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Party and DemocracyThe Uneven Road to Party Legitimacy$
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Piero Ignazi

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198735854

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198735854.001.0001

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Searching for Political Parties in the Past

Searching for Political Parties in the Past

(p.5) 1 Searching for Political Parties in the Past
Party and Democracy

Piero Ignazi

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 introduces the long and difficult process of the theoretical legitimation of the political party as such. The analysis of the meaning and acceptance of ‘parties’ as tools of expressing contrasting visions moves forward from ancient Greece and Rome where (democratic) politics had first become a matter of speculation and practice, and ends up with the first cautious acceptance of parties by eighteenth-century British thinkers. The chapter explores how parties or factions have been constantly considered tools of division of the ‘common wealth’ and the ‘good society’. The holist and monist vision of a harmonious and compounded society, stigmatized parties and factions as an ultimate danger for the political community. Only when a new way of thinking, that is liberalism, emerged, was room for the acceptance of parties set.

Keywords:   part, partiality, faction, common good, holism, monism, ancient Greece, Rome, English Parliament, liberalism

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