on the phenomenon of disenchantment is particularly welcome as it not only contains piercing commentaries and fresh insights but also offers some workable solutions to this conundrum… The book hands us a great opportunity to bridge the widening gap between intellectual rigour and popular opinion.—Iman Kumar Mitra, Telegraph India

In his bold new book [Bardhan] explains the rise of authoritarianism, in many cases driven, as he says, by populist demagogues—leaders who claim to embody the popular will and who, though they may emerge in formal democracies, then trample upon the rules and institutions of representative government.—John Harriss, Today’s Totalitarianism

An accessible book, challenging but with impressive and topical examples.—Christine Shields, Society of Professional Economists

Wide-ranging… Policy makers, labor activists, and economists will find much to chew on.Publishers Weekly

In this important book, Pranab Bardhan explores how and why the insecurities of our age have metastasized into our democratic institutions. These cancers on democracy block the cooperation necessary for solution of all other major problems. Thus, they are arguably the most consequential developments of our times.—George Akerlof, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics

Pranab Bardhan is one of the wisest social scientists writing today, and the hallmarks of his writing are parsimony, clarity, and the depth of ideas. Indeed, the ratio of ideas to pages is among the highest in our field. A World of Insecurity is a panoramic book weaving together an analysis of the current economic and political crisis, acutely discussed by a master political economist.—John Roemer, Yale University

A World of Insecurity is an outstanding work. Bardhan tackles hard questions without illusions but also without becoming disillusioned.—Samuel Bowles, Santa Fe Institute, author of The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens

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