democracy. It is also arguable that few are more ambiguous. What exactly is meant by these words, and what are the relations between them?
Developing several of the arguments of his pioneering History and Philosophy of the Social Sciences Peter T. Manicas here interrogates the historical meanings of ′war′ and ′democracy′, and traces the pattern of their interconnections within a variety of exemplary contexts, including ancient Greece, renaissance Italy, revolutionary America, France and Russia, and Weimar Germany.
In so doing, the author contributes to an explanation of our present situation, in which entire populations who have no say in the decision to war may be subject to enormous suffering and sacrifice. The problem of ′democracy′, construed as an ideal, cannot be solved, it is argued, until there is a solution to the problem of war. Conversely, the human blight of war will not be eliminable until mankind achieves some significant steps in the direction of greater democracy.
War and Democracy is more than a history of two ideas. It is also a challenging and humane attempt to make political theory concrete, urging that the attempt to understand the past can have genuine practical applications.