Francis Fukuyama, Liberalism and Its Discontents (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022)
Stein Ringen, How Democracies Live: Power, Statecraft, and Freedom in Modern Societies (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022)
Reviewing two recent books, Francis Fukuyama’s Liberalism and Its Discontents and Stein Ringen’s How Democracies Live: Power, Statecraft, and Freedom in Modern Societies, this article explores their respective diagnoses of the current crisis of democracy and their proposed solutions. It shows that, while similar in method and intent, the two works diverge on crucial analytical and policy issues. By putting them in conversation, and bringing out these telling differences, the article seeks to clarify the urgent questions that face Western democracies today and the challenges of addressing them.