Historians who are interested in democracy often insist it must be understood in context of a unique western tradition of political development beginning with the Greeks. The spread of democratic ideals and practice to other cultures, or their failure to spread, have many times been explained on the assumption that democracy or personal liberty are ideals foreign to the non-Western world – an assumption at least as old as Herodotus. But events since the late 1980s have shown that people both in “Western” and “non-Western” countries have a lively interest in democracy as something relevant to their own situation. The old assumption deserves to be re-examined.
Download and read more on what Steve Muhlberger, Associate Professor of History, Nipissing University, has to say further on the topic.