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Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy
Political Representation in Leader Democracy1
Institute of Political Science Faculty of Law and Government Loránd Eötvös University of Budapest Budapest, Egyetem tér 1-3. 1053 Hungary Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paper prepared for the workshop on “Political Representation”, ECPR Joint Sessions, Edinburgh 2003
In recent years new challenges have emerged undermining our traditional views on representation and other key concepts of modern representative democracy. The political literature of the past ten to fifteen years, and works of political science proper, have raised the advent of a new era in the history of European democracies. If the 19th century was characterised by liberal parliamentarism and the 20th by party-based democracy, at the turn of the millennium commentators could observe phenomena in ever increasing numbers which do not in any way fit the picture that had evolved in respect of party-based democracy. These new phenomena, including the mediatization of politics, the emergence of political marketing, the appearance of cartel parties (Katz-Mair 1995), the professionalization of the political class and the presidentialization of governance (Foley 1993; Fröhlich 1997; Heffernan 2000; Poguntke 2000; Webb 2000) have changed the operation and the nature of representative democracies in Europe (Hennessy 1998; 1999; James 1995; Kavanagh-Seldon 1999; Rhodes/Dunleavz 1995). The impact of European integration on parliamentary governments in the European countries also implies the erosion of parliamentary control over executive office holders. Many traits of representative democracy, as well as the very meaning of representation have changed (Mair 2000; Manin 1994; Manin 1997). Major elements of these changes include the following: 1. First and perhaps the most striking element may be the fact that the institutional arena of politicization has shifted: from parliament, which was earlier regarded the principal political arena, to the media where political players today tend to project themselves. Leading politicians, such as prime ministers now make their major announcements not in parliament but at mediatised events. 2. The character of politics has also altered, to some extent in connection with this process. Ideological politics and pragmatic interest conciliation are being replaced by
Prepared for the workshop “Political Representation”, ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops, University of Edinburgh, 28 March-2 April 2003. The paper is prepared as a part of a Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) research project.
A. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy
political marketing and carefully designed media messages. Rhetoric and planned image creation have taken the foreground. 3. Likewise, the character of parties has changed: the caucus type of ’parties’ of liberal parliamentarism have been replaced by class parties, and later by catch-all parties. By now class parties have disappeared while cartel parties have appeared alongside catch-all parties. 4. The political establishment has also metamorphosed. The amateur politicizing of liberal parliament was succeeded by the activities of the political elites of party democracies, representing various social groups and classes, while a professional political class with an increasingly homogeneous social background emerged in the late 20th century. 5. Each historical phase of parliamentary governance is characterized by a different type of government: the place of cabinet government typical under liberal parliamentarism was taken by prime ministerial government by the mid-20th century, while the end of the century saw the appearance of presidentialized governance. The prime minister is the first not only in the cabinet but his/her person dominates the whole of political life. 6. Accordingly, parliamentary support for government and the character of parliamentary factions have also changed. The cabinet government of liberal parliament had only an unruly, heterogeneous faction to rely on, in other words the party was not self-evidently supportive of government. In the party-based democracy typical in the 20th century, prime ministerial government could already rely on a disciplined and politically homogeneous faction in parliament, that is to say it had a solid party backing. And the prime minister of the end of the 20th century, building a presidential image, can now count on a politically homogeneous, disciplined faction in parliament, while the extra-parliamentary party (party organization and party members) is now but an electoral machine. 7. Thus the relationship between citizen and government just as the role of parties as mediators have changed. Under liberal parliamentarism both the relationship between citizen and government, and the selection of political leaders were indirect. Franchise was limited and constituencies were mostly represented in the legislature by local notabilities.2 Party democracy, however, already created an institutional relationship between citizens and government through the extension of franchise and through emerging mass parties. The relationship and the selection of leaders remained indirect, even if with a difference. In the new era which started at the end of the 20th century a direct, if virtual, relationship emerged between the electorate and political leaders through the electronic mass media. The presidentialisation of governance means precisely that top political leaders, including prime ministers (e.g. Berlusconi, Blair, Orbán, Schröder), no longer appeal primarily to mediator institutions, such as their own parties, interest groups or parliament, but directly to the electorate. Due to the personal appearance of political leaders in the media and the decline of the role of parties as mediators,3 politics and the electoral race are becoming greatly personalized. The metaphor of presidentialisation refers, in part, precisely to the personalized nature of American politics which already existed earlier owing to the direct system of presidential elections. In this sense, the selection of leaders becomes direct in parliamentary systems too, the elbowroom and political responsibility of prime ministers increase while they become directly accountable.
In the constituencies the relationship between constituents and their representatives was direct, because only a limited number of individuals had the right to vote. This is the consequence of the fading mass party character since this formerly key party function is no longer needed for political mobilisation.
