Long a standout example of consensus-based politics, prosperous Switzerland has now become a mixed democracy with a good deal of polarization and uncertain prospects.
Europe in the Middle Ages was hardly democratic, but it did have law-based institutions that could and did stay the hands of kings, laying a crucial basis for future state-building and democracy-building alike.
It is fine to acknowledge the importance of law-based rule to the eventual rise of modern democracy, but we must not overlook the even greater contribution of the idea of equality.
The European Parliament elections of May 2014 were not an “earthquake,” but they did signal that Euroskeptic parties are drawing closer to the European political mainstream.
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