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No political concept is more used, and misused, than that of democracy. Nearly every regime today claims to be democratic, but not all 'democracies' allow free politics, and free politics existed long before democratic franchises. This book is a short account of the history of the doctrine and practice of democracy, from ancient Greece and Rome through the American, French, and Russian revolutions, and of the usages and practices associated with it in the modern world. It argues that democracy is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for good government, and that ideas of the rule of law, and of human rights, should in some situations limit democratic claims. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780192802507
ISBN-10: 019280250X
Format: Paperback
(177mm x 113mm x 9mm)
Pages: 144
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 10-Oct-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


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Author Biography - Sir Bernard Crick

Bernard Crick, formerly Professor of Politics, Birkbeck College, London. He was author of In Defence of Politics - hailed as a modern classic and in print since 1962. He is also author of the prize-winning George Orwell: A Life and of Essays on Citizenship, and, Crossing Borders. He was adviser on citizenship to the Department of Education from 1998 to 2001.

Books By Author Sir Bernard Crick

Crossing Borders by Sir Bernard Crick

Crossing Borders

Hardback, October 2016
In Defence of Politics by Sir Bernard Crick

In Defence of Politics

Paperback, April 2013
Active Citizenship by Sir Bernard Crick

Active Citizenship

Paperback, August 2010
Citizens by Sir Bernard Crick


Paperback, September 2001