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The Decline and Rise of DemocracyA Global History from Antiquity to Today$
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David Stasavage

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691177465

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691177465.001.0001

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Origins of Democratic Rule

Origins of Democratic Rule

(p.3) 1 Origins of Democratic Rule
The Decline and Rise of Democracy

David Stasavage

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the culmination of democracy in the establishment of political systems based on competitive elections and universal suffrage. The chapter explores the early forms of democracy that existed in many regions and confirms why modern democracy emerged first in Europe and the United States. It traces the particular trajectory taken by Europe when compared with regions such as China and the Middle East. The chapter examines how Europe's backwardness laid the ground for the rise of modern democracy. It describes early democracy that existed in lieu of a state bureaucracy and as a system in which a ruler governed jointly with a council or assembly that composed of members of society who were themselves independent from the ruler.

Keywords:   modern democracy, political systems, competitive elections, universal suffrage, backwardness, early democracy, state bureaucracy

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