Download Democracy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Bernard Crick PDF

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By Bernard Crick

No political notion is extra used, and misused, than that of democracy. approximately each regime this present day claims to be democratic, yet now not all "democracies" enable loose politics, and unfastened politics existed lengthy ahead of democratic franchises.

This booklet is a brief account of the heritage of the doctrine and perform of democracy, from historic Greece and Rome throughout the American, French, and Russian revolutions, and of the usages and practices linked to it within the smooth global. It argues that democracy is an important yet now not a enough for reliable govt, and that rules of the guideline of legislations, and of human rights, may still in a few occasions restrict democratic claims.

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Additional info for Democracy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Sample text

This is because it commands our deep respect. . Here each individual is interested not only in his own affairs but in the affairs of the state as well: even those who are mostly occupied with their own business are extremely well informed on general politics - this is a peculiarity of ours: we do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics minds his own business, we say that he has no business here at all. We Athenians, in our own persons, take our decisions on policy or submit them to proper discussions: for we do not think that there is an incompatibility between words and deeds; the worst thing is to rush into action before the consequences have been properly debated...

Democracies can act tyrannically towards individuals and 32 minorities, but not if they act politically: that is, attempting to conciliate all the main interest groups within a state. Political rule is at least a precondition for just and stable democratic regimes. Political rule This argument crops up in some, at first sight, unlikely places. A chief justice of the King's Bench of England, caught up in the Wars of the Roses, wrote a manuscript for the Prince of Wales On the Governance of the Kingdom of England (even if it had to wait for publication until 1714).

For many would like to have raised the qualification but did not dare to try in the new democratic ethos. Both the conduct of politics and the nature of society would never be quite the same again. 'The triumph of democracy', as some contemporaries and some popular historians have called this period, did not guarantee absence of troubles ahead. What if a Democratic majority (by now a party, hijacking that name) in a large number of states wanted to secede from the Union rather than see 'the peculiar institution' of slavery threatened?

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