The Principles of Representative Government

The Principles of Representative Government

by Bernard Manin
Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press


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The Principles of Representative Government

The thesis of this original and provocative book is that representative government should be understood as a combination of democratic and undemocratic elements. Challenging the conventionally held views on the subject, 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. The author identifies the essential features of democratic institutions and reviews the history of their application.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521452588
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/28/1997
Series: Themes in the Social Sciences Series
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Direct democracy and representation: selection of officials in Athens; 2. The triumph of election; 3. The principle of distinction; 4. A democratic aristocracy; 5. The verdict of the people; 6. Metamorphoses of representative government; Conclusion; Index.

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From the Publisher

"This is an especially useful source for upper-division undergraduate and graduate students of political theory and comparative government." J.D. Robertson, Choice

"The great strength of this book is that it takes seriously the issue Rousseau raised, probing deeply the complex relationship between representative governments and the ideal of democracy. Ranging widely over Athenian democracy, Western political thought, and recetn political practice, Manin serves capably as historian, political philosopher, and political scientist. The result is an easily readable, thoughtful exploration both of the principles underlying representative government and of the complex connection between those principles and democratic ideals." Ethics

"Manin's account of representitive government as a mixed political institution is an original and important contribution to political theory and political science. It deserves widespread attention and should inspire us to take a fresh look at some of our most familiar political practices." Bernard Yack, The Review of Politics

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