Democracy: The Unfinished Journey, 508 Bc to Ad 1993
The form of democracy first introduced 2,500 years ago by Kleisthenes--introduced, some scholars say, for his own personal gain--is quite different from what we call democracy today. And yet what was essentially a casual, practical solution to local Greek political difficulties has come to stand virtually unchallenged as the ground for modern political authority, and the questions which the Greeks first raised about the meaning of democratic rule still loom over our political and economic life.
In Democracy, noted author John Dunn and twelve expert contributors trace the extraordinary political career of democracy from its appearance in ancient Greece to its recent resurrection in Eastern Europe. The contributors range far and wide, from ancient Greece to the French Revolution to modern India, to illuminate this enduring form of government. They describe how demokratia (literally, "people power") first developed in Athens, and how it promoted a belief in the radical revisability of traditional assumptions which carried over into scientific breakthroughs of Aristotle, Euclid, and others. They examine the independent Italian city-republics and show how Britain's Leveller movement, which lasted four short years during England's Civil War, introduced the radically innovative idea of political equality. They also discuss how the American revolution brought common people into the affairs of government, not simply as voters but as actual rulers, giving work-a-day people a cultural and social significance they never had before in history; and how democracy has been seen since the Age of Revolutions, surveying political debate from Rosa Luxemburg to Walter Lippman. Finally, several essays take a look at democracy today--how it has failed women, for instance, and what the return of democracy will mean for Eastern Europe.
As the recent collapse of socialism demonstrates, the idea of democracy still holds a powerful attraction for us. In tracing its history across two millennia, this book illuminates the source of that power and explains why it has triumphed so decisively in the modern world.
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Ancient Greek Political Theory as a Response to Democracy
Democracy Philosophy and Science in Ancient Greece
The Italian CityRepublics
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Aeschylus American ancient ancient Greek appeal argued argument aristocratic Aristotle assembly Athenian Athenian democracy Athens Attica authoritarian authority became Cambridge capitalism capitalist century citizens city-republics city-state civic civil claim Communist conflict constitutional representative democracy council critics debate decisions defend demo democratic politics democratic theory difference dominant early economic effective elections electoral elite equality European feminists force Forum freedom French Glaucon Gorgias Greek groups human idea ideal India individual insisted institutions interests Kleisthenes labour leaders Lenin less Levellers liberal liberty live majority Marx Marxism-Leninism mass ment monarchy movement nomic organized philosophical Plato polis political order political theory popular population practice principle production Protagoras Putney Debates radical reforms regime representation representative democracy republic republican revolution revolutionary rhetoric rule secure social socialist society Solon Soviet Union structure theorists Thucydides tion traditional vote W. R. M. Lamb William Walwyn women