Articles European Union

Representative democracy and populism

05 Sep 2017 - 16:45
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The dangers of populism, though real enough, should not be exaggerated. Populists never demanded the abolition of representative democracy, a political system we know so well, but understand so poorly. The cause of populism is that after the death of ideology many people discovered the painful truth that representative democracy is not a democracy at all, but an elective aristocracy.

Read the full article in our dossier: 'Populism: between renewal and breakdown of democracy'

Authors

Frank Ankersmit
Emeritus professor of intellectual history and historical theory at the University of Groningen