We live in a time when the political systems of a great many countries are, simultaneously, under extraordinary stress. You may be asking yourself, “What are the causes of this troubling phenomenon? What are its consequences? What can be done?” To help us find answers we will turn to one of America’s most highly acclaimed public intellectuals, Francis Fukuyama. We will use his book, Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2015). Although this is the second of his two-volume work, it begins with an excellent recap of his first volume, so that newcomers to this study group will be brought up to speed very quickly. Our analysis of a wide range of political systems will cover the last 250 years of human experience, drawing upon such related influences as economics, historical cultural values, and communal identities. We will be asking all the right questions. Please help us find the right answers.