The Future of the Legitimate Opposition: A Discussion with Alexander S. Kirshner


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Alexander Kirshner’s book Legitimate Opposition (Yale UP, 2022) can be seen as a reaction to the politics of Donald Trump and the questions he has raised about the nature of modern democracy. Advocates of western democracy have traditionally pointed to the role of the opposition in holding government to account. The deal has been that oppositions can criticise those in power without going to jail or worse but, in return, they have to offer loser’s consent – if they don’t win an election, they accept someone else governs. What happens when that consent is withdrawn?

Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale University Press.

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