These processes are not nearly as clear as the rough presentation given above. increasingly bear direct responsibility to the electorate through personalised elections. but the selection and bringing to book of leaders directly by citizens. (Empirically this is manifest most patently in the dual. nor the parliamentary representation of social interest groups (including a selection between party programmes). Yet I am inclined to believe that the nature of parliamentary democracies and representative governments has undergone a considerable change. prime ministers. First. I will analyse its main characteristics.A. It is different compared to how it was fifty. The characteristic of today’s mediatised and personalised democracies is precisely that elections are no longer about individual candidates from single-member constituencies. is the concept of leader democracy. Michael Oakeshott and Giovanni Sartori. The new period following party-based democracy might be called mediatised or personalised democracy for some of its empirical properties. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 3 There is no consensus about whether such a new era exists at all. and with party-based / pluralist democracy on the other hand. I would like to analyse the changes of the meaning of political representation in the different models of representative democracy. Joseph Schumpeter. however.) Therefore. two-party or two-block rivalry. The aim of my paper is twofold. but political leaders have parties. As a result. Elections are tantamount to calling to direct account the government and the prime minister. vote (quasi) directly for leaders. My focus. in turn. although in my view on the theoretical level the concept of leader democracy (the Führerdemokratie of Max Weber) is more appropriate for it. Hannah Arendt. Carl Schmitt. In my paper I will seek to elaborate the concept of leader democracy and compare it with liberal parliamentarism / the theory of deliberative democracy on one hand. The independent role of parties has diminished. I would like to integrate the problem of political representation into a broader concept of democratic theory. Second. It is no longer parties that have leaders. but about rival political leaders. And even less about how it should be called or assessed. The model of leader democracy is based especially on the political theory of Max Weber. I assume that the nature of political representation depends largely on the specific concept of democracy. who are constitutionally accountable to parliament. parliamentary elections today do not involve the local selection of notabilities. The theory of pluralist democracy corresponds to the era of party-based democracy. the emergence of the above phenomena is widely disputed. The theory of deliberative democracy corresponds to the image of liberal parliamentarism. in fact. In this short introduction I will try to demonstrate how the character of the three consecutive empirical/historical types of democracy differ. while they were earlier indirectly called to account through parliament. comparing it with the two other models. In the following I will first summarise the meaning of representation in the three different models of democracy. or even twenty or thirty years ago. Bertrand de Jouvenel. At the end of the paper Table 2 gives an overview on the meaning of representation in the three models of democracy. Party leaders appeal directly to the electorate and they. . There are three theories of representative democracy that more or less correspond to the three historical epochs/types of representative government. Secondly. I will describe the characteristics of representation in leader democracy. nor about parties.
4 See the role of the original position and the veil of ignorance in John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice (Rawls 1971). as search for truth. social or religious interest groups. 1989). Mill).g. politics based on interests does not result in consensus but in compromise.4 Members of parliament are in an “ideal speech situation” (Habermas 1990): they have free mandates. The purpose of parties in parliament is to represent the interests of the social groups behind them as efficiently as possible. All major social interest groups are represented and none of them becomes dominant. Participants of the parliamentary debate are impartial and rational individuals whose purpose is to find truth. The underlying hypothesis behind this view is the assumption (the mandate view) that if an assembly is descriptively representative then it will act (and so will the government) in the interest of the represented (Manin-Przeworski-Stokes 1999. has a substantive meaning. the fundamental logic of democracy here is utilitarian. The party composition of parliament reflects the cleavages of classes and interests in society. The discussion transcends the prior views of the participants and leads to the recognition of truth which has been arrived at through the discussion. A compromise is always established. As Jon Elster formulated it in the language of social choices. Anthony Downs (1957). 6 5 This was the mainstream view on representation for decades in the second half of the 20th century. The image of party-based democracy is founded on the pluralism of interests inherent in society and on the key role of parties. Politicians represent their own party and class. In the model of the party-based / pluralist democracy the political representation in the legislature aims at an accurate depiction of the political groupings in the society. Political action is based on interests. 11-12). Parliament is not the forum of rational debate in search of truth but it is the forum of rational bargaining and interest conciliation. and the public good consists in the compromise reached between the interests in the political process. The rational quality of the debate is the guarantee to lead to truth whereupon political consensus rests. since a rational discussion would tend to produce unanimous preferences” (Elster 1997.A. or by the concept of a transcendental type of representation (Eric Voegelin). Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 4 Changes in the meaning of political representation In liberal parliamentarism and in the model of deliberative democracy political representation might be characterised either by the concept of personal representation (J. Carl Schmitt (1991) and Jürgen Habermas (1962). but their own personal opinion. for the battle of interests eventually creates equilibrium. Proportional representation is an appropriate electoral system to reflect the political composition of the whole nation. Robert Dahl (1956. 31-32). Politics is an instrumental activity. The proper composition of the legislature is the guarantee of the representativeness of the system. It is representation in a descriptive sense. For truth will be the basis of decision and political action. Consequently. and in the parliamentary debate they represent no territorial. for critical interpretation see e. “there would not be any need for an aggregating mechanism.5 A representative in this model "stands for" the whole nation. the right opinion to serve the public good. Representation. Classic authors representing this approach are Harold Laski. In this model the participants of the debate are not limited by private or segmental interests. The pluralist theory does not regard politics as an autonomous sphere: representation means the mirroring of social groupings and diversity.S. .6 In this regime political players are no longer unbiased individuals but interest organizations and parties which represent the particular interests of social classes and groups.
