"In this stunning and panoramic survey, Brian Roper sheds enormous light on the theory and practice of democracy across the ages. Focusing on issues of freedom, oppression and class domination, Roper makes a compelling case for the enduring importance of socialist models of participatory democracy. This is an important and timely book, which will be of great interest to scholars and activists alike." - David McNally, Professor of Political Science, York University, author of Another World is Possible and Global Slump
"Democracy is the product of intense class struggles rather than the incremental decisions of enlightened lawmakers. Brian Roper's insightful and coherent survey convincingly makes this argument through a series of accessible studies that range from ancient Athens through the English Civil War to the workers' revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries." - Rick Kuhn, Deutscher Prize winner, Reader in Politics at the Australian National University and long-time activist.
Brian Roper refreshes our understanding of democracy using a Marxist framework. He traces the history of democracy from ancient Athens to the emergence of liberal representative and socialist participatory democracy in Europe and North America, through to the global spread of democracy during the past century.
An an alternative, he offers an engaging Marxist critique of representative democracy, which has the potential to undermine the existing status quo.