In Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe, Sheri Berman traces the long history of democracy in its cradle, Europe.
In her study of European political development over more than 200 years, Berman, a professor of political science at Barnard, shows that the story of democracy in Europe is complicated.
“The ultimate goal, she believes, is liberal democracy, with elections, respect for the rule of law, individual liberties and minority rights. But that is a rare, and hard-won, achievement. A step forward is often followed by a step back,” said Max Strasser in a review published in The New York Times.
“This may seem a bit obvious to anyone familiar with the broad outlines of European history, but Berman makes the case clearly and convincingly. Moreover, at a moment when hyperventilating over the decline of democracy has grown into a veritable intellectual industry, her long-view approach comes across as appealingly sober,” Strasser added.