What We Are Reading Today: The Autocratic Middle Class by Bryn Rosenfeld

What We Are Reading Today: The Autocratic Middle Class by Bryn Rosenfeld
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Updated 04 December 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Autocratic Middle Class by Bryn Rosenfeld

What We Are Reading Today: The Autocratic Middle Class by Bryn Rosenfeld

Conventional wisdom holds that the rising middle classes are a force for democracy. Yet in post-Soviet countries like Russia, where the middle class has grown rapidly, authoritarianism is deepening. Challenging a basic tenet of democratization theory, Bryn Rosenfeld shows how the middle classes can actually be a source of support for autocracy and authoritarian resilience, and reveals why development and economic growth do not necessarily lead to greater democracy.
In pursuit of development, authoritarian states often employ large swaths of the middle class in state administration, the government budget sector, and state enterprises. Drawing on attitudinal surveys, unique data on protest behavior, and extensive fieldwork in the post-Soviet region, Rosenfeld documents how the failure of the middle class to gain economic autonomy from the state stymies support for political change, and how state economic engagement reduces middle-class demands for democracy and weakens prodemocratic coalitions.
 


What We Are Reading Today: The Book of Moods by Lauren Martin

What We Are Reading Today: The Book of Moods by Lauren Martin
Updated 18 January 2021

What We Are Reading Today: The Book of Moods by Lauren Martin

What We Are Reading Today: The Book of Moods by Lauren Martin

Five years ago, Lauren Martin was sure something was wrong with her. She had a good job in New York, an apartment in Brooklyn, yet every day she wrestled with feelings of inferiority, anxiety and irritability. It wasn’t until a chance encounter with a stranger who revealed that she also felt these things, that Lauren set out to better understand the hold that these moods had on her, how she could change them, and began to blog about the wisdom she uncovered. It quickly exploded into an international online community of women who felt like she did: Lost, depressed, moody, and desirous of change.

The Book of Moods shares Lauren’s journey to infuse her life with a sense of peace and stability. With observations that will resonate and inspire, she dives into the universal triggers every woman faces — whether it’s a comment from your mother, the relentless grind at your job, days when you wish the mirror had a Valencia filter, or all of the above. Blending cutting-edge science, timeless philosophy, witty anecdotes and effective forms of self-care, Martin has written a powerful, intimate, and incredibly relatable chronicle of transformation.