e. therefore. rival image of this third historical era supposes7. they are political leaders. and finally (5) the notion of politics which might facilitate an understanding of a new concept of representation. The party pluralist model is based on the same premises with the difference that its sources are not individuals but social groups. (3) the concept of knowledge and the role of discussion. the means to acquire political support will be persuasion and rhetoric. These group interests are channelled into the political process by interest organisations and parties. it involved selecting leaders. I will try to make this clear below. The active players of politics are not the constituents but the politicians. The image underlying leader democracy accepts that in the world of mediatised politics the efficient communication of planned media messages to the electorate becomes the principal means of obtaining political support. On the level of democratic theory it can be constructed as the “personalised” and “mediatised” adaptation of the utilitarian democratic model and of the Downsian democratic. is quite different from the two other models. (2) the subject of the representative. The theory of leader democracy to be elaborated below is built on this image. (4) the role of political action. Public opinion is the mechanical aggregate of ex ante individual opinions. however. necessarily mean that the packaging should become more important than the product. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 5 The theory of leader democracy is based on an image of democracy which is not satisfied with a rival image that claims that politics is less and less about content and policy issues while it is more and more personalised and focused on image creation. Therefore. nor are they advertising or PR professionals. To Jeremy Bentham or in the model of Anthony Downs this is what democratic elections are for.A. respectively. The meaning of political representation in the theory of leader democracy. It is not deliberation or mirroring. The political process is not generated by the political preferences of the electorate or the interests of social groups but rather by the aspirations and ambitions of politicians. Constituents are reactive. Political representation in leader democracy In the following description of the characteristics of representation in leader democracy I will focus on the questions of (1) the relationship between representatives and the represented. 1. instead of the mass party membership and party organisations of old. but leadership: i. Principal players of the political process are not rational individuals or political parties representing social groups as under liberal parliamentarism and party-based pluralism. acting and supplying new policies: creating a new quality. This does not. Rival politicians attempt to obtain greater support not by accommodating the political preferences of the electorate but by trying to manipulate and produce electoral preferences themselves. And the objective of politicians is not to reach consensus or compromise but to obtain and maintain political support (Jouvenel). The changing relationship between representatives and the represented The relationship between representatives and the represented has changed to the reverse of what it was usually assumed in other models of democracy. 7 . The function of pluralism of interest groups and parties is primarily the articulation and reflection of these interests of the This rival image might be called the populist concept of democracy. as another. This is because in the model of leader democracy political action is based not on truth or interests but on opinion and resolve. Under the utilitarian notion of democracy the political process is nothing else but the aggregation of existing preferences of rational individuals.
8 In this case public opinion also rests. while the political process is nothing but the conciliation of these interests and the creation of a compromise. interests and values of their own. This also means that the theories of collective choice (public choice) which aggregates individual preferences are not suitable to reflect the basic logic of the political process of leader democracy. during the political process. 9 8 . Przeworski and Stokes make the point that politicians do have goals. Thus public opinion is produced not as a result of the integration of a priori preferences existing dispersedly in individuals or groups (as such a priori political preferences do not exist) but it is produced and manipulated especially by political leaders. i. For one thing.9 We saw that public opinion is not a priori given and that politicians. to an orator it is a challenge to create public opinion that supports the orator’s political ideas or will.A. Perhaps two analogies might shed light on the role of the political leader who is the representative in leader democracy. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 6 represented. The antique concept of rhetoric explores the relationship between politicians (orators) and citizens. And once they are elected. or the populist mobocrat seeking the favour of public opinion.e. and the second is the analogy of the entrepreneur in the economy. who oversees and rules. as well as the mechanism of shaping public opinion.e. 263). Whereas in a leader democracy (as in the ancient polis) public opinion is not a priori given. is not identical with the demagogue. Therefore. The first is the analogy of the antic orator. they may want to pursue their own endeavours. their attitude to public opinion is different. They are involved in the generation of public opinion or the manipulation of preferences. focusing on the role of opinions that keep the entire democratic political process in motion. on the ex ante group opinion of the represented. although in a more complicated way. the orator by having more convincing arguments in the political debate. Collective choices are also choices of certain individuals or groups. That is why the analogy of the antique orator/rhetor is appropriate to characterise the relationship between politicians and citizens in a leader democracy. The concept of rhetoric exhibits the fact that democracy as a political process (or politics) is in the first place not the rule of but the rule over public opinion. Public opinion is constructed by the political process. not a parasite of public opinion as the demagogue is. the nature of public opinion is not ex ante but ex post as it is the outcome of political action and is in permanent change. it does not exist before the political process: the objective of rival politicians is precisely to convince the public or rather to generate public opinion which suits them. i. an orator shapes it.e. have a major role in constructing public opinion. While to a demagogue public opinion is a given. While a demagogue accommodates public opinion. or rhetor. political players. The assumption of these theories that citizens have a priori preferences is unrealistic. beside other actors. it is the politicians (the representatives themselves) who have a major. government actions cannot be deduced / explained from ex ante / a priori individual preferences. The orator. to do things other than represent the public (Manin-Przeworski-Stokes 1999.e. While a demagogue emerges by closely sensing the moods of the masses.g. “the will of the people is the product and not the motive power of the political process” (Shumpeter 1987. Consequently. but the orator is a political leader. among other actors. or even produces public opinion. although not exclusive role in the construction of the political views of the represented (see e. A demagogue may become a mobocrat while the orator has Manin. whose choice will be supported later by a larger number of followers or accepted by the majority of citizens. in both the polis and leader democracy. 29). The orator is not the servant of the moods of the masses. on which public policy is based. agenda-setting). however. i. orators. i. As Schumpeter put it. collective choices.
