Ideas, Institutions and the Politicians of Our Governments: Anthony King as a Student of Liberal Democracy

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This chapter reflects on Anthony King’s work as a student of liberal democracy, in particular his work on the changing character and quality of British and American democracy. King wrote a great deal about these two cases and the democratic ideas, institutions and practices associated with each. The chapter identifies and engages with three general themes that characterised King’s writings: his general interest in democratic diversity, his scepticism towards too much democracy, especially in the form of ‘hyper responsiveness’, and his concern with the quality of government and democratic outputs. The author argues that King was ultimately a realist when it came to democracy: it was what it was and it could be successful in different ways. Largely for that reason, democratic government was something that deserved to be described, explained, evaluated and above all understood on its own terms and in its different incarnations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAuthoritarian Populism and Liberal Democracy
EditorsIvor Crewe, David Sanders
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages15
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

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