Presaging the moderns

Demosthenes critique of popular government

Rahul Sagar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Modern political theorists, including Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Publius, consider popular government detrimental to the security of the political community, because they see it as being characterized by imprudence, indecisiveness, and indiscretion. It has not been widely acknowledged that this critique of popular government was, in many respects, presaged by the famous Greek orator Demosthenes. This essay retrieves his critique and argues that it reveals that conflict between the norms of democracy on one hand, and the demands of security on the other, cannot be resolved by urging democratization, as this would only reintroduce the difficulties he brings to our attention.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1394-1405
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Politics
    Volume71
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2009

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    democratization
    democracy
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    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

    Presaging the moderns : Demosthenes critique of popular government. / Sagar, Rahul.

    In: Journal of Politics, Vol. 71, No. 4, 01.10.2009, p. 1394-1405.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Sagar, Rahul. / Presaging the moderns : Demosthenes critique of popular government. In: Journal of Politics. 2009 ; Vol. 71, No. 4. pp. 1394-1405.
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