10 According to the concept of the political entrepreneur. the statesman (see e. Schumpeter used the analogy of the entrepreneur to illuminate the role of political leaders in the process of political willmaking.11 From public choice theory we could learn not only that (a) even a priori given individual preferences are not possible to be aggregated into a single and unambiguous collective choice (moreover. or the success of persuasion.g. The analogies of the orator and of the entrepreneur also highlight that politicians in a leader democracy are active actors of the political process. He fulfills a similar role in the political process than an orator or a statesman in the Aristotelian and Sophistic notion of Greek democracy. while they were considered by Socrates (Plato) speakers accommodating the desires of the people. politicians in Downs's rational (utilitarian) model of democracy are simple manufacturers who satisfy the existing demand. The focus on the demand-side. is a part of the political while Socrates (Plato) denied that politics is an independent form of activity. they define its direction. they form public policy. About the manipulation of citizen preferences by the politicians or by government. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 7 the chance to become a statesman. 11 10 Or a craftsman according to Aristotle. a public opinion leader as well. distinguished the parasite of public opinion. the dialogue of Plato’s Gorgias). the demagogue. but the political leaders whom the citizens have the possibility to vote for. just like Aristotle. 1986. In the Schumpeterian model of democracy. that they have a chance to select among rival political leaders. the public is a reactive actor. who produces something familiar (and does not create anything new). but also (b) that democratic political competition takes place in an arena where agenda-setting is controlled first of all by the political leaders. The notions of democracy of Aristotle and of the Sophists – looking through the lens of Socrates and Plato – are very close on certain crucial points. and. In other words. the assumption of such preferences is completely unrealistic). Maravall 1999. on the aggregation of individual preferences prevents this approach from grasping the political process and makes it incompatible with the more realistic assumptions of the model of leader democracy. while the electorate. to the Sophists and Aristotle rhetoric. His knowledge is a tekhné type of knowledge. I have taken my second analogy from Joseph Schumpeter. The nature of the political market is quite the opposite that the aggregative theories of democracy assume.A. where the emphasis is on the supply side of the political market. A third common trait is that to the Sophists and Aristotle. What democratic procedures ensure is first that citizens (and interest groups) have a chance to influence this policy. rightfully. 12 . Themistocles and Pericles are not only good speakers but great statesmen. see e. One of their common traits is that rhetorical truth has no other final criterion than winning public opinion. from the “real” orator. They are political leaders who keep the political process in motion. and they appeal to the citizens to rally followers (and voters) for themselves and/or for their policy. second. which shows many affinities with the concept of Max Weber.12 Therefore the primary actors of politics in leader democracy are not the voters. In leader democracy the political leader is an orator. the figure of the politician is not simply a political manufacturer who reacts to existing demand but a political entrepreneur who does not cater to existing demands but creates new demand by supplying new policies (Schumpeter 1987). or demagogues.g. Another common trait is that Sophist philosophers. Riker 1982.
The head of state is usually regarded as a figure of symbolic representation. Usually. but also the working head of the government: he is the chief executive. which is reserved for the executive. the head of state is at the same time the chief executive which is far from being a symbolic position: the role of the head of state here is to embody effective leadership. A king can retain and fill his position as symbol only at the price of abstaining from "real" political activity. but not for action. in the parliamentary. both the government (or prime minister) of a parliamentary system and the head of state of the presidential form of government are to be considered as the subject of representation. then at that of the prime minister. they (and not political parties) embody (and form) the political views of the electorate.A. A representative assembly institutionalises representation in a descriptive sense. First. which is an elected assembly. In the model of leader democracy the principal political actors. The US president. to the government. Both the “presidentialization” of government in many European states on the empirical level and the model of leader democracy on the theoretical level have changed our approach to the issue of representation. and not political groups / parties as in the model of party-based / pluralist democracy. the head of state stands for. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 8 2. Even in his case we can distinguish between his expressive and/or ceremonial duties and his non-ceremonial (real) activities. are the political leaders (e.e. However. is the head of state in a symbolic sense. He symbolises the nation only in his first function (Pitkin 1967. and the crisis of representation (in a descriptive sense) in particular. It is for discussion. 103). Let us first take a look at the role of the head of state. A king/queen of a monarchy.e. nor notables or individuals as in liberal parliamentarism or in the model of deliberative democracy. The subject of the representative: the personalization of politics and the role of charisma One of the important traits of leader democracy is the personalization of politics. Second. Political leaders dominate the scene. but a state of affairs. i. In this regard. But what about the chief executive of the government? Does not he represent the . debate and deliberation. they have a wider autonomy for action than political parties of the pluralist model. The head of state. In the legislature. directs our attention to the question whether we may or should apply the concept of representation to the executive. and not acts for the nation. however. The legislative assembly is the representative body. being a non-representative institution. The decline of parliament in general. the answer can be only affirmative. candidates for premiership) themselves. These political leaders have more room for political manoeuvre. in contrast. Hannah Pitkin emphasized that symbolic representation in politics is not an activity. in a presidential form of government. Its function is to reflect the diversity of the nation. The personalization of politics in leader democracy has changed the subject of the representative. but even in the presidential system of government. namely for the government. i. representatives of the political community as a whole. whose aspirations launch and keep in motion the political process. is an exception in two respects. while the executive is usually excluded from representation. or a president of a republic represents the nation in a symbolic sense.g. Therefore. (s)he embodies the unity of the whole nation. the legislature is regarded as the major institution of representation. (s)he embodies symbolic representation in the state. representing sectional interests. In my view. he represents the nation in his second function: he acts for it in a substantive sense. a multitude of views / groups is represented.
