'This is a fascinating account of the foundations of democracy. The book's originality lies in at least two features. First, the functions are indentified more broadly than is conventional; that is, not only in the Greek city states, the Enlightenment and the American and French Revolutions. Mediaeval and pre-modern ideas and developments in the Low countries and England are shown to be an important part of the story. Secondly, it shows a complex history of the dissemination and intermingling of ideas; between those two countries, from them and other European sources to America, and back to Europe in the European Union. Thus, the book succeeds admirably in its ambition to shed light for other countries which, since Germany, are reinventing themselves. It also succeeds in meeting its other ambition to explore democratization beyond the level of states and in so doing, corrects the misapprehension that British and continental ideas are sharply distinctive from one another.' - Professor Elisabeth Meehan, School of Politics, Queen's University of Belfast
'This thoughtful and thought-provoking volume puts the current debate on Europe and democracy into an enlightening historical context. Specialists on the European Union would do well to delve into these varied historical experiences which still have their traces in contemporary Europe.' - Professor Helen Wallace, Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex
'This is an extremely interesting account, by several learned hands, of how 'democracy' has developed across Europe, with particular reference to the question of the hour - how can the European Union achieve a greater state of democratic accountability? Its most tantalising, yet suggestive, message concerns the importance of the English and British role in democratic developments - set against a background in which Britain still withdraws from the debate about European political reform.' - Hugo Young, The Guardian and author of the Blessed Plot
'...it is a very well worthwhile piece of work...I greatly hope that it gets the attention it deserves.' - The Rt. Hon. Lord Jenkins of Hillhead O.M.
About the Author
JOHN PINDER is a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, Bruges, and Chairman of the Federal Trust in London. He was the Director of the Policy Studies Institute from 1964-1985. He is among the leading writers on the politics, economics and history of the European Union and the movements for European unity. His many books include Britain and the Common Market, The Economics of Europe, Fifty Years of Political and Economic Planning, Federal Union: The Pioneers - A History of Federal Union, (with Richard Mayne) and The Building of the European Union, which is the third edition of his European Community: The Building of a Union (1991, 1995).