From “Who?” to “How?

The question whose answer shaped the pattern of human behavior in all forms of states previous to the republic founded on written a constitution is “Who decides?”. After the first modern republican constitution and the establishment of constitutional monarchies, this question changed to “How is a given decision made?”

Even in imitations of republics – the so-called “democratic republics” in the former communist world and its remnants, or those in one-party and theocratic regimes, the question “How is a given decision made?” is more significant than “Who decides?” This is because the question of “how” is connected with the existence of different institutions and the division of power, where it exists.

The first known state in which the people tried to exchange the question “Who decides?” with “How is a given decision made?” was the Greek city-state of Athens, around 508 BCE. In the Constitution of the Athenians, written by Aristotle somewhere in the period of 330-322 BCE, three types of power are described – legislative, executive and judicial – which are also the basis of the present-day state.

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