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The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad
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The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  2,535 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
With an easy command of history, philosophy and current affairs, 'The Future of Freedom' calls for a restoration of the balance between liberty and democracy, and shows how liberal democracy has to be made effective and relevant for our time.
Paperback, 295 pages
Published November 25th 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published April 2003)
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Đông Huynh
Apr 22, 2017 Đông Huynh rated it it was amazing
Dân chủ chưa hẳn đã tự do, và Tự do có thể tồn tại trong một đất nước kém dân chủ. Nền dân chủ xuất phát từ đâu, và vì sao phát triển không đồng đều ở các châu lục? Liệu nền chính trị Hoa Kỳ (một nền dân chủ rất được ngưỡng mộ hiện nay) có thực sự hiệu quả? Liệu sự dân chủ thái quá (ví dụ như các cuộc trưng cầu dân ý) có làm mất tự do? Đó là một phần những câu hỏi mà cuốn "Tương lai của tự do" tìm cách trả lời.

Được xuất bản năm 2003, và được dịch ra hơn 20 ngôn ngữ, "Tương lai của tự do" được xe
Jan 29, 2014 Hamid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب سعی میکنه بگه چطور دموکراسی که همه این سالها مساوی با آزادی در نظر گرفته شده، گاهی سد راه آزادی میشه. چه وقتی که تو کشورهایی که زمینه مساعدی برای تشکیل دموکراسی ندارند پیاده میشه و استبداد اکثریت رو شکل میده، مثل ایران. و چه وقتی که این روند افراطی دموکراتیزه کردن همه نهادهای قدرت تو دموکراسیهای لیبرالی مثل آمریکا باعث هرج و مرج و تحمیل هزینههای اقتصادی و اجتماعی مختلف به کشور میشه. نویسنده میخواد بگه لیبرالیزه کردن حکومت به دموکراتیزه کردناش تقدم داره. نشون میده که خیلی حکومتهای غیر دموکرا ...more
Nov 16, 2010 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Zakaria points out that there is a difference between democracy and constitutional liberalism that Western people take for granted because we assume that they are one and the same. While democracy refers to government elected by the majority of its people, constitutional liberalism refers to the rule of law, separation of powers, instituional check and balances, and most importantly individual rights.

The History of Human Liberty:

The basic gist is the decentralization of power in favor of human l
Nov 15, 2008 liz rated it it was amazing
None of the facts or points in this book are especially new or shocking, but what is unusual and nice is seeing them all organized in the same place. What Zakaria sets out to do (and in my opinion, succeeds at) is to examine countries with institutionalized freedoms, and what political and economic conditions guarantee them, historically and at the present time. Shocker: Democracy is not automatically the answer. When doesn't it work and why, and why do Americans have so little faith in democrac ...more
Dec 17, 2014 Alan rated it liked it
Fareed Zakaria has never been on my “A-list” of intellectuals worthy of respect. In his many television appearances he has always struck me as a bit of a windbag.

After reading his 2003 book The Future of Freedom, I may have to rethink the matter. It’s a good, thought-provoking book.

Here is his book’s essential point: democracy and freedom are not twins delivered at the same birth. He trots out examples of authoritarian rule creating the order, domestic tranquility and—--most important, he theori
Arabian Rihanna
Nov 06, 2012 Arabian Rihanna rated it really liked it
Like a graduate course on freedom and democracy, this book teaches you, challenges your knowledge, opens your eyes and mind, but does not give you a ready-made opinion ― it invites you to elaborate your own.

And just like a graduate course, the book gets really boring sometimes; it focuses too much on meaningless details or quickly skips through important information. But what's trivial for some is primordial for others, and not all students (/readers) have the same background knowledge on the su
According to the copy I've borrowed from my local library, this book was published in about 2003, 2004. 8 or 9 years later, this book could still be about the problems that the world and America face today. In this stunning, against-the-current book, Mr. Zakaria makes a compelling case that many of the problems we face today is not because of too little democracy, but too much democracy. Though written far in advance of the Arab Spring, Mr. Zakaria points how Islamic populism, when left unchecke ...more
Joseph Stieb
Apr 29, 2017 Joseph Stieb rated it it was amazing
A tremendously thought-provoking and relevant book that was in a way ahead of the political curve we are now in the midst of. The subtitle about illiberal democracy really brings home the argument: We have seen a wave of democratization in the late 20th century, but it has not necessarily made our politics, economics, and societies that much better. Shedding orthodoxies of the left and right, Zakaria outlines the rise of illiberal democracies in places as varied as India, Russia (still a semi-de ...more
Aug 16, 2012 Andrew rated it it was amazing
I've always been impressed with Zakaria whenever he's on TV as a commentator/pundit - this book only confirmed what a deep thinker he is. His basic premise is that democracy in and of itself is not sufficient to promote "freedom & liberty" - but that it must be paired with constitutional liberalism (in the classic sense of the word). He shows how many countries that have some elements of constitutional liberalism, but not direct election democracy are better off than countries that lack thos ...more
Jan 07, 2008 Jeremy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the state of our government
This is an extremely interesting book about the theory, history, and evolution of democracy all over world. Zakaria talks about what is required for democracy, why it doesnt always work, and how a country can become too democratic. Most interestingly he goes into our own contries failures in "spreading democracy" and what historical facts US administrators could have learned from. Furthermore he discusses detail of our own democracy and how it is a shadow of what it once was.
Sep 05, 2008 Kathy rated it it was ok
Recommended to Kathy by: required reading for American Government course

