The Endangered West

In November 2016 John Higley, Professor Emeritus of Government and Sociology, published his latest book, The Endangered West: Myopic Elites and Fragile Social Orders in a Threatening World.

Does liberal democracy have a future? That is a question John Higley has grappled with most of his career, and The Endangered West is his latest take on some of the basic challenges threatening liberal democratic societies across western civilization.

How will the world deal with the inherent insecurity of bureaucratic and service work distinguishing postindustrial societies? Can large-scale organizations survive in a world where individuals routinely undertake defensive actions to protect their precarious positions in the social order? Will liberal societies be capable of managing those growing segments of the population effectively living outside the social order, and will they be capable of managing the demagogic politics characterizing contemporary postindustrial societies, politics that deliberately mobilize populations against each other?

So, can the West survive?