Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


What Causes Democracy?

Working Paper

Eugene Mazo

Issued by
CDDRL Working Papers, 2005

The question of "what a democracy is - and is not," to borrow a well-known title, should rather be understood as falling along a continuum. The points of this continuum represent the minimum standards that modern theorists associate with the definition of a democracy, with the advent of new, more complex standards added as we move from one end of the continuum to the other. The minimalist standard, which can be termed Schumpterian/Huntingtonian/Przeworskian, associates democracy with elections, while a more maximal standard, as advanced by post-modern theorists, including feminists and other advocates of minority rights, requires democracy also to encompass political, and ultimately group, equality.