Accountability descriptive (reflecting diversity) deliberating accountable. The principal means of accountability are the elections (or the vote of nonconfidence in parliament). such as the belief and trust in the charismatic power of leaders. They are regarded as the political leaders of their nations on both the international and the domestic scene. Activity 3. He acts for his nation. Leadership also includes personal appearance before the public (through the electronic media). 14 . he does not represent it in a descriptive sense.A. strengthens the role of personality in leadership. the representative assembly. 107). satisfaction among the people. to give a mandate to act for the nation and in the name of the nation. or giving orders to civil or military servants under his supervision or to executive bodies. symbolises and acts. an activity to foster confidence. Democracy with leadership is established through the transformation of charismatic leadership14 to 13 In leader democracy the activity of a political leader includes image-making. in its pure form. but also when they act as statesmen. It means vesting authority in. Representation becomes identified with effective leadership (Pitkin 1967. A political leader can make himself an accepted leader through his personal appeal. The personalization of politics enlarges the role of non-rational elements. He represents his nation and/or his country in international talks. as well as in the name of his nation on both scenes but not reflecting the diversity of the nation through his acts. 107). giving trust to a single person to govern. responsive Head of State symbolic symbolising not accountable Chief Executive acting governing / acting accountable. responsible The chief executive in a leader democracy is accountable for his activity to both the electorate and to parliament. Charismatic leadership.13 Max Weber used his concept of charismatic leadership to analyse democratic legitimacy. Representative role 2.e. respectively (see Table 1). The US or the French president represent their nations not only in their symbolic role. To summarise the above argument. Table 1. the head of state and the chief executive each has a representative role in a different sense: it reflects. i. negotiations and conferences and also when issuing rules or decrees. A direct or quasi-direct election of the chief executive. like in presidential systems or in presidentialized parliamentary governments. through his image and through his activity (Pitkin 1967. is an answer to extraordinary challenges. Three roles of representation Representative Assembly 1. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 9 nation? Nobody would say that in politics the Queen represented Britain more than Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s or Tony Blair since he was appointed prime minister. loyalty. The prime minister of a parliamentary government or the president in a presidential form of government is a person authorised to act as the chief executive (or as head of the chief executive body in a cabinet government). He differentiated between democracy with and without leadership. as political leaders of their nations.
In the case of democratic legitimacy. the recognition of a leader is not a consequence. because it shows that charisma is a significant element in both plebiscitary and leader democracy. Mouffe 1993. he may lose power at the next elections. When the followers feel that his magic power left him. For contemporary criticism on the political neutralisation impact of liberalism see e. The recognition is expressed through election.17 In the theory of leader democracy the basis for political action is not truth or interest but simply opinion and/or volition. Parties are driven by interests. The concept of political knowledge and the role of discussion In leader democracy the political actors have a different motivation and stimulus for political action than the actors in the two other models of democracy. the motivation for political action is interest. The routinization of charismatic leadership through regular elections modified the principle of legitimacy. a democratic and /or representative government without leadership (i. motivation for action is provided by individual utility. but the basis (precondition) of the legitimacy of his rule. Their followers trust them for their personal image. in particular the group interests of society. and that (3) no one has the will / intention for political action or a concept what to do in public affairs. Honig 1993. or knowledge. which can be regarded as the intellectual preliminary to party pluralism. a purely legal domination in Weber's typology) has three basic assumptions which are false: (1) political conflicts can be neutralised and political consensus may be reached.16 Persons are more important than issues (interests). right judgement. In the theory of liberal parliamentarism / deliberative democracy the basis (motivation.e. The motivation for action is thus subjective. 269). i.15 The concept of Weber is important for us. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 10 everyday demands. but changes the ground of legitimacy and produces a mixture of legal and charismatic domination. 266-271) In the utilitarian democratic theory. Presidents and prime ministers are elected because of their personal appeal. their image and their ability to inspire loyalty. qualities and attraction – i. where the individuals are the principal actors. The legal procedure of election as well as the recognition of and allegiance to a charismatic personality has its role under legitimate democratic rule. pp.e. One way of routinization of charismatic leadership is the election of leaders by the electorate. and winning the elections is the way to gain legitimacy.g.e. and if he is not successful. (2) norms can rule everything and in every situation (subsumption is always possible). 3. as well as for their ability to gain support and rally followers. Newey 2001. 16 17 . In my view. He is recognised as a legitimate leader as long as he is able to demonstrate his ability. The legitimacy of charismatic domination in its pure form is based on the extraordinary quality possessed by a charismatic leader who emerges in a crisis situation. Carl Schmitt highlighted the antipolitical character of this approach in his Der Begriff des Politischen (Schmitt 1932).A. It has no “objective” basis such as an 15 Democracy without leadership is a pure form of the legal / bureaucratic domination (bureaucratic Rechtstaat) where instead of people norms rule: in this type they "attempt to minimise the domination of man over man" (Weber 1978. because of subjective emotions and feelings which cannot be explained by rational arguments. (Weber 1978. In the theory of party pluralism. on the other hand. stimulus) for political action is truth. The leader obtains a chance to prove his capacity for efficient leadership after winning the elections. Leader democracy is a routinized version of charismatic leadership. and not necessarily because of their political stand. It is sought by the players in rational parliamentary debate and it also becomes the basis of their judgement and political decision. This is very close to the liberal approach to politics. This is reproduced on group level in the theory of pluralist democracy. individual interests. It solves the crucial problem of succession. This is plebiscitary democracy. he loses his charisma and then his ruling position (he leaves or is expelled). 2000. democracy with leadership.
