Since the U.K.’s decision to formally exit the European Union 18 months ago, people around the world have watched in fascination and horror as democratic states turn into petri dishes for populist movements, and once-venerable institutions see their legitimacy come into question. Whatever the causes of this so-called crisis of democracy—the ascent of the service economy; the rise of global inequality, xenophobia, mass migration; the loss of the remaining members of the World War II generation—something is rotten in the state of the world. WPJ editor Jessica Loudis spoke with Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, author of The Cosmopolites (Columbia Global Reports, 2015) and a senior editor at The Nation, and Yascha Mounk, author of three books, most recently The People vs. Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2018), and lecturer on government at Harvard University, about the role of nations in these volatile times, and...

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