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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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Weak States Inherited Democracy

Weak States Inherited Democracy

(p.62) 3 Weak States Inherited Democracy
The Decline and Rise of Democracy

David Stasavage

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that early democracy was more likely to prevail when rulers were uncertain about production, when people found it easy to exit, and when rulers needed their people more than their people needed them. It investigates evidence from multiple world regions at different points in time that supports claims that the practice of early democracy was one way for those who ruled to cope with challenges. It also looks into state bureaucracy as substitute for council governance. The chapter talks about Douglass North, the famous economic historian who defined the state as an entity that extracts revenue in exchange for protection. It explains that protection can be defense against outside invaders, insurance against events like famine, and involves certain types of “social protection.”

Keywords:   early democracy, state bureaucracy, council governance, Douglass North, social protection

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