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Toward Leader Democracy

Jan Pakulski and András Körösényi
 

Toward Leader Democracy

A study of how today’s liberal democratic regimes are increasingly moving towards a pronounced focus on political leaders and their image.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9780857283887
January 2012 | 194 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6
 
PRICE:  £60.00  /  $99.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com
 
 
9780857283887

About This Book

‘Pakulski and Körösényi highlight the utter centrality but frequently evanescent fate of celebrity-like leaders in today’s democracies. By updating and applying the theory of leader democracy set forth by Weber and Schumpeter, the book is a lasting contribution to understanding, like it or not, democracy’s top-down character.’ —John Higley, Chair of the IPSA Research Committee on Political Elites

‘This volume criticises in lively fashion current theories of the decline of participatory democracy, as well as “post-democratic” interpretations of contemporary politics, and will be a useful, engaging, provocative and controversial addition to reading on democracy, elites and contemporary politics.’ —Dr David Lane, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge

‘Skilfully combining empirical and normative analysis, Körösényi and Pakulski offer a lively and compelling defence of so-called leader democracy. Those who advocate other models of democracy (deliberative, participatory, pluralist) will not be able to ignore the bold challenge posed by “Toward Leader Democracy”.’ —Professor Joseph Femia, University of Liverpool

In today’s liberal democracies, does the political process focus on the people, or on the political leaders representing them? Building upon the ideas of Joseph Schumpeter and Max Weber, ‘Toward Leader Democracy’ argues that we are currently seeing a movement toward an increasingly pronounced focus on political leaders – ‘leader democracy’. This form of democracy is fashioned by the political will, determination and commitment of top politicians, and is exercised through elite persuasion that actively shapes the preferences of voters so as to give meaning to political processes. As the text reveals, this marks a definite evolution within the world’s ‘advanced democracies’: democratic representation is today realised increasingly through active political leadership, as opposed to the former practices of statistically ‘mirroring’ constituencies, or the deliberative self-adjustment of the executive to match citizen preferences.

Readership: This book will serve primarily academics in social sciences and philosophy, as well as the informed non-academic public interested in current political trends.

Author Information

Jan Pakulski is Professor of Sociology at the University of Tasmania in Australia.

András Körösényi is Professor of Political Science at Corvinus University in Budapest, and is Director of the Institute for Political Science at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures; Preface; 1. The New ‘New Politics’; 2. Theoretical Anticipations; 3. The Leader-centric Trends; 4. ‘Leader Democracy’ and Its Rivals; 5. The Future of (Leader) Democracy; 6. The Democratic Cycles; References; Index