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The Return of Great Power Rivalry: Democracy versus Autocracy from the Ancient World to the U.S. and China Hardcover – March 27, 2020

4.5 out of 5 stars 71 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"In Return of Great Power Rivalry, Matthew Kroenig, a rising star among the next generation of strategic thinkers, brilliantly counters the current political narrative of autocratic ascendancy and democratic decline. Drawing on historical examples of great power competition between autocracies and democracies from Ancient Greece to the Cold War, he highlights democracy's enduring, structural advantages. By underscoring the importance of strong political institutions, his reflections serve as a handbook for contemporary leaders on how to prevail in a new, and more complex, era of great power competition." -- Fredrick Kempe, President and CEO, the Atlantic Council, and New York Times bestselling author of Berlin 1961: The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

"Professor Kroenig makes a powerful and provocative case that the world's democracies, and especially the United States, enjoy deep and lasting advantages over their autocratic rivals. He brings to this investigation a rare combination of first-rate scholarship and a lively prose that all readers will find engaging and informative. An important work for our times." -- Robert Kagan, Stephen & Barbara Friedman Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, and New York Times bestselling author of The World America Made

"In The Return of Great Power Rivalry, Professor Kroenig explains why democracies have prevailed over their autocratic rivals in the past and outlines how the United States and its democratic allies can better compete with the more sophisticated autocratic challenges we face today. This is an important book on the defining issue of our time with real implications for policymakers and scholars alike." -- General James L. Jones Jr., UMSC (Ret.), Former National Security Advisor to US President Barack Obama

"We already know that democracies are more humane and usually better governed than autocracies are. But despots like Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping continue to claim that their regimes are better at delivering national security and greatness in the global arena. Matthew Kroenig confronts the autocrats' claims head-on and demolishes them. In remarkably accessible and delightful written text, he mines social science theory and two-and-a-half millennia of history to show that democracies are more powerful-not just fairer and better governed-than autocracies are. At a time when the global struggle between democracy and autocracy is reaching a critical new stage, this book promises to touch nerves and influence minds from Washington to Moscow to Beijing. Policy-relevant social science at its best!" -- M. Steven Fish, Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley and author of Democracy Derailed in Russia: The Failure of Open Politics

"In this age of widespread pessimism about the future of democracy, this book makes a powerful argument: democracy is not only better for the people, but may have the edge against autocracies in the coming great power rivalry. It is an erudite, well-argued and uplifting book." -- Daron Acemoglu, , Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

About the Author

Matthew Kroenig is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and Deputy Director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He is the author or editor of seven books, including The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy and Exporting the Bomb: Technology Transfer and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Oxford University Press (March 27, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0190080248
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0190080242
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.3 x 1.2 x 6.4 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
71 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on June 27, 2020
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David Keay
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok book
Reviewed in Canada on October 31, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vraiment excellent
Reviewed in France on July 31, 2020
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