The Principles of Representative Government
A survey of democratic institutions and republics reveals the aristocratic origins of democracy.
Bernard Manin The Principles Of Representative Government
The thesis of this book is that representative government should be understood as a combination of democratic and undemocratic, aristocratic elements. It 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. The author reminds us that while today, representative institutions and democracy appear as virtually indistinguishable, when representative government was first established in Europe