Democracy's losers

Do we still know how to let the winners win, asks Catherine Fieschi

The World Today Published 10 December 2019 Updated 8 February 2021 2 minute READ

Catherine Fieschi

Director, Counterpoint

History may be written by the victors, but if there is one thing that we are increasingly aware of today, it is that democracy depends on the losers. As William Riker, the political scientist, put in in the early 1980s: ‘It is they who decide when and how and whether to fight on.’ For democracy to work, in other words, the losers need to let the winners win.

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