Against Elections: The Case for Democracy by David Van Reybrouck

By David Van Reybrouck

Democracy is in undesirable wellbeing and fitness. the indicators are widely used: the increase of fear-mongering populists, frequent mistrust within the institution, character contests, and point-scoring rather than reasoned debate, slogans rather than expertise. opposed to Elections offers a brand new analysis —and an old treatment. David Van Reybrouck reminds us that the unique goal of elections was once to exclude the folks from energy by way of appointing an elite to control over them. He demonstrates how over the years their influence has been to minimize the people's participation in executive to an absolute minimal, be certain energy is still within the palms of these who already wield it, and strength politicians to pass judgement on rules now not on their benefits yet on their probability to win or lose votes. and that is whilst elections cross good. but for many of democracy's 3000-year background governments weren't selected by means of election in any respect: they have been appointed, very similar to the jury process, via a mixture of volunteering and lottery. Drawing on gigantic studying, a global array of proof, and increasingly more profitable trials, Against Elections demonstrates how a worldly and sensible model of this old method might paintings this day and hence cast off the underlying reason for democracy's disease. pressing, heretical, and entirely convincing, this publication leaves just one query to be responded: what are we ready for?

Show description

Read or Download Against Elections: The Case for Democracy PDF

Best elections books

The Partisan Sort: How Liberals Became Democrats and Conservatives Became Republicans (Chicago Studies in American Politics)

As Washington elites drifted towards ideological poles during the last few many years, did traditional americans stick to their lead? within the Partisan style, Matthew Levendusky finds that we've got replied to this trend—but now not, for the main half, by way of changing into extra severe ourselves. whereas polarization has filtered right down to a small minority of citizens, it additionally has had the extra major impression of reconfiguring the best way we kind ourselves into political events.

Understanding Political Change. The British Voter 1964–1987

The significant drawback of realizing Political switch is to discover the social and political resources of electoral swap in Britain. From the Labour successes of the Sixties in the course of the reemergence of the Liberals as a countrywide strength in 1974 and the increase and fall of the SDP to the capability emergence of the golf green social gathering within the Nineties, Dr Heath and his collaborators chart the always altering mold of British politics.

Women and Legislative Representation: Electoral Systems, Political Parties, and Sex Quotas

Ladies in Legislative illustration: Electoral platforms, Political events, and intercourse Quotas offers an entire and overseas standpoint at the share and effect of ladies in nationwide parliaments. extra accurately, it seeks to spot the criteria that effect the share of lady parliamentarians, paying specific recognition to the electoral procedure.

Additional info for Against Elections: The Case for Democracy

Sample text

When the supporters of the American and French revolutions proposed elections as a way of getting to know ‘the will of the people’, there were as yet no political parties, no laws regarding universal franchise, no commercial mass media, let alone social media. In fact the inventors of electoral-representative democracy had no idea that any of these things would come into existence. Figure 1 shows how much the political landscape has evolved since then. There was a time when Europe had no citizens, only subjects.

Second, alongside low voter turnout we are seeing high voter turnover. Those qualified to vote in Europe not only vote less, they are more capricious. Those who do vote may still recognise the legitimacy of the procedure, but they show less and less loyalty to a particular party. The organisations set up to represent them receive only provisional support from the electorate and in this context political scientists speak of ‘electoral volatility’ and conclude that it has increased enormously since the 1990s.

Elections, representation of the people and press freedom went hand in hand. Over the next two centuries, this eighteenth-century method went through five structural transformations; political parties arose, universal suffrage was introduced, organised civil society grew, commercial media drowned out the public arena and social media added their voices to the clamour. It goes without saying that the external economic context is of great relevance too, as in times of crisis enthusiasm for democracy ebbs away (in our own time between the wars) whereas in times of prosperity the tide rises again.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.61 of 5 – based on 25 votes