In writing The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad, Fareed Zakaria hopes to show the reader that true freedom requires more than elections in which all citizens of a country participate; it also requires what Mr. Zakaria calls constitutional liberalism. Constitutional liberalism is marked by existence of a “bundle of freedoms”, which includes rule of the law, a separation of powers, and the protection of basic liberties of speech, assembly, religion, and property. Constitu
Don Weidinger
Jul 12, 2013 Don Weidinger rated it it was amazing
62% democracy rate, quantity over quality, Rome limited govt and rule of law, Catholic Church cracked the code for individual liberty, European geography vs Asian and African early development, strict restrictive Reformation roots vs liberal Protestantism, 30 year war ended at Westphalia, 1688 British rev strengthened and 1789 French disintegrated, capitalism destroyed feudalism and previous hierarchical structures, rev when raise taxes w/o consent of governed, explosion of entrepreneurial power ...more
Feb 22, 2017 Sherrie rated it it was amazing
This book distilled down the elements of different types of governments and explained them in such a way as it challenged me to think about and consider government, how it works, how it is implemented, and how it can evolve overtime. It gave me much to contemplate in my ongoing quest to be a more informed and educated voter and participant in our country’s political processes. One cannot do that without educating oneself on how things have been and are, as well as all sides and perspectives of i ...more
Mar 22, 2012 Kylewong rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ericka Clou
This book is excellent, and I strongly recommend it to everyone. Its thesis is that there's a significant difference between freedom (constitutional liberalism) and democracy and that if wielded poorly, democracy can be the foil of freedom. There is so much more to this book, though. Almost every page gave me something important to ponder. It could function as a starter guide to democracy.

Frequently when I read, I feel like the same thing could have been said in a much shorter more tightly edit
Dec 30, 2008 Adam rated it really liked it
I knew a lot of people who didn't like this book. Then again, many of the people I know are contrarians. If something's popular, they are sure not to like it. So I'm not sure how much you can take from that.

I liked this book because it brought to my attention interesting ways of looking at issues I thought I was familiar with. I was most interested in the discussion of the "at Home" portion of the discussion: the discussion of how our democracy is potentially being paralyzed from being "too open
Adriaan Jansen
Apr 26, 2016 Adriaan Jansen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-affairs
''Political parties have no real significance in America today... The party is, at most, a fund-raising vehicle for a telegenic candidate... two things you need in a partyless system: Name recognition and a fund-raising machine. Anyone who has both, whether they have any experience in politics or not, is now at a huge advantage. Thus, in this new, more ''democratic'' system, we have seen many more political dynasties, celebrity officials, and billionaire politicians than before. And this is only ...more
Daniel S
Oct 30, 2010 Daniel S rated it really liked it
for much of modern history, what characterized governments in Europe and North America, and differentiated them from those around the world, was not democracy but constitutional liberalism. The "western model of government" is best symbolized not by the mass plebiscite but the impartial judge. [20.]

what is distinctive about the American system is not how democratic it is but rather how undemocratic it is, placing as it does multiple constraints on electoral majorities. [22:]

the French under the
Prashanth Akunuri
Jun 24, 2017 Prashanth Akunuri rated it really liked it
This book has been published in 2003, according to wikipedia, and I think Mr. Zakaria has predicted the current world political trends and ramblings.

It has answers to many possible political questions if you are a layman.

An interesting read.
May 18, 2017 Mischa rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
It was a little boring sometimes (especially all that bank talk) but I can appreciate the science of it all.
Fausto Betances
Oct 18, 2016 Fausto Betances rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Good progression report on the history of human political development. Great focus and definition of liberal democracy.

Towards the end, the author showed a strong bias to eras gone by. Specifically, he seemed favor the ways of other times (early 1900s).

Oct 31, 2008 Rex rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Zakaria argues that there can be and is such a thing as too much democracy. While the rapid expansion of democracy throughout the world has led to overall remarkable results, not all the effects of its proliferation are completely benign. More specifically, “The Future of Freedom” laments and pessimistically foresees the rise of illiberal democracies--democracies that deny their citizens basic human liberties--instead of alternative forms of government that promote constitutional liberalism.

