Despite the State: Select bibliography

On democratic decay
Tzvetan Todorov, The Inner Enemies of Democracy (2014)
David Runciman, How Democracy Ends (2018)
Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty (2013)
Francis Fukuyama: Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy (2015)
Timothy Snyder, The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America (2019)
(I have to read Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies and the Fate of Liberty (2020))

Why democratic decay. Elite manipulation
Jacob s Hacker and Paul Pierson, Winner-Takes-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer–and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (2011)
Jane Mayer, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2017)

Why democratic decay. External manipulation
Peter Pomerantsev, https://www.publicaffairsbooks.com/titles/peter-pomerantsev/this-is-not-propaganda/9781541762138/ (2019)
(I have to read Nina Jankowicz’s How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict (2020) and Arkady Ostrovsky’s The Invention of Russia: The Rise of Putin and the Age of Fake News (2017))

Why Democratic decay. Internal factors: footloose capital; stationary States and labour
Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Modernity (2000)
Zygmunt Bauman, Wasted Lives: Modernity and Its Outcasts (2003)
Zygmunt Bauman, Consuming Life (2007)
Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Love (2003)
Zygmunt Bauman and Leonidas Donskis, Moral Blindness: The Loss of Sensitivity in Liquid Modernity (2013)
Guy Standing, The Precariat: The new dangerous class (2011)
Adam Tooze, Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World
(2019)
JD Taylor, Island Story: Journeys Through Unfamiliar Britain (2016)

Why democratic decay. A new form of rabble-rousing politics
Aaron Davis, Reckless Opportunists: Elites at the end of the Establishment (2018)
Tim Shipman, All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class (2017)
(I have to read Jacob S Hacker and Paul Pierson’s Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality (2020))

Why democratic decay. The role of journalism/discourse
(Constructive)
Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff, The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation (2007)
William Prochnau, Once Upon A Distant War: David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan, Peter Arnett–Young War Correspondents and Their Early Vietnam Battles (1996)
Terence Petty, Enemy of the People: The Munich Post and the Journalists Who Opposed Hitler (2019)
Paul Oliver, Blues Fell This Morning: Meaning in the Blues (1990)

(Negative)
Victor Klemperer, Language of the Third Reich: LTI: Lingua Tertii Imperii (2013)
Aurelien Mondon and Aaron Winter, Reactionary Democracy: How Racism and the Populist Far Right Became Mainstream (2020)

(Why the media fails to report on the most consequential events of its time)
Steve Wick, The Long Night: William L. Shirer and the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (2011)
Laurel Leff, Buried By The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper (2005)
Dean Starkman, The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (2015)
(Also see Assignment In Utopia, by Eugene Lyons, below).

The allure of nativism:
David Neiwart, Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump (2018)
There is also Richard Evans’ trilogy on the Nazis.
(I have to read Charles Clover’s Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia’s New Nationalism (2016); and Ernst Gellner’s Nations and Nationalism (2006))

Religion and the State
HL Seneviratne, The Work of Kings: The New Buddhism in Sri Lanka (2000)
Anurag Tripathi, Dera Sacha Sauda and Gurmeet Ram Rahim: A Decade-long Investigation (2018)
Ushinor Majumdar, God of Sin: The Cult, Clout and Downfall of Asaram Bapu (2018)
Mark Juergensmeyer, Religious Rebels in the Punjab: The Ad Dharm Challenge to Caste (2010)
Ian Johnson, The Souls of China: The Return of Religion after the Death of Mao (2017)

Democratic decay (and who gains from it)
Masha Gessen, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia (2018)
Lewis H. Lapham, The Age Of Folly: America Abandons Its Democracy (2017)
Sergei Medvedev, The Rise of Russian Leviathan (2019)
Vladimir Netto, The Mechanism: A Crime Network So Deep it Brought Down a Nation (2019)
Andrew MacGregor Marshall: A Kingdom In Crisis: Thailand’s Struggle for Democracy in the Twenty-First Century (2015)
Hannah Lucinda Smith, Erdogan Rising: The Battle for the Soul of Turkey (2019)
Karen Dawisha, Putin’s Kleptocracy: who owns Russia? (2014)
Yuliya Yurchenko, Ukraine and the Empire of Capital: From Marketisation to Armed Conflict (2017)
Alexander Cooley and John Heathershaw, Dictators Without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia (2017) Pin Ho and Wenguang Huang, Murder in the lucky holiday hotel: Murder, Money, and an Epic Power Struggle in China (2013)
Minxin Pei, China’s Crony Capitalism: The Dynamics of Regime Decay (2016)
Alex Cuadros, Brazillionaires: Wealth, Power, Decadence, and Hope in an American Country (2016)
(I have to read Sebastian Strangio, Hun Sun’s Cambodia (2014); Evan Gottesman, Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge: Inside the Politics of Nation Building (2004))

Authoritarianism/Totalitarianism (and the human capacity for evil it rides on)
Vasily Grossman, Everything Flows (2009)
Dorian Lynskey, The Ministry Of Truth: A biography of George Orwell’s 1984 (2019)
Eugene Lyons, Assignment in Utopia (1937)
Zygmunt Bauman, Modernity And The Holocaust (2013)
Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2012)
Robert Sapolsky, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst (2018)
Philippe Sands, East West Street: On the Origins of “Genocide” and “Crimes Against Humanity” (2017)
Amelia Gentleman, The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment (2019)

Authoritarianism/Totalitarianism (and the human capacity for course-correction)
Tzvetan Todorov, Hope And Memory: Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2003)
Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate (1980)
Vasily Grossman, Stalingrad (1952)
Maggie Paxson, The Plateau (2019)
Robert Sapolsky, A Primate’s Memoir: Love, Death and Baboons (2011)
Stephen Kotkin, Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment (2010)
Angela Davis, Freedom Is A Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement (2016)
Gordon Thomas and Greg Lewis, Defying Hitler: The Germans who resisted Nazi Rule (2020)
Jan Vansina, Paths in the Rainforests: Toward a History of Political Tradition in Equatorial Africa (1990)
Tzvetan Todorov, The Fragility of Goodness: Why Bulgaria’s Jews Survived The Holocaust (2001)
(I am awaiting my copy of Robert D. Putnam’s Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (1994). Also see his Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (2000).

