Bite Size Theory: Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy

“The author sees the development of a democracy as a long and certainly incomplete struggle to do three closely related things: 1) to check arbitrary rulers, 2) to replace arbitrary rules with just and rational ones, and 3) to obtain a share for the underlying population in the making of rules. The beheading of kings has been the most dramatic and by no means the least important aspect of the first feature. Efforts to establish the rule of law, the power of the legislature, and later to use the state as an engine for social welfare are familiar and famous aspects of the other two.”

Barrington Moore, Jr, 1966, Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, Allen Lane.

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