Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Melleuish, G. C. 2009, ''Democracy and Asabiya'', Australian Political Studies Association Conference, APSA, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-11.


This paper considers the relationship between democracy and asabiya. By asabiya is meant the ideal of social solidarity, which according to Ibn Khaldûn and Peter Turchin, allows states and empires to grow and flourish, just as its absence leads to their decay. Following the distinction made by Benjamin Constant the paper argues that democracies based on the idea of ancient liberty have a high degree of asabiya while those founded on modern liberty do not. Democracies with a high level of asabiya are aggressive and belligerent, while those following modern liberty are more passive and in danger from belligerent enemies.