No one in this world truly understands what democracy means. We operate democracy only through best guesses. This uncertainty has caused, and continues to cause, significant political troubles. This book offers a way forward. It provides a new tool that will allow us to understand democracy for the entire planet and all of humanity.
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Dr Jean-Paul Gagnon is University Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University.Review:
If you thought you knew what democracy is, think again - and again. Evolutionary Basic Democracy argues powerfully and provocatively for attending to the multiple roots and sites of democracy including nonhuman ones. Suddenly democracy looks like something very big indeed, not just a recent Western human invention.
John Dryzek, School of Politics and International Relations, Australian National University, Australia
Jean-Paul Gagnon's new book on democracy is definitely the most innovative, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work that will surely become a classic in the study of democracy and democratization all over the world. His concept of "evolutionary basic democracy" can be found not only in the nonhuman sector but also in human beings, implying that democracy has long been enjoying a life of its own that cut across borders, time and space. As such, the origins, concept, dimensions and meaning of democracy are questioned fundamentally. Social scientists and scientists will find this book extremely thought-provoking, original and transdisciplinary.
Sonny Lo, Head of the Department of Social Sciences, Hong Kong Institute of Education, China
Jean-Paul Gagnon's book shakes our certainties that we know what is democracy and moreover that the society in which we live is for sure democratic. It questions the idea that democracy was born in ancient Greece and that the way in which it was implemented in modern European and North-American countries is the template of how democracy works everywhere in the world. This provocative book outlines a global history of democracy written according to a cross-cultural method and against the current. It is thus extremely useful besides being challengingly original.
Nadia Urbinati, Department of Political Science, Columbia University, USA
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