in the theory of pluralist democracy it is productive knowledge (tekhné) while the theory of leader democracy is built on practical knowledge (praxis). Manin. In reality. Mill to the works of B. The role of discussion is only to review the propositions and to select the best and make it public: to prove the quality of the best statements vis-a-vis the others. knowledge in the sense Plato understood it. They have room for action. But the role of discussion is very different in each case: it corresponds to the type of knowledge that is assumed by each model as a basis for political action.A. The premise of the theory of leader democracy is that the motivation for political action is provided not by theoretical knowledge. about the future. We have seen that in the theory of liberal parliamentarism (deliberative democracy). the basis of political action is theoretical knowledge (epistemé). or praxis. epistemé. in other words there is no. and praxis. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 11 understanding of truth. respectively. The role of discussion is similar to that in an expert committee: it is to select a useful technique. The difference in motivation for political action also means that each democratic theory has a different concept of the substance of political knowledge. The concept of political knowledge highlights the role of discussion which is an important factor in the concept of representation from the works of J. the basis of political action is productive knowledge (tekhné). The role of discussion is to select the true statement. they regard different types of knowledge as a ground / pre-condition for political action. to use Aristotle's term.19 In the theory of pluralist democracy. Discussion has also a role in each of our three models of democracy. nor interest but opinion and will/volition. or in the academy of sciences. or individual or group interests as the two other democratic theories assume. they have to take the risk of decisions and their consequences. We will see later that political action is subject to conditions of contingency. It is not just that a better argument convinces everybody. it is similar to the role of discussion in a learned society. The subject of this sort of practical knowledge. The principal players of the political process carrying these types of knowledge are the philosopher (scientist). The politician of a leader democracy is thus equally different from the political technocrat18 of pluralist democracy and the philosopher leaders in quest of truth of liberal parliamentarism /deliberative democracy. and there can be no. I will try to highlight this difference through the Aristotelian theory of the three types of knowledge. The aggregation of knowledge may produce a better solution. This is the realm of deliberation and decision about action. it is methodology and not discussion which produces real scientific results.S. and the nature of political decision and action is of the exact same kind. Aristotle distinguished three types of knowledge which he designated as tekhné. knowledge. There is no absolute certainty in this realm. therefore. is the politician or the statesman. In the theory of liberal parliamentarism / deliberative democracy the basis of political action is theoretical knowledge (epistemé). or as the philosophers of the Enlightenment assumed. but that there is a single best answer which is accepted by everybody. the most appropriate means to solve a given problem. It is a scientific and not a political model. and discussion is a useful means to achieve this 18 19 A craftsman. therefore the object of reflection or discussion. . the technician (craftsman) and the politician (statesman). It is a method which helps us to acquire knowledge. Opinion is about things subject to change. therefore political leaders have to choose.
The first one is a contingent situation. the arbitrariness of a decision does not depend on who decides: a single person. because there is no necessary response to any political situation. 4. and the aim of politicians is to gain support for their political actions. since. or other political actors are expected to respond. discussion is also a means of justifying propositions. which aims to choose the most appropriate answer to the political situation. at least to a certain extent. The theory of political action If representing means acting in leader democracy. Deliberation is needed. there exists a single best solution in this model and it is accepted by everybody. 70-72). Through aggregation of knowledge (interests).A. a small committee or a large assembly. convincing others and gaining support. I would like to refer to the concept of Michael Oakeshott to unfold the nature of political action. a situation to which a ruler or a government. In this sense. The role of discussion is partly similar to that in a military council or in a political advisory board. or struggle among political actors. citizens' juries or deliberative opinion polls (Saward 2000. The contingency of the political situation makes it necessary to decide. in the first place. political action is based on practical knowledge (praxis).22 A political situation has three structural components which highlight the circumstances of political activity (Oakeshott 1991. The role of discussion is to qualify and select the alternatives. It is an arbitrary decision. The third component is reflection. unlike the decisions of military councils. (It is also an arena for rivalry. and to which more than one response is possible. A compromise might be reached among the rival views. political decisions are to be defended / justified before the public. 70). According to Oakeshott. focus groups. 70). This is a utilitarian / technocratic model. i. arbitrarily among rival proposals. The second ingredient is response. For other deliberative theorists the ideal sites for deliberation are also not formal representative institutions. The role of discussion is to review and aggregate the knowledge (propositions) and find the single best solution for the problem. but not necessarily. Regarding contingency. to deliberate arguments pro. and not in a committee room. and to convince others. 231-239).” (Oakeshott 1991. as a practical activity concerned with making a response to situations of a certain sort: political situations” (Oakeshott 1991. In the theory of leader democracy. which would be necessarily accepted by each participant of the discussion. but a political concept of discussion. but from human choices or actions. interpretation. It is a “condition of things recognised to have sprung. . political activity is concerned with making a response to political situations. Political actors consider first the expected consequences of a proposed response. but the Supreme Court (Rawls 1993.and contra. It is not accidential that for John Rawls the ideal site for deliberation is not a forum or a political assembly. since each political decision aims to achieve or avoid a specific condition of things. not from natural necessity. Secondly. they consider the relationship of these expected consequences with their beliefs 20 Decision is a result of deliberation and volition. 71). but informal ones like associations. discussion in a leader democracy is often similar to a discussion in a forum or in a people’s assembly.) The role of discussion as a justification of decisions and / or actions is especially important. 2) if the discussion takes place in a forum/assembly. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 12 aim.20 Since there is no single best solution. even if it is taken by an elected assembly. The speakers try to persuade the audience rather than each other (Elster 1998.e. There is no single best solution.21 It is an arena for orators. It is not a scientific/deliberative or an utilitarian/technocratic. it is important to analyse the theory of political action. 21 22 “Politics may be identified.