Ehsan Asghari Ghara
Jul 02, 2013 Ehsan Asghari Ghara rated it it was amazing
دنیای ما دنیای تحولات عجیب سیاسی شده نمونه ش هم حوادث اخیر در کشورمون و حوادث موسوم به بهار عربی در کشور های اطراف، و این کتاب شاید کمکی باشد برای درک بهتر تمام این حوادث.
البته کتاب در ستایش لیبرالیسم قانون سالار هست. به شیوه ای ژورنالیستی به استدلال ارجحیت لیبرالیسم بر دموکراسی می پردازد و با ارائه شواهد آن را تقویت می کند. و در نهایت به دفاع از دموکراسی نمایندگی در برابر دموکراسی مستقیم نظیر آنچه در کالیفرنیا می گذرد می پردازد. کتاب یاد می دهد در دنیای واقعیت همیشه آنچه صحیح و زیبا می پنداری
Apr 18, 2013 cover72 rated it really liked it
Brifly put, Zakaria has the same little flaw as many of the "Urban Liberal" writers (Marcuse etc.): he offers brilliant, breathtaking critique of what is wrong in the society and how it came to it... And then offers "solution", which is, erm, unreal and would only lead to more trouble.
For that "critique" part, I give him 5 stars.
For the "solution" part, I give him 0 stars: history already proved him wrong (for instance, Zakaria praised FED for fighting inflation and EU for being small and free-t
Nate Cooley
Feb 07, 2008 Nate Cooley rated it it was amazing
Recent history has highlighted the term "Democratization." With the fall of Eastern Bloc socialism and totalitarianism, Francis Fukuyama proclaimed "The End of History." Shortly thereafter, Samuel Huntington described this process as historically happening in "waves." Currently, the word "Democratization" connotes images of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and USAID personnel scattered thorughout the less-devleoped world.

In "The Furture of Freedom," Fareed Zakaria tackles the ov
Apr 17, 2011 Jacob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those few and far between books that really challenges our understanding of modern society. It speaks what most fear to say: democracy is failing. This is not to say that it is bad. In Mr. Zakaria's words, "democracy, with all its flaws, represents the 'last best hope' for people around the world." However, it has become an ugly and inefficient organization and is frankly becoming discredited here at home in the United States.

The book initially presents its premise as a critique
Mar 02, 2017 Dan rated it it was amazing
Entirely too prescient for comfort. When I read this book in college, I thought it was egg-headed nonsense. College students are, broadly, very foolish. We are now living in the future Zakaria predicts, and the avenues out of our dilemma that he outlines have largely closed. Speaking in terms of pure probabilities, America's republic is very likely doomed.
Jun 19, 2016 tsun rated it it was amazing
A compendium compiling a series of compelling theses. The following four were more edifying:

1) A liberal democracy comprises constitutional liberalism and democracy. The two are often oppositional, with the former proceeding in spite of the latter often. (Jacobins, Civil Rights Movement etc). I agree that liberalism is far more important than democracy, and Zakaria adumbrates this when he insists that in the modern era, culture-wise, quality (mass culture) has superceded quantity (high culture).
Feb 17, 2017 Mostafa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
فرید زکریا از آنجایی که تحصیل کرده علوم سیاسی است و همینطور ژرونالیست به همین خاطر توانسته پیوند خوبی بین کار تحقیقی و آکادمیک و ژورنالیستی برقرار سازد.
کتاب دارای 6فصل است که همینطور که از عنوان فرعی آن پیداست به بررسی تقدم لیبرالیسمِ قانون سالار بر دموکراسی میپردازد.
زکریا معتقد است اگر زیرساختهای دموکراسی (شامل جامعه مدنی، مطبوعات آزاد، قوه قضاییه مستقل و اقتصاد بازار) فراهم نشود این دموکراسی درنهایت به اقتدارگرایی خواهد انجامید و برای این ادعای خود مثالهایی را هم از حکومتهای دموکراسی غیرلیبرال
Stephen Bird
Sep 29, 2010 Stephen Bird rated it really liked it
This was book was just as good as "The Post-American World" by the same author, and even easier to understand. Here once again, Mr. Zakaria simplifies complex issues without sacrificing their essential components. Highlights include an excellent analysis of the Arab world: ""The Arab world is a political desert with no real political parties, no free press, and few pathways for dissent. As a result, the mosque became the place to discuss politics. As the only place that cannot be banned in Musli ...more
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Fareed Zakaria was named editor of Newsweek International in October 2000, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. The magazine reaches an audience of 24 million worldwide. He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and fortnightly in the Washington Post. He also hosts an international affairs program, Fareed Zakaria GPS, which airs Sundays worldwide o ...more
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