Representative Democracy: Principles and Genealogy
It is usually held that representative government is not strictly democratic, since it does not allow the people themselves to directly make decisions. But here, taking as her guide Thomas Paine’s subversive view that “Athens, by representation, would have surpassed her own democracy,” Nadia Urbinati challenges this accepted wisdom, arguing that political representation deserves to be regarded as a fully legitimate mode of democratic decision making—and not just a pragmatic second choice when direct democracy is not possible.
As Urbinati shows, the idea that representation is incompatible with democracy stems from our modern concept of sovereignty, which identifies politics with a decision maker’s direct physical presence and the immediate act of the will. She goes on to contend that a democratic theory of representation can and should go beyond these identifications. Political representation, she demonstrates, is ultimately grounded in a continuum of influence and power created by political judgment, as well as the way presence through ideas and speech links society with representative institutions. Deftly integrating the ideas of such thinkers as Rousseau, Kant, Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès, Paine, and the Marquis de Condorcet with her own, Urbinati constructs a thought-provoking alternative vision of democracy.
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I had mixed opinions about this book. It's an ambitious work of academic scholarship and a challenging book to read. But the arguments lack clarity, and it's mostly because the author doesn't link ... Read full review
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advocacy argued argument artiﬁcial Athenian democracy candidates chapter citizens civil communication competence conception Condorcet conﬁdence conﬂict consent constitution create critical decisions deﬁned deﬁnition delegated politics delegates deliberation deliberative deliberative democracy demo democ democratic democratic theory despotism direct democracy Discourse on Inequality Ecrits politiques elections electoral fact ﬁction ﬁctional ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁrst free mandate freedom function Hobbes ideas identiﬁed identity ideological indirect individual inﬂuence insofar institutions interests interpretation issue Jean-Jacques Rousseau judge juridical justice Kant Kant’s Kelsen latter lawmakers legislative legitimacy legitimate liberty logic means ment modern Montesquieu moral nation nature norm opinion participation people’s Pitkin political equality political representation Polysynodie popular sovereignty preﬁgured presence primary assemblies principle procedures proposal ratiﬁcation reason reﬂection relation repre representative democracy representative government republic Revolution role Rousseau rule sense Sieyes simply Social Contract society sovereign speciﬁc strategy theorists tion tive unity vote
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Limited preview - 2007
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