Victorious and Vulnerable: Why Democracy Won in the Twentieth Century and How it is Still Imperiled
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In the blink of an eye, liberal democracy's moment of triumph was darkened by new threats, challenges, and doubts. Rejecting the view that liberal democracy's twentieth-century victory was inevitable, distinguished student of war Azar Gat argues that it largely rested on contingent factors and was more doubtful than has been assumed. The world's liberal democracies, with the United States at the forefront, face new and baffling security threats, with the return of capitalist nondemocratic great powers—China and Russia—and the continued threat of unconventional terror. The democratic peace, or near absence of war among themselves, is a unique feature of liberal democracies' foreign policy behavior. Arguing that this is merely one manifestation of much more sweeping and less recognized pacifist tendencies typical of liberal democracies, Gat offers a panoramic view of their distinctive way in conflict and war. This book provides a politically and strategically vital understanding of the peculiar strengths and vulnerabilities that liberal democracy brings to the formidable challenges ahead.
Azar Gat is Ezer Weizman Professor of National Security at Tel Aviv University and the author of several books on war and military thought including War in Human Civilization , named by the Times Literary Supplement as one of the best books of 1996.
"Azar Gat's new book is a worthy successor to his magisterial work on war and civilization. Here, he transcends the by now familiar debates about the democratic peace and the End of History. In this brilliant and highly original work, Gat shows not only why democracies triumphed over their authoritarian, fascist, and communist adversaries in the past century, but simultaneously calls attention to the democracies' unique vulnerabilities."
"Gat, a professor of national security at Tel Aviv University, a Hoover Institution fellow, and author, has gained an international reputation as a military historian and security analyst… A contentious contribution to the foreign policy debate that raises important issues, Gat's latest will engross security wonks. "