Antíteses (Dec 2013)

Representative Democracy

  • Frank Ankersmit

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 6, no. 12
pp. 456 – 467


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The point of departure of this article is to affirm the obvious superiority of Representative Democracy in comparison with other political systems world-wide, but also to recognize another phenomena, which is the increasing lost of its appeal in that part of the world where its superiority had always been maintained. In order to obtain a clear grasp of the cause of our present discontent with representative democracy we should begin (1) with having a closer look at what kind of political system representative democracy actually is. Then (2) I give a quick approach on what is wrong with the resemblance theory and address the discussion about political representation; and finally, (3) the last topic is about the alternative of Direct Democracy upon Representative Democracy, especially thinking about the referred dissatisfaction with the second. I will defend, however, that the search for direct democracy has then, ironically, led us back to what it pretended to improve and to replace.