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The social sciences deal extensively with the basic questions surrounding contemporary democracies. What are the shortcomings, which problems of legitimacy occur and how can one measure and compare the qualities of democracies? Often, the historical dimension of current developments does not get the necessary attention. Therefore this research professorship examines analytically and empirically the history of democratic ideas and institutions. It looks back to the Third Century BC, to the formative elements of democracy (assembly democracy), examines the late- medieval beginnings of representative democracy, and describes the development of a new era in complex democracy since 1945 known as monitory democracy.