Although the modern age is often described as the age of democratic revolutions, the subject of popular founding has not captured the imagination of contemporary political thought. Most of the time, democratic theory and political science treat as the object of their inquiry normal politics, institutionalized power, and consolidated democracies. This study shows why it is important for democratic theory to rethink the question of democracy's beginnings. Is there a founding unique to democracies? Can a democracy be democratically established? What are the implications of expanding democratic politics in light of the question of whether and how to address democracy's beginnings? Kalyvas addresses these questions and scrutinizes the possibility of democratic beginnings in terms of the category of the extraordinary, as he reconstructs it from the writings of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Hannah Arendt and their views on the creation of new political, symbolic, and constitutional orders.

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