Skip to content

Your Cart


You have 0 items in your cart.

Register Sign in Wishlist


$76.00 (P)

  • Date Published: April 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521877718

$ 76.00 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Charles Tilly's Democracy identifies the general processes causing democratization and de-democratization at a national level across the world over the last few hundred years. It singles out integration of trust networks into public politics, insulation of public politics from categorical inequality, and suppression of autonomous coercive power centers as crucial processes. Through analytic narratives and comparisons of multiple regimes, mostly since World War II, this book makes the case for recasting current theories of democracy, democratization, and de-democratization.

    • Presents a new theory of democracy
    • Beautifully documented case studies
    • Extensive graphics to illustrate the argument
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Charles Tilly in Democracy greatly enriches the literature on transitions in and out of democracy by combining conceptual clarity with an enormously broad knowledge of comparative history, and in the process answers some key questions about the way that institutions interact with social processes."
    Francis Fukuyama, Johns Hopkins University

    "Tilly's trenchant new book brings his forceful insights about politics together in a cogent theory. Tilly revolts against mechanistic theories, describing democratization as an ongoing process of progress and reversal. To replace the simple recipes of the past, Tilly proposes three master processes that shape democracy: the suppression of independent powers, the elimination categorical inequality, and the integration of trust networks into the polity. In a historical tour of the last fifty years, Democracy shows that his process model works for Kazakhstan, South Africa, and beyond. Tilly has thrown down the gauntlet. It is up to the stalwarts of classical democracy theory to read and respond."
    Frank Dobbin, Harvard University

    "In a field teeming with first-rate scholarship, Democracy stands out as a deeply original and exciting contribution. Tilly seeks out the profoundly contentious processes that have slowly moved states along a democratic path or that have moved them -- alas, generally much more rapidly -- away from democracy. Scholars will be debating this book's provocative propositions for a long time."
    John Markoff, University of Pittsburgh

    "In this compelling work, Charles Tilly brings his unrivaled historical knowledge to bear on fundamental questions of democracy. His argument focuses on long-run social processes, not only those that further democratization but also those that often rapidly undermine it. In restoring the centrality of history to scholarship on democratization, he sets a research agenda that will occupy scholars for some time to come."
    Elisabeth Jean Wood, Yale University and the Santa Fe Institute

    "Democracy is more celebrated than understood. This inquiry by the great historical sociologist offers an important reinterpretation of the global advancement and retreat of democracy. Drawing on several decades of work on collective action in modern societies, Tilly fashions an innovative framework to track the processes of democratization and de-democratization across the centuries... This book is essential reading for those eager to see democracy spread further around the world. But its message is sobering: outsiders can make a difference, but their efforts must be aimed at strengthening the deep building blocks of open, trusting, accountable, and noncoercive societies."
    Foreign Affairs

    "Building upon decades of pioneering work in the study of collective action, Tilly considers whether, where, and how democracy can be created - and dismantled, too. This is not a brief introduction to the concept, but an original rethinking of the contingency of democratic processes. As usual, Tilly combines an easy sense of humor with historical depth and a fearless range across cases in Europe and beyond. There is a kind of practicality about Tilly's work that makes it eminently accessible and equally essential. He shows us that social movements and the habits they foster do matter and that, in short, democracy can happen." European Studies Forum

    "Tilly has written a lively and eminently readable study of democracy and democratization...In a field experiencing renewed interest in the topic of democracy, Tilly's book is a groundbreaking contribution that will no doubt attain the status of a classic."
    Jose A. Aleman, Journal of Politics

    "Over the years, Tilly has accumulated impressive historical and theoretical knowledge, and this new book is yet another testimony of his lasting contribution to the fields of historical, comparative, and political sociology."
    Daniel Beland, Canadian Journal of Sociology

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2007
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521877718
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 232 x 164 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 13 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. What is democracy
    2. Democracy in history
    3. Democratization and de-democratization
    4. Trust and distrust
    5. Equality and inequality
    6. Power and public politics
    7. Alternative paths
    8. Democracy's past and futures.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Building Democracy
  • Author

    Charles Tilly, Columbia University, New York
    Charles Tilly (PhD Harvard, 1958) taught at the University of Delaware, Harvard University, the University of Toronto, the University of Michigan, and the New School for Social Research before becoming Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has published fifty books and monographs. His books from Cambridge University Press include Dynamics of Contention (with Doug McAdam and Sidney Tarrow, 2001), Silence and Voice in the Study of Contentious Politics (with Ronald Aminzade and others, 2001), The Politics of Collective Violence (2003), Contention and Democracy in Europe, 1650–2000 (2004), and Trust and Rule (2005).

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.