In contrast. Emotion. . as the non-intended results of the activity of rival political actors. and above all he should do so impartially. Partisanship. should not engage in politics but should 'administer'. yet objective – state of affairs that would mean the same for everybody. to which political actors react. civil servants administer. as Aristotle wrote in the Nicomachean Ethics. political action includes the component of volition. and depends on the political endeavour and will of the political actors.24 Karl Mannheim.e. Politics is always struggle.. A political situation is a product of the activity of political actors (their activities are products of deliberation. To have or to enforce one’s own will is not self-evident at all: it has a political character. the perception and evaluation of the political situation depends partly on our will concerning what we would like to bring into existence.. In addition to deliberation and decision. E. and above all the political leader. 'without anger and prejudice'.. Man himself is the moving principle / mover of his actions. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 13 about the better or worse conditions of things (evaluation). I. 330). Max Weber called a social relationship conflict (Kampf) “insofar as action is oriented intentionally to carrying out the actor’s own will against the resistance of the other party or parties” . which are often incompatible with each other.all this is the very element in which the politician.. Weber wrote in his essay The Profession and Vocation of Politics: ". Therefore political situations emerge spontaneously. fight.ira et studium ... who carried further Weber’s 23 ". but the situation itself is but a subjective perception and evaluation of the state of affairs. Evaluating the political situation means to reveal the potentialities of the situation. normative goals and value-commitments. taking sides. a human being is a first principle or the begetter of his actions as he is of his children." (1113b) (Aristotle 2000. thrives. responses to former political situations) who have different aims and endeavours for the future.g. Obedience and the lack of will and objectives belong to their profile. 45). it is not.. Economic relations can be characterised by competition. the actions whose first principles are within us will themselves also be in our power and voluntary. mirroring the result of social processes. a conclusion from subjective deliberation in a way in which reflection is prior to the “situation”..A.. But a political situation is not an objective thing in yet another sense: which would be – a non-intended... A political situation is a reflection. “. to enforce our will vis-a-vis others (Weber 1994. fighting. In reality. A political situation is not an objective thing. Namely. Therefore reflection and the perception of a political situation depends on our ideas. cannot be described as the pattern of situation-reflectionresponse might apparently suggest. But if it is clear that he is.. the reason why we are responsible for our actions. It is not an endogenous factor for politics. The perception of the political situation is therefore different. execute the laws and regulations impartially and indifferently. The official should carry out the duties of his office sine ira et studio. it is not only that a response of a political actor to a political situation is subjective. The political process. Officials or clerks if contrasted with politicians can be described by the lack of their own (political) will.. 38). That means that reflection is based on normative value-commitments. politicians have their own ends and will.. passion. and they are obedient to the instructions of their superiors. His 24 ... however.the source of our action is our will”. and we cannot refer back to any other first principles beyond those within us.the true official . it is not an ex ante given condition for politics.23 This is the ground. passion . making decisions by their own conviction or belief – these are the peculiarities of the behaviour of politicians. or “competition” if it is fought by peaceful means (Weber 1978.
but a normative concept. Instead. i. It is not quantity. 157-206). The (directly or quasi-directly) elected chief executive becomes a popular political leader whose representative role is very different from the representative role of the legislature (see Table 1). which may be appropriate for the model of pluralist democracy. (Schmitt 1923) Qualitative representation is a traditionally Catholic concept of representation which has its origin in Christian theology. The notion of “descriptive representation” (Pitkin 1967). is a mirroring of components. See also Weber 1918. as Max Weber.25 5. Representation. Oakeshott 1991). In contrast with the quantitative-technological concept. one diametrically opposed to that of the official" (Weber 1994. 335.e. Instead of “quantitative representation” the notion of “qualitative representation” might be used. then from the latter to the concept of presidentialization of governance. Qualitative representation has a substantive. it has its origin in spiritualism. has a crucial role in the nature of political decision and action (Weber 1919. A new concept of representation The emergence of the chief executive. Carl Schmitt differentiated between the modern quantitative and the traditional qualitative concept of representation. invisible idea and / or a metaphysical essence. McCormick 1997. but quality that is represented. The concept of representation in leader democracy has five major elements: (1) Qualitative representation The notion of “descriptive representation” (Hanna F. The room for decision. however.A. 25 Contingency. which may be appropriate for the model of pluralist democracy. For example the growing power of the British prime minister is reflected in the literature on British government by the shift first from the concept of cabinet government to prime ministerial government. with the behaviour of officials and defined the latter as non-activity (Mannheim 1991. the notion of “qualitative representation” is more appropriate. contrasted politicians. which actions are subject to a quite different principle of responsibility. The chief executive is free to act in many respects. The meaning of representation has changed. . who act. It is not a mechanistic-mathematical. Bertrand de Jouvenel and Michael Oakeshott emphasised. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 14 argument. In this concept quantity is represented which reflects the functional approach of the mechanistic-positivistic view of the world and of the technological and economic thought. in this view. It is a mechanistic-positivistic (mathematical) concept of political representation where representation means re-presentation. seems to be irrelevant in respect of leader democracy. one can be held responsible for his action. Jouvenel . a mechanical re-presentation or technological reproduction. qualitative representation is a personalistic ideal of representation (cf. In contrast with the naturalism of positivism. the concept of 19th century Liberalism (and Protestantism). Quantitative representation was. 330). but an auratic-substantive concept of representation. If there is room for action. It is not a functional. the reproduction of an already existing material reality. Pitkin) as well as the notion of “quantitative representation” (Carl Schmitt). according to Schmitt. 100-104). the personalization and presidentialization of politics and the reappearance of charismatic leadership in European politics make the concept of leader democracy relevant. is also a ground of responsibility of the political actors. and for the consequences of his action. seem to be irrelevant for leader democracy.
