Must Egalitarians Condemn Representative Democracy?

Social Theory and Practice 1 (1):171-198 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Many contemporary democratic theorists are democratic egalitarians. They think that the distinctive value of democracy lies in equality. Yet this position faces a serious problem. All contemporary democracies are representative democracies. Such democracies are highly unequal: representatives have much more power than do ordinary citizens. So, it seems that democratic egalitarians must condemn representative democracies. In this paper, I present a solution to this problem. My solution invokes popular control. If representatives are under popular control, then their extra power is not objectionable. Unfortunately, so I argue, in the United States representatives are under loose popular control.

Similar books and articles

Against Elections: The Lottocratic Alternative.Alexander A. Guerrero - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (2):135-178.
Equality versus priority: A misleading distinction.Daniel M. Hausman - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (2):229-238.
Real-Time Democracy.Shane Ryan - 2016 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (2):301-312.
Filosofia da Democracia.Rocha Acílio da Silva Estanqueiro - 2016 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 72 (4):889-928.
Epistemic Aspects of Representative Government. Goodin, E. Robert & Kai Spiekermann - 2012 - European Political Science Review 4 (3):303--325.
Democracy.Philip Green (ed.) - 1993 - Humanity Books.
Representative Democracy as Tautology.Sofia Näsström - 2006 - European Journal of Political Theory 5 (3):321-342.
Virtuosity, Processual Democracy and Organised Networks.Ned Rossiter - 2005 - Cultural Studeis Review 11 (2):110-128.
La Démocratie Sans Demos.Catherine Colliot-Thélène - 2011 - Presses Universitaires de France.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-02-09

Downloads
236 (#52,829)

6 months
106 (#7,511)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Adam Lovett
London School of Economics

Citations of this work

Voter Motivation.Adam Lovett - 2022 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 21 (3).
Relational Equality and Immigration.Daniel Sharp - 2022 - Ethics 132 (3):644-679.
Representative Democracy and Social Equality.Sean Ingham - 2021 - American Political Science Review:1-13.
The Loving State.Adam Lovett - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

Add more citations

References found in this work

What is the point of equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
The Social Contract.Jean-Jacques Rousseau - 1950 - New York: Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Rule Over None II: Social Equality and the Justification of Democracy.Niko Kolodny - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (4):287-336.
On the People’s Terms.Philip Pettit - 2012 - Political Theory 44 (5):697-706.

View all 13 references / Add more references