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Anti-PluralismThe Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy$
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William A. Galston

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300228922

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300228922.001.0001

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Challenges to Liberal Democracy

Challenges to Liberal Democracy

(p.1) Introduction Challenges to Liberal Democracy

William A. Galston

Yale University Press

This introductory chapter discusses the challenges to liberal democracy, arguing that an explanation that places economics at the base and treats other issues as derivative distorts a more complex reality. Alongside economic difficulties, other problems weakened the foundation of popular support for established institutions since the Great Recession in 2007. Liberal democracy has two characteristic deformations. Elitists claim that they best understand the means to the public's ends and should be freed from the inconvenient necessity of popular consent. The result has been liberal democracy's other deformation: the rise of populist movements—and in several cases governments—across the West.

Keywords:   liberal democracy, economics, elitists, populists, public policy, liberal democratic governments

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