Georg W. Oesterdiekhoff
There has been a long history of discussion whether intellectual or socioeconomic factors caused the rise of constitutional state and democracy, replacing the previous authoritarian forms of government. Some authors emphasized the role developmental psychology could play in illuminating the intellectual causes to these political phenomena. According to Piagetian researches, modern humankind has run through a psychogenetic evolution during the past several centuries. This psychological transformation entails higher forms of socio-moral consciousness decisive to the loss of legitimacy of authoritarian forms and to the erection of more humane political forms such as constitutional state and democracy.