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Will vs. Reason: the populist and technocratic forms of political representation and their critique to party government


Caramani, Daniele (2017). Will vs. Reason: the populist and technocratic forms of political representation and their critique to party government. American Political Science Review, 111(1):54-67.

Abstract

The article compares analytically populism and technocracy as alternative forms of political representation to party government. It argues that populist and technocratic principles of representation challenge fundamental features of party democracy. The two alternative forms of representation are addressed theoretically from the perspective of political representation. First, the article identifies the commonalities between the two forms of representation: both populism and technocracy are based on a unitary, nonpluralist, unmediated, and unaccountable vision of society's general interest. Second, it highlights their differences. Technocracy stresses responsibility and requires voters to entrust authority to experts who identify the general interest from rational speculation. Populism stresses responsiveness and requires voters to delegate authority to leaders who equate the general interest with a putative will of the people. While the populist form of representation has received considerable attention, the technocratic one has been neglected. The article presents a more complete picture of the analytical relationship between them.

Abstract

The article compares analytically populism and technocracy as alternative forms of political representation to party government. It argues that populist and technocratic principles of representation challenge fundamental features of party democracy. The two alternative forms of representation are addressed theoretically from the perspective of political representation. First, the article identifies the commonalities between the two forms of representation: both populism and technocracy are based on a unitary, nonpluralist, unmediated, and unaccountable vision of society's general interest. Second, it highlights their differences. Technocracy stresses responsibility and requires voters to entrust authority to experts who identify the general interest from rational speculation. Populism stresses responsiveness and requires voters to delegate authority to leaders who equate the general interest with a putative will of the people. While the populist form of representation has received considerable attention, the technocratic one has been neglected. The article presents a more complete picture of the analytical relationship between them.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Date:February 2017
Deposited On:30 Jan 2018 09:36
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 10:58
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0003-0554
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003055416000538

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