The Subalterns and Unknowns of Democracy

  • Jean-Paul Gagnon
Part of the The Theories, Concepts and Practices of Democracy book series (PSTCD)


Two bodies of literature on democracy are described in this chapter. The first concerns anthropocentric works that claim wider and different origins for democracy. The history of democracy is more complex than we currently think it is. The second body of literature described concerns nonhuman democracy. The chapter offers a table that surveys mammals, birds, fish, insects, slime-moulds and bacteria. Biologists argue that these different species have specific democratic practices. The chapter describes that physicists and mathematicians use the terms ‘democracy’ and ‘democratic’ in their works. It asks whether democracy or democratic things had a role to play in the origins of life.


Democratic Theory Inanimate Matter City Gate Arabic Scholar Royal Power 
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Copyright information

© Jean-Paul Gagnon 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Paul Gagnon
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Political Science and International StudiesUniversity of QueenslandAustralia

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