Is Democracy Failing? A Primer for the 21st Century


Part of Thames & Hudson’s innovative new ‘Big Idea’ series, this book explores and interrogates each form of democracy and questions whether it remains fit for purpose today. 

Only four countries around the world do not currently define themselves as democracies, but many more do not fulfil the four basic requirements of democracy. Since 2015, populist politicians have been on the rise in the West. Is populism the new face of democracy? Is democracy simply the will of the people? Can any existing government claim to be truly democratic? 

Is Democracy Failing? interrogates contemporary forms of democracy and questions whether they remain fit for purpose today. 

Contents List: 

Introduction • 1. The Evolution of Democracy • 2. How Democracy Works • 3. The Limits of Democracy • 4. The Challenge to Democracy • Conclusion. 


ISBN: 9780500293652. 

Publication Date: September 2018. 

Format: Paperback. 

Pages: 144. 

Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2cm. 


Niheer Dasandi is a lecturer at the School of Government and Society at the University of Birmingham. He completed his doctorate in Political Science at UCL in 2013, before which he spent two years working for the United Nations Development Programme. His research interests broadly focus on the politics of developing countries and the international political economy.

Matthew Taylor is Chief Executive of the RSA, a 250-year old British institution devoted to enriching society through ideas and action to deliver a 21st-century enlightenment. A writer, public speaker and broadcaster, he has written widely on policy, politics, public service reform and cultural theory, and frequently appears on Newsnight, The Daily Politics, and Radio 4’s Today and The Moral Maze. He was previously General Secretary and Chief Executive of the Institute for Public Policy Research, Britain’s leading think tank.