The End of Authority: How a Loss of Legitimacy and Broken Trust Are Endangering Our Future

by Douglas E. Schoen

November 7, 2013
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Hardcover Nonfiction
ISBN-13: 978-1442220317
268 pages

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The End of Authority (2013)

The End of Authority, Douglas E. Schoen systematically analyzes the leadership crises facing democracies and autocratic governments alike. He presents a firsthand, detailed assessment for why this collapse in trust happened; and offers a comprehensive blueprint for how we can restore public trust in government and economic institutions in a world of division, dissension, and governments clearly lacking in responsiveness to citizen concerns. Schoen outlines bold and clear solutions and offers practical steps to fix our democracy and rebuild international institutions.

Praise for The End of Authority

In this magisterial work, Schoen, best known as a high-powered pollster and political analyst, presents a provocative and powerfully argued thesis that governments face a crisis of authority that undermines their ability to generate loyalty and support. So profound is this situation that ‘we face a crisis that threatens the political and economic foundations of the global order,’ he says. Schoen argues that ‘the crisis of authority stems from the failure of institutions, especially of government but also of business to provide effective leadership.’ The consequence, Schoen writes, is that ‘the loss of trust is rendering us, in a collective sense, impotent and inactive in the face of enormous global challenges.’ Schoen calls on readers to ‘reform and improve international institutional leadership,’ to ‘strengthen nation-state governance,’ and to ‘direct specific reform and relief efforts … in order to ensure that the benefits … reach the people for whom they’re intended.’ This book is data rich, and the author never gets out ahead of the evidence. If Schoen’s thesis is true, the global crisis of leadership is more of a threat than climate change or international conflicts. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels.

As a pollster, commentator, and political strategist, Doug Schoen has made a career of providing invaluable analysis of events and trends. In The End of Authority, Doug sounds the alarm on the rising public distrust of government globally, and offers his ideas for rebuilding confidence—not only in America, but around the world.
—William Jefferson Clinton, former President of the United States

The world has always been changing, but never so fast. What is the future of the market economy? Democracy? Liberal values? There are certainly more questions than there are answers, but Schoen gives us more than one could hope with competence, passion and inspiration.
—Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of the Republic of Poland 1995 – 2005

An intriguing, timely, stimulating – and helpful – look at the startling breakdown of trust in government, as it becomes more and more authoritarian. Democrat Doug Schoen has impressed this Republican with his heartfelt desire to break the bounds of partisan politics and stop this corrosive rot eating at our body politique.
—Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-In-Chief, Forbes, Inc.

Over the years, many in Canada have been impressed with the very high quality of Doug
Schoen’s research and the incisive nature of his conclusions and commentary. I have followed
his work closely and know that this book will further enhance his strong reputation for leadership
in the fields of political analysis and public policy in America and elsewhere in the world.
—The Right Honorable Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada, 1984-1993