Arguments against Evolutionary Democracy

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


This chapter is best understood as a tale of two stories. The first half describes the type of foundational claim that places the origins of ‘modern’ democracy during the period of North Atlantic revolutions. Although a nod is given to ancient Athens it is not viewed as a legitimate democracy but rather a source of ideas for moderns to draw on. The second half of the chapter describes the arguments that see democracy on the horizon. The government and governance we call democracy has not yet arrived. And if it has, it has done so only in part. It must improve to be more democratic. The chapter demonstrates the contestability of democracy’s origins and the anthropocentrism inherent in dominant understandings of democracy.


Political Party Political Theorist French Revolution Dominant Narrative Modern Democracy 
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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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