First Advisor

Bruce Gilley

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and University Honors


Political Science


Democracy -- Philosophy -- History, Democracy -- United States -- 21st century, Plato -- Criticism and interpretation, Aristotle -- Criticism and interpretation, Thucydides -- Criticism and interpretation




This paper will be looking at the classical political theories of Plato, Aristotle and Thucydides on democracy to prove they are still relevant and applicable, as well as looking into the problem of democratic corruption. This paper will be split into three sections. The first section will explore these philosophers' theories on different types of constitutions and explore what forms the basis for their theories upon democracy. The second section will develop an applicable "classical political theory on democracy," distilled from these authors' arguments. The final section will be applying classical political theory to contemporary American trends to show how significant these theories are even today. This paper will be proving that, through the eyes of classical political theory, the main problem with democracy is that it has no safeguards against the destructive side of human nature. Because democracy's inherent nature to reflect the will and desires of its citizenry, it ends up being as corruptible as people are. In conclusion, the solutions to problems of democracy have been known all along, but require a level of civic engagement that most citizens are unwilling to give.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier