The Secret History of Democracy is a volume that sets out to provide an understanding of experiences of ‘democracy’ that go beyond the standard Western interpretation of the origins and drivers of this political principle. In their introduction, editors Isakhan and Stockwell identify three ‘key factors’ that minimally define the presence of democracy: ‘‘a willingness to participate; an equality of access to information, free speech and voting; and the civic virtue required to appreciate the others’ arguments, to accept the rule of law and to be bound by the majority’’. On the basis of this definition of preconditions, the editors argue that ‘‘it is inconceivable that [democracy] has only occurred in the small collection of historical epochs with which it is usually associated’’.