Looking for a gift for your politics bookworm? Or, do you just want to curl up in front of a holiday fire with a good book? This list of politics and democracy reads, listed in no particular order, has you covered.
Thank you to all of you who sent us your recommendations! We love collaborating with you on these lists.
Of course, we couldn’t fit every great political book in this list. Never fear! We want to collate more like this in the future. Sign up for our briefing to get notified of new content, like the political podcasts, influential researchers and PLIs to watch lists, as they’re released.
By Geoff Mulgan
Another World is Possible lays out how we can use creative imagination to achieve a better future, visualizing where we want to go and how to get there.
By Anand Giridharadas
Anand Giridharadas highlights how activists, politicians and citizens are working to change minds, bridge divisions and save democracy in an increasingly polarized world.
By Ece Temelkuran
Together offers a manifesto for change, outlining the political action that the 21st century asks of humankind.
By Jon Alexander with Ariane Conrad
Apolitical Foundation Global Advisor Jon Alexander says we need to stop thinking like consumers and start thinking like citizens. This hopeful read offers insights and examples of citizen collaboration to help reimagine politics.
By Isabel Hardman
Journalist Isabel Hardman explores how we end up with unrepresentative, unprepared and often unhappy politicians. Understanding why can help us build better political culture and improve trust in our leaders.
By Seyi Akiwowo
Politics and activism can be toxic, especially online. Glitch CEO Seyi Akiwowo’s guide for digital self-care and allyship will help you stay safe and well.
Edited by Dr. Ashley Weinberg
Follow Dr. Weinberg on LinkedIn.
By Sharath Jeevan OBE
Apolitical Foundation Global Advisor Sharath Jeevan explains how “intrinsic motivation” can help diagnose and find solutions to alienation and apathy. Politicians driven by intrinsic values are critical to democracies that deliver for people and the planet.
By Alison Goldsworthy, Laura Osborne, and Alexandra Chesterfield
Poles Apart explores the drivers of polarization and what steps we can take to heal divisions. Keep an eye out for our forthcoming A Political Hope episode with author Alison Goldsworthy.
By Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò
Political philosopher Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò critiques today’s decolonization movements and asks how they can better serve empowerment.
By Timothy Snyder
This quick read explores key moments in which European democracies gave way to tyranny and sets out lessons for how to resist authoritarianism.
By Jody Wilson-Raybould
Lessons from Canada’s former Minister for Justice and Attorney General on how citizens, organizations and governments can advance Indigenous reconciliation.
By Fernando Morais
Veteran journalist and biographer Fernando Morais tells Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s story — from the two-time Brazilian president’s working class upbringing to his two-year jail stint. This book is only available in Portuguese at the moment. A second volume, which will presumably cover Lula’s 2022 return to the presidency, is due in 2023.
By Maria Ressa
Maria Ressa won a Nobel Peace Prize for exposing online corruption around the world. How to Stand Up to a Dictator is the story of her game-changing investigations, for which she faces a 100-year jail term in the Philippines.
By Greg Mills, Olusegun Obasanjo, Tendai Biti, Jeffrey Herbst
Distinguished politicians and scholars address the need for a ‘democratic playbook’ robust enough to withstand threats to free and fair elections in Africa.
By Azeem Azhar
Azeem Azhar sets out how technology can be used to solve our biggest problems, shape our society, and bridge cultural divides in the “age of acceleration”. He also discussed reviving trust in government with our CEO Lisa Witter on his Azeem Azhar’s Exponential View podcast.
By Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman
Daniel Treisman and Apolitical Foundation Global Advisor Sergei Guriev explain how “spin dictators” emerge, the threats they pose and, crucially, how democracies should respond.
By Hélène Landemore
Hélène Landemore makes the case for a new model of democracy which opens up power to ordinary citizens.
By Moisés Naím
Apolitical Foundation Global Advisor Moisés Naím explores how autocrats use “The Three Ps” — Populism, Polarization and Post-Truth — in pursuit of power.
By Vince Cable
The former UK Business Secretary and Liberal Democrats Leader shrares insights on Westminster through a collection of political quotes.