- Publisher: Pluto Press
- ISBN: 9780745331898
- Price: $39.95 CAD
- Publication Date: Nov 2012
- Rights: Canada
- Pages: 328
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History of Democracy
A Marxist Interpretation
The concept of democracy has become tarnished in recent years, as governments become disconnected from voters and pursue unpopular policies. And yet the ideal of democracy continues to inspire movements around the world, such as the Arab Spring.
Brian Roper refreshes our understanding of democracy using a Marxist theoretical framework. He traces the history of democracy from ancient Athens to the emergence of liberal representative and socialist participatory democracy in Europe and North America, through to the global spread of democracy during the past century.
Roper argues that democracy cannot be understood separately from underlying processes of exploitation and class struggle. He offers an engaging Marxist critique of representative democracy, and raises the possibility of alternative democratic forms. The History of Democracy will be of interest to students and scholars of history and politics and all those concerned about the past, present and future of democracy.
Preface and Acknowledgements
1. Origins: Democracy in the Ancient Greek World
2. Democracy Suppressed: The Roman Republic
3. The Early Middle Ages and the Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism
4. The English Revolution and Parliamentary Democracy
5. The American Revolution and Constitutional Redefinition of Democracy
6. The Revolutionary Revival of Democracy in France
7. The Revolutions of 1849-49
8. Capitalist Expansion, Globalization and Democratization
9. The Marxist Critique of Capitalism and Representative Democracy
10. Precursors of Socialist Participatory Democracy: The Paris Commune 1871 and Russian Revolutions 1905 and 1917
About the Author
Brian S. Roper lectures in Politics at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He has been involved in the socialist left and political activism in New Zealand since the early 1980s. He is the author of Prosperity for All? Economic, Social and Political Change in New Zealand since 1935 (2005).