Democracy (Concepts in the Social Sciences)

Democracy (Concepts in the Social Sciences)

by Anthony Arblaster (Author)


Anthony Arblaster examines the history of both the theory and practice of democracy and the fierce opposition it so often provoked. He finds that through most of history democracy meant what we now call "direct" democracy - the people governing themselves directly through participation in the processes of decision-taking and policy-making. The representative type of democracy we are now familiar with was a relatively late arrival on the scene. Arblaster finds the core of the idea of democracy in the notion of popular power and, in the second part of the book, he explores the meaning of this and the problem it involves. Drawing on the classical writings of Rousseau, Paine and John Stuart Mill, he shows how wide the gap is between their idea of a fully democratic society and the limited realities of the Western democracies of today. Democracy, he argues, remains a relevant ideal and a challenge to conventional political thinking. This edition has been updated to take particular account of the collapse of European communism.


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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 128
Edition: 2nd Revised edition
Publisher: Open University Press
Published: 01 Sep 1994

ISBN 10: 0335192998
ISBN 13: 9780335192991

Media Reviews
This concise text (one of its many virtues) is an excellent introduction to the subject for students of politics, particularly those studying on the first year of a degree and the more able A Levelstudent. The introductory chapter might be made compulsory reading for all students of politics. - Talking Politics ...brilliant introduction. - New Statesman and Society