'A brilliant work. Tersely written and bracing in argument...it also frames one of today's great global debates with nuance and wit.' --Parag Khanna, best-selling author Second World
'In the end, it has to do with our conception of man. It is not just what people want that matters, it is what serves human dignity.' --Robert Cooper, The Sunday Times
'This kind of democracy can kill, as his title suggests, encouraging conflict rather than resolving it. It is an engaging record of a dogged and decent journalist at work.' --Martin Woollacott, The Guardian
'Democracy is difficult, messy, uneven and contradictory. But it's also about hope, and the liberation of the human spirit to write, speak and organise economic and social relations as intelligently as possible.' --Denis MacShane, MP, Financial Times
'What is surprising - uncomfortably so - is this: Evidence shows that attempts to democratize the developed world have made internal tensions much worse.'
--Gerard DeGroot The Christian Science Monitor
'Hawksley brings to his argument all the passion reflected in his eye-catching title. What is more, the breadth of his experience, and the access that foreign correspondents routinely enjoy, gives him a unique vantage-point from which to compare different systems: both as seen by the rulers, and - more important perhaps - by the ruled...Hawksley's book is elegantly structured.'
For many years Western governments have insisted that the only way to achieve long-term prosperity and political stability is through a combination of free-market economics and democratic government. Yet, all evidence now indicates that this argument is both flawed and can also be the direct cause of war, disease and poverty. From Pakistan to Zimbabwe, from the Palestinian territories to the former Yugoslavia, from Georgia to Haiti attempts to install democracy through elections have produced high levels of corruption and violence. Parliaments represent not broad constituencies but vested interests and, amid much fanfare, constitutions are written, but rarely upheld. Humphrey Hawksley has reported economic and political trends throughout the world for more than twenty years. In Democracy Kills, he offers a vivid – and frequently devastating – analysis of our devotion to democracy. Taking the reader from Latin America, where he looks at collapse, then resurrection of the Argentine economy and China's growing influence in the region, to Africa, where he examines abusive child labour in the chocolate industry and to Asia he constantly asks why, if some nations can move on and get rich, do others founder and fight. And what – if anything – we can do about it.