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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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When Technology Undermined Democracy

When Technology Undermined Democracy

Chapter:
(p.79) 4 When Technology Undermined Democracy
Source:
The Decline and Rise of Democracy
Author(s):

David Stasavage

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691177465.003.0004

This chapter reviews the advancement of democracy and forward march of technology that has often been seen as a sign of human progress. It highlights how new technologies allowed increased production and improved standards of living while aiding attempts to communicate and cooperate more effectively. In contrast, it also points out instances where advances in production and communication undermined early democracy. The chapter covers Europe's initial technological backwardness compared to China and the Middle East. It describes the seemingly mundane inventions like soil maps that appeared in China and the Middle East a millennium or more before they appeared in Europe.

Keywords:   early democracy, technology, human progress, technological backwardness, soil maps, production, communication, new technologies

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