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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law [MPECCoL]

History and Theory of Mixed Governments

Cesare Pinelli

Subject(s):
Legal system — Democracy — Monarchy

Published under the direction of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law.
General Editors: Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1. The concept of mixed government originated in the second century BC with the Greek historian Polybius’ attempt to account for the outstanding stability of the Roman Republic. The system of government of the Roman Republic, Polybius noted, combined aspects of each of the three Aristotelian classes of government: monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. 2. Owing to its structural indeterminacy, the concept proved sufficiently adaptable to be reworked by political thinkers over the ages and has survived into modern times. Since the rise of modern constitutionalism,...
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