The best books on Liberal Democracy, recommended by Francis Fukuyama

Even some of the world’s most authoritarian rulers continue to pay lip service to democracy and people’s right to vote for their leaders, but the days when many social scientists believed that all countries at a certain level of prosperity would eventually turn to liberal democracy are over, says Francis Fukuyama, now a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute. Here, he recommends books to better understand liberal democracy, and what those of us lucky enough to live in one can do to protect our form of government.

The best books on Historical Change and Economic Ideology, recommended by Thomas Piketty

Throughout history, social and economic inequalities have been fueled and justified by different ideologies. French economist Thomas Piketty’s latest book, Capital and Ideology, looks at the advent and fall of these ideologies, and how they could evolve in the future. He recommends five great books to better understand these complex and always-evolving ideas, and their consequences for the world.

The best books on The Far Right, recommended by Cas Mudde

There’s nothing new about the far right and the unpleasant views that its supporters espouse. What’s changed is that some of those views have been embraced by the political mainstream and are now viewed as normal. Political scientist Cas Mudde, Stanley Wade Shelton UGAF Professor at the University of Georgia, talks us through the best books on the far right.

The best books on Maoism, recommended by Julia Lovell

While researching Maoism, China expert Julia Lovell battled against two incorrect assumptions: “firstly that Maoism is a story of China; and secondly that Maoism is a story of the past.” Here she recommends five books for coming to grips with the global, still-relevant impact of Maoism.

The best books on Fascism, recommended by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

In an era of Trumpism and fake news, the word ‘fascist’ is thrown around with increasing ease and little attention paid to its origins and history. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, political commentator and historian at New York University, recommends the best books for understanding fascism’s history and recognizing it today.

The best books on Anarchism, recommended by Ruth Kinna

Sometimes vilified, often misunderstood, rarely taught in universities, anarchism is a political philosophy and social movement that’s far removed from today’s mainstream politics. But it was and remains a powerful motivator. Political theorist Ruth Kinna talks us through the best books to read to get a better understanding of anarchism.

The best books on British Conservatism, recommended by Daniel Finkelstein

Conservatism is different around the world because what it’s trying to preserve, the ‘essence of a nation,’ inevitably varies by country, says British journalist and politician Daniel Finkelstein. And yet, the UK’s Tory party has always been quick to adapt to whatever would get it into power.

The best books on Progressivism, recommended by Keith Ellison

As American congressman Keith Ellison—the first Muslim elected to Congress—enters the race to chair the Democratic National Committee, reread this interview on the cause he stands for: progressivism — and the best books to read to fully understand it.

The best books on Who Terrorists Are, recommended by Jessica Stern

International terror expert Jessica Stern takes a close look at the mind of the terrorist. She explores why people are drawn to extreme violence and how, in many cases, terrorists can build their identities around ideologies that they hold in an ultimately shallow way

The best books on The French Revolution, recommended by Peregrine Worsthorne

For anybody wanting to go into politics a mastery of the French Revolution is an enormous help and a knowledge of history essential, says Peregrine Worsthorne, the columnist and former editor of Britain’s Sunday Telegraph. He recommends the best books on the French Revolution, both for and against.