BERNARD MANIN THE PRINCIPLES OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT PDF

ISBN The 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.

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In The Principles of Representative Government, Bernard Manin interested in distinguishing modern representative republics , such as the United States, from ancient direct democracies , such as Athens. Manin believes that both aspire to "rule of the people," but that the nature of modern representative republics lends them to "rule of the aristocratic.

He does not defend this phenomenon but rather seeks to describe it. Manin draws from James Harrington , Montesquieu , and Jean-Jacques Rousseau to suggest that the dominant form of government, representative as opposed to direct, is effectively aristocratic.

As far as Montesquieu is concerned, elections favor the "best" citizens who Manin notes tend to be wealthy and upper-class. As far as Rousseau is concerned, elections favor the incumbent government officials or the citizens with the strongest personalities, which results in hereditary aristocracy. Manin further evinces the aristocratic nature of representative governments by contrasting them with the ancient style of selection by lot.

However, Manin also provides criticism of direct democracy, or selection by lot. Montesquieu finds that citizens who had reason to believe they would be accused as "unworthy of selection" commonly withheld their names from the lottery, thereby making selection by lot vulnerable to self-selection bias and, thus, aristocratic in nature. The revolutionaries prioritized gaining the equal right to consent to their choice of government even a potentially aristocratic democracy , at the expense of seeking the equal right to be face of that democracy.

And it is elections, not lots, that provide citizens with more opportunities to consent. In elections, citizens consent both to the procedure of elections and to the product of the elections even if they produce the election of elites. In lotteries, citizens consent only to the procedure of lots, but not to the product of the lots even if they produce election of the average person.

That is, if the revolutionaries prioritized consent to be governed over equal opportunity to serve as the government, then their choice of elections over lotteries makes sense. Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Principles of Representative Government" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License ; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends.

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The Principles of Representative Government

The National Library may be able to supply you with a photocopy or electronic copy of all or part of this item, for a fee, depending on copyright restrictions. University of Western Australia. Metamorphoses of representative government. The Principles of Representative Government The balance between aristocratic and democratic components within this novel state form was not, as has been widely supposed, a consequence of a deliberate mystification of its real workings; it was a rationally planned aspect of its basic structure. Un saggio di grande interesse su un argomento completamente dimenticato dagli studi sulla democrazia.

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