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The concept of democracy has become tarnished in recent years, as governments become disconnected from voters and pursue unpopular policies. And yet the ideal of democracy continues to inspire movements around the world, such as the Arab Spring. Brian Roper refreshes our understanding of democracy using a Marxist theoretical framework. He traces the history of democracy from ancient Athens to the emergence of liberal representative and socialist participatory democracy in Europe and North America, through to the global spread of democracy during the past century. Roper argues that democracy cannot be understood separately from underlying processes of exploitation and class struggle. He offers an engaging Marxist critique of representative democracy, and raises the possibility of alternative democratic forms. The History of Democracy will be of interest to students and scholars of history and politics and all those concerned about the past, present and future of democracy.