Democracy in Decline: Steps in the Wrong Direction

Democracy in Decline: Steps in the Wrong Direction


By (author) Allan James

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  • Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 168 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 231mm x 28mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 20 May 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Montreal
  • ISBN 10: 0773543503
  • ISBN 13: 9780773543508
  • Sales rank: 66,039

Product description

Part lament, part provocative call-to-action, Democracy in Decline charts how democracy is being diluted and restricted in five of the world's oldest democracies - the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. James Allan targets four main, interconnected causes of decline - judicial activism, the transformation and growth of international law, the development of supranational organizations, and the presence of undemocratic elites. He presents a convincing argument that the same trends are occurring whether the country has a constitutional bill of rights (United States and Canada), a statutory bill of rights (the United Kingdom and New Zealand), or no bill of rights at all (Australia). Identifying tactics used by lawyers, judges, and international bureaucrats to deny that any decline has occurred, Allan looks ahead to further deterioration caused by attacks on free speech, intolerant worldviews, internationalization through treaties and conventions, and illegal immigration. Social and political decisions, Allan argues, must be based on counting every adult in a nation state as equal. An essential book for anyone concerned with majority rule and fairness in numbers, Democracy in Decline presents a clear, well-stated account of trends that have been undermining democracy over three decades.

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Author information

James Allan is professor in the TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland.

Review quote

"Something very odd is going on. The core anglophone democracies - among the oldest, most stable, constitutionally-evolved societies on earth, and the indispensable members of that small group of western nations which resisted the totalitarian temptations of the 20th century - have been spending the first years of this new millennium in a remorseless retreat from liberty. In a commanding and trenchant analysis, James Allan examines this disturbing phenomenon, and the supple, slippery threats to real freedom and representative government from ersatz 'human rights' and transnationalism. This is an important book that charts free nations' beguiling seduction into soft tyranny. If we are to reverse it, we will need more voices like Professor Allan's." Mark Steyn, author of After America