Structures
Donella Meadows, Thinking In Systems: A Primer (2008)
Francisco Cantu, The Line Becomes A River: Dispatches from the Border (2019)
Arun Maira, Transforming Systems: Why the World Needs a New Ethical Toolkit (2019)
Helen Pearson, The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of our Ordinary Lives (2016)

India
Saeed Mirza, Ammi: Letters to a Democratic Mother (2008)
Barbara Harriss-White and Lucia Michelutti, The Wild East: Criminal Political Economies in South Asia (2019)
K Balagopal, Ear To The Ground: Selected Writings on Caste and Class (2011)
Madhu Ramnath, Woodsmoke and Leafcups: Autobiographical footnotes to the anthropology of the Durwa (2015)
Laura Bears, Navigating Austerity: Currents of Debt Along a South Asian River (2015)
Warisha Farasat and Prita Jha, Splintered Justice: Living the Horror of Mass Communal Violence in Bhagalpur and Gujarat (2016)
Perry Anderson, The Indian Ideology (2013)
Indira Hirway et al, Growth or Development: Which way is Gujarat going? (2014)
Piers Vitebsky, Living without the Dead: Loss and Redemption in a Jungle Cosmos (2017)
Daman Singh, The Last Frontier: People and Forests in Mizoram (1996)
BR Ambedkar, Riddles in Hinduism: The Annotated Critical Selection (2016)
Akshaya Mukul, Gita Press and the Making of Modern India (2015)
Hartman De Souza, Eat Dust: Mining and Greed in Goa (2015)
Manisha Sethi, Kafkaland: Prejudice, Law and Counterterrorism in India (2014)
Priyanka Dubey, No Nation For Women: Reportage on Rape from India, the World’s largest Democracy (2018)
Achyut Yagnik and Suchitra Sheth, The Shaping of Modern Gujarat: Plurality, Hindutva and Beyond (2005)
Sudhir Suryawanshi, Checkmate: How the BJP Won and Lost Maharashtra (2020)
Sita Venkateswar, Development and Ethnocide: Colonial Practices in the Andaman Islands (2004)
Dinesh Narayanan, The RSS and the making of the Deep Nation (2020)
Milan Vaishnav, When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics (2017)
Amandeep Sandhu, Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines (2019)
Biswajit Mohanty, Chasing his father’s dreams: Inside Story of Odisha’s Longest Serving Chief Minister (2017)
Ranjana Padhi and Nigamananda Sadangi, Resisting Dispossession: The Odisha Story (2020)
Ward Berenschot, Riot Politics: Hindu-Muslim Violence and the Indian State (2012)
TR Shankar Raman, The Wild Heart of India: Nature and Conservation in the City, the Country, and the Wild (2019)
Revati Laul, The Anatomy Of Hate (2018)
Ranjana Padhi, Those Who Did Not Die: Impact of the Agrarian Crisis on Women in Punjab (2012)
MSS Pandian, The Image Trap: M.G. Ramachandran in Film and Politics (2015)
Jeffrey Witsoe, Democracy Against Development: Lower-Caste Politics and Political Modernity in Postcolonial India (2013)
Anand Yang, Bazaar India: Markets, Society, and the Colonial State in Bihar (1999)
Neyaz Farooquee, An Ordinary Man’s Guide to Radicalism: Growing Up Muslim in India (2018)
Nikhila Henry, The Ferment: Youth Unrest in India (2018)
Snigdha Poonam, The Dreamers: How Young Indians are Changing the World (2018)
(I have to read Ian Hall’s Modi and the Reinvention of Indian Foreign Policy (2019). Also, on the origins of the glorious third world experiment — despite incredible odds — try Vincent Bevins’ The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anti-Communist Crusade & the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World (2020); and Claude Ake’s magnificent Democracy and Development in Africa (1996))

The challenges that go unaddressed
(Where does one start? Inequality. Climate change. Zoonoses. The opacity of Algorithm-based structures. Evolving geopolitics. The haemorrhaging of biodiversity. National/transnational kleptocracies…)
Walter Schneidel, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (2018)
Timothy Snyder, Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (2016)
David Quammen, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (2013). To understand how genes ‘spill over’, also read his The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life (2019).
Frank Pasquale, The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information (2017)
Daniel Yergin, The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations (2020)
Brett L Walker, The Lost Wolves of Japan (2008) (There is no end of magnificent books on our ecocide; and on other species being pushed towards extinction. I flag the Walker book here because it describes how (and why), with modernity, previously reverential attitudes towards nature were replaced by something more cruel and adiaphoric. Towards the end, I should add, there is a very moving bit about the wolves’ extraordinary last stand.)
Tom Burgis, The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa’s Wealth (2016) . Also see his new book, Kleptopia. (Plus Barbara Harriss-White and Lucia Michelutti’s The Wild East — also listed above — on the blurrings between crime and politics in South Asia).