The Original Meaning of 'Democracy': Capacity to Do Things, Not Majority Rule

7 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2007  

Josiah Ober

Stanford University - Department of Classics

Date Written: September 2007

Abstract

That the original meaning of democracy is "capacity to do things" not "majority rule" emerges from a study of the fifth and fourth century B.C. Greek vocabulary for regime-types. Special attention is given to -kratos root and -arche root terms. Paper delivered at the American Political Science Association meetings, Philadelphia, 2006.

Keywords: democracy, demos, Greece, Athens

Suggested Citation

Ober, Josiah, The Original Meaning of 'Democracy': Capacity to Do Things, Not Majority Rule (September 2007). Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics Paper No. 090704. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1024775 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1024775

Josiah Ober (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Classics ( email )

Building 110
Stanford, CA 94305-2080
United States
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650-723-1808 (Fax)

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