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Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy Hardcover – Sep 30 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Sept. 30 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374227357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374227357
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 5.2 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

“Straightforward and sensible . . . Fukuyama is nothing if not ambitious.” ―Sheri Berman, The New York Times Book Review

“It is not often that a 600-page work of political science ends with a cliffhanger. But the first volume of Francis Fukuyama's epic two-part account of what makes political societies work, published three years ago, left the big question unanswered . . . Political Order and Political Decay is his answer . . . Fukuyama's wealth of insights [are] worthy of the greatest writers about democracy.” ―David Runciman, Financial Times

Political Order and Political Decay is a courageous book by an author at the peak of his analytical and literary powers. This project started as an attempt to rewrite and update Samuel Huntington's classic Political Order in Changing Societies, published in 1968. Yet Fukuyama has what Huntington sorely lacked, namely the ability to communicate complex ideas through engaging prose. He's both a perceptive political analyst and a wonderful storyteller. Clearly, something has indeed gone haywire in our world: Serious political science is not supposed to be so enjoyable.” ―Gerard de Groot, The Washington Post

“[A] monumental study [that] rest[s] on an astonishing body of learning.” ―The Economist

“Fukuyama has been both a policy maker and adviser . . . His latest opus [seeks] to clarify the fundamental problems of political order.” ―David Polansky, Wall Street Journal

“Fukuyama's brilliant work on political orders [is] cogent, clear, and often intellectually thrilling account of the development of the state . . . There is simply no way to do full justice in a review.” ―Zach Dorfman, The Los Angeles Review of Books

“This and the earlier volume, viewed as a single work, will remain vital contributions to the literature on democracy and government for some time to come.” ―Earl Pike, Plain Dealer

“Fukuyama has succeeded in proving, with a formidable display of erudition, that anyone who wants to reform American democracy had better start by reading his latest book.” ―Michael Ignatieff, The Atlantic

“Learned and lucid, Political Order and Political Decay is jam-packed with insights about political development.” ―Glenn C. Altschuler, San Francisco Chronicle

“This bold political scientist limns the transformation of societies politically galvanized by eighteenth-century revolutions and financially enriched by nineteenth-century industry . . . Strikingly ambitious and provocative.” ―Booklist (starred review)

“[Fukuyama's] superb synthesis of political science and history will be useful to experts as well as students and laypeople.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Th[is] deeply engaged political scientist offers a compelling historical overview . . . Systematic, thorough and even hopeful fodder for reform-minded political observers.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

About the Author

Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He has previously taught at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and at the George Mason University School of Public Policy. Fukuyama was a researcher at the RAND Corporation and served as the deputy director for the State Department's policy planning staff. He is the author of The Origins of Political Order, The End of History and the Last Man, Trust, and America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy. He lives with his wife in California.


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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second of a very comprehensive study of the development of political states; this one from the French Revolution to the breakdown that is obvious in the US. The first volume dealt with the development of the political state virtually from cave-man days to the French Revolution. I find it fascinating that a state that started in a revolution and seriously structured its constitution to divide powers and avoid what Madison thought was the tyranny of the Crown now has its own tyranny of the courts and the elite parties that seek their way by litigation. The Parliamentary system and its administrative departments are far more flexible and the tyranny that the Constitutional fathers sought has been largely eliminated by the development of a more thorough democracy in the senior members of the Commonwealth family (Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc) and the most of the European democracies where most of the problems are solved by negotiations with administrative departments, not by reference to the courts.

These books are exhaustively thorough and well written, although I do find some of the language too preciously academic - I am a believer in plain words.

These two books should be on the subject reading lists or seminar material for both undergraduate and graduate courses in Public Administration - and also in American law schools so they can see how their system can easily be screwed up.

While the author seeks common structural features of a mature democratic state, he does not use his analysis to predict how a particular state will develop but does find other structural fault lines which explain why certain countries are failed states (Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc).

His outlook for the USA is not bright unless they pull their socks up.
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By Vlad Thelad TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Nov. 29 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book as a whole, for which this is the second and final volume, is an extraordinary intellectual contribution which can hardly be boxed within the confinements of a given academic discipline. Fukuyama himself defies labelling, (albeit in my books that is part of what defines a genuine liberal thinker). This monumental book is the benchmark an academic text should aim for. It is a very readable, clearly structured work, an overall consistent unit out of which each chapter could be taken separately as the starting point of an enriching debate. This is a compendium of ideas with the depth of analysis and thoughts expected from someone of Fukuyama’s intellectual stature. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This should be required reading for all interested in political theory. His dissection of the ills of the US constitution is precise and devastating, and corresponds to the consequences that can be observed flowing from those defects. I rank Fukuyama with deToqueville as observers of constitutions and countries. His prose is like water so clear you can see fish forty feet below, and you can absorb hundreds of pages of his writing without effort. As a prose stylist, he is up there with George Orwell. No university student of politics should fail to read this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an avid reader of the first tome, I was very surprised at the shallowness and repetitiveness of the sociological themes presented here. While the first book was very nuanced, detailed and diverse, this one goes on and on with exemples and repetitions to prove the same 2 or 3 points ad nauseam. It feels rushed. The political decay aspect is devoid of any philosophical or truly insightful thought ; it repeats ideas that were already presented by Carroll Quigley in the 60's in his marvelous and breathtaking "Evolution of Civilizations" which I dearly recommend instead.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like other books by this author, this work will be referred to and debated very often by people who only know it trough reviews rather than after having read it for themselves. It is formidably long, repetitive and, this reader believes, insufficiently rigorous. The author, contrary to his "end of history" book, does not pretend to make predictions although probably hopes that readers will use the crutches he provides to get there and make their own. The ambition underlying the book is to provide a universal explanation of the political development of all countries, but the central preoccupation remains US centred. Since most of the book suggests decay for the US form of government, it is probably asking too much from the author to blatantly play the Cassandra. Fundamentally Fukuyama subscribes to the Marxist concept that economic developments determine political developments and, though allowing for other influences accelerating or slowing down this direction of causality, contends that a strong and numerous middle class while neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for democracy is nevertheless essential to it's maintenance. What industrialization produced is being eroded by globalization and automation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This excellent and superbly researched and most readable analysis of the state of the world is an essential read for anyone concerned about the direction modern politics is taking us.

Francis Fukuyama, describes in a non sensational manner how we arrived at the present structure and where we are heading, and he does it in a most logical way.This is a "must read" for anyone wishing to increase their understanding of the world today.
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