Synopses & Reviews
No political concept is more used, and misused, than that of democracy. Nearly every regime today claims to be democratic, but not all "democracies" allow free politics, and free politics existed long before democratic franchises.
This book is a short account of the history of the doctrine and practice of democracy, from ancient Greece and Rome through the American, French, and Russian revolutions, and of the usages and practices associated with it in the modern world. It argues that democracy is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for good government, and that ideas of the rule of law, and of human rights, should in some situations limit democratic claims.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 121-125) and index.
About the Author
is Emeritus Professor of Politics, Birkbeck College, London. He is author of In Defence of Politics
--hailed as a modern classic and in print since 1962. He is also author of the prize-winning George Orwell: A Life and of Essays on Citizenship
, and, more recently, Crossing Borders
. He was adviser on citizenship to the Department of Education from 1998 to 2001.