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The Rise of DemocracyRevolution, War and Transformations in International Politics Since 1776$
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Christopher Hobson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748692811

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748692811.001.0001

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From the Brink to ‘Triumph’: The Twentieth Century

From the Brink to ‘Triumph’: The Twentieth Century

(p.171) Chapter 7 From the Brink to ‘Triumph’: The Twentieth Century
The Rise of Democracy

Christopher Hobson

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on the ‘long war’ between the competing ideologies of democracy, communism and fascism that defined the twentieth century. Only decades after World War One, democracy’s existence was threatened. The Allied countries would fight in democracy’s name, but it was a war for survival against the vicious imperialism of the Axis powers. The grand alliance between the democratic powers and the Soviet Union defeated fascism, but this was due in large part to force of numbers and the self-destructiveness of the Nazis. Contestation continued between the two remaining ideologies of democracy and communism until the end of the Cold War. In 1989 the ideological contestation that had defined so much of the twentieth century was replaced by a remarkable consensus around liberal democracy. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the liberal zeitgeist of the post-Cold War era.

Keywords:   World War Two, United Nations, Cold War, 1989, End of history, Democracy promotion

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