This important work by political philosopher C.B. Macpherson explores the implications of the ideas about democracy that he offered in such previous books as The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism. Macpherson modifies, extends, and clarifies the concept of a man's power and that of the "transfer of powers," and argues that a liberal-democratic theory can be based on an adequate concept of human powers and capacities without insuperable difficulties. Arguing that the neo-classical liberalisms of Chapman, Rawls, and Berlin fall short of providing an adequate basis for a twentieth-century liberal-democratic theory largely because, in different ways, they fail to see or understate the transfer of powers, Macpherson suggests that the liberal theory of property should be, and can be, revised fundamentally to accommodate new democratic demands. In this manner Macpherson establishes the need for a theory of democracy that gets clear of the disabling central defect of current liberal-democratic theory, while recovering the humanistic values that liberal democracy has always claimed. The result is one of the seminal works of twentieth-century political philosophy. A new Introduction by Frank Cunningham puts the work in a twenty-first-century context.