An assembly excludes. Qualitative representation is not re-production. mirroring the composition of their constituencies. or political entrepreneurship. parliament. using our term. (3) the subject of qualitative representation is the chief executive and not the assembly. the first is purely for representation in a descriptive sense. like a limited mandate. and contrasted it with an executivecentred. The emphasis here is on the second characteristic. non-quantitative character of representation in leader democracy. in a descriptive sense but the autonomous action of political leaders. not re-presentation but a presentation of something new. Max Weber contrasted in his political writings the Kaiserliche Germany with a Reichstag. in the model of party-pluralism. to put it differently. Carl Schmitt’s personalistic idea of . leadership with a free mandate (and not mirroring with a limited mandate). a creation of something which has not existed before. but also includes government. The logic of Weber's contrasting the German Reichstag with British Parliament appears in the work of Douglas Verney who differentiated between assembly and parliament (Verney 1992). but they cannot act. which is dominated by sectional interests and class-parties. plebiscitary democracy as a form of qualitative representation (Schmitt 1923). Joseph Schumpeter focused on the innovative character of economic as well as political entrepreneurship. We have seen that in a leader democracy representation is not re-presentation. An assembly with class-parties and interest groups is an example for quantitative representation. dominated by class-parties. Schmitt regarded liberal parliamentarism as a typical political institution for quantitative representation. or mirroring.A. Qualitative representation means: (1) acting (and not reflecting) or. with Victorian Britain where parliament was the institution for selecting political leaders (Weber 1918. innovation. to use Carl Schmitt's term. the second is for governing. (2) Representation as acting: representation through leadership If representation means not only formal authorisation and/or the descriptive mirroring of the diverse composition of a political community but acting. using the term of Joseph Schumpeter. while a parliament includes government. but innovation. representation means not re-presentation or the mirroring of something existing. as assembly. While refusing the metaphysical essence of the Schmittian concept. Assemblies. vis-a-vis pure (re)producers in the economy or populist politicians (mobocrats) of classical democracy. always has a qualitative character. it is not possible.e. the model of leader democracy reveals the role of politicians and especially the role of the chief executive in political representation. using the term of Max Weber. cannot represent: they can re-present a state of affairs or the composition of a constituency. i. for leadership. (3) Representation as a personalistic idea Representation in leader democracy is a personalistic idea. Weber 1919). In his political ethics Weber emphasised the political responsibility of a leader who acts with a free mandate (not determined by sectional interests) in contingent political situations (Weber 1919). Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 15 may be greater or different than the sum of its particular parts. (2) innovation (and not re-production). which stands vis-a-vis the executive. According to Weber real political leadership is not possible in an assembly. mirrors the political composition of the society. or acting for (on its behalf). While an assembly remains a purely representative body in a descriptive sense. a free mandate for leadership. That was a reason why Max Weber regarded the British parliament as a desirable institutional pattern for Germany. In politics. the notion of qualitative representation is useful for us to emphasise the non-mechanical. Political leadership. but creation.
As we have seen above. and not on the substantive content of policy. therefore their focus is on the institutions and on the question to what extent it is possible to achieve this condition. Beside the accountability of the members of the legislature and the leaders of the executive. and the transcendental representation of Eric Voegelin are classic examples of this approach. The stress is on the techniques of preference-aggregation and on electoral and representative institutions (legislative assembly and government). political representation is leadership. but in a substantive sense. It is set at the core of the political process. The substantive content of the issue-preferences of the citizens and of the policy of the government does not matter. but a dynamic concept. Representation is acting for others. The substantive concepts of representation (“acting for”) focuses on the policy dimension. as a person a leader is authorised to act. Therefore. They are static and institutional. what matters is that the second should correspond to the first. more precisely. Their common feature is that representation has a strong substantive.e. on the composition of the assembly (descriptive representation). and take into 26 As we have seen Carl Schmitt’s concept allows a different interpretation as well. acting in contingent political situations. The concept of the general will by Rousseau. the institutions of the polity are in this sense representative or not (POLITY). Representation in leader democracy is not a static. the political leaders themselves formulate the policy alternatives. Representation has neither a standing for nor an acting for meaning. i. The focus is on representativeness and responsiveness. i. the proportionality of the electoral system becomes crucial. and cannot be aggregated out of private interest. and their approach remains in the POLICY dimension. and he himself is responsible for the performance of the government and accountable to the electorate. since the representatives are political leaders with a free mandate for leadership. not in a virtual or metaphorical. . Both the authorisation / accountability and the descriptive views. on representativeness.e. this is the precondition to make government responsive to citizens’ political preferences. The first stresses the formalistic element: authorisation either took place or did not. It is assumed that representative government should be responsive to the ex ante policy preferences of the citizens. A leader himself represents. The two main trends of conventional concepts of political representation put the emphasis either on the election of representatives (authorisation and accountability view) or on representative assembly. Government policy cannot be aggregated from citizens’ preferences as the descriptive theory assumed. or. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 16 representation and Weber’s concept of charismatic leadership applied to democratic legitimacy express the personalised character of leader democracy. The second focuses on the quantitative elements: on the composition of the representative assembly.A. even if politicians usually do believe in Gods or Demons. nearly metaphysical meaning. as Weber formulated. Representation is for the public good which is more and different than the sum of the components of the whole. It is a normative approach. (4) Representation as a dynamic concept I would like to use the threefold typology of policy-polity-politics to highlight the dynamic character of representation in leader democracy. Neither can it be deduced from the metaphysical dimension as the substantive approach assumed. the qualitative representation of Carl Scmitt26 (in part). because it has to provide a fair aggregation of the political preferences of individual citizens and their fair re-presentation in the representