The Principles of Representative Government
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Principles of Representative Government by Bernard Manin
Book DescriptionThe thesis of this original and provocative book is that representative government should be understood as a combination of democratic and undemocratic, aristocratic elements. Professor Manin challenges the conventional view that representative democracy is no more than an indirect form of government by the people, in which citizens elect representatives only because they cannot assemble and govern in person. The argument is developed by examining the historical moments when the present institutional arrangements were chosen from among the then available alternatives. Professor Manin reminds us that while today representative institutions and democracy appear as virtually indistinguishable, when representative government was first established in Europe and America, it was designed in opposition to democracy proper. Drawing on the procedures used in earlier republican systems, from classical Athens to Renaissance Florence, in order to highlight the alternatives that were forsaken, Manin brings to the fore the generally overlooked results of representative mechanisms. These include the elitist aspect of elections and the non-binding character of campaign promises.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521458917
(228mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 28-Feb-1997
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Bernard Manin
Democracy, Accountability, and Representation, Paperback (September 1999)
This book examines whether the mechanisms of accountability characteristic of democracies, are sufficient to induce the representatives to act in the best interest of the represented.
Principles of Representative Government, Hardback (February 1997)» View all books by Bernard Manin
A survey of democratic institutions and republics reveals the aristocratic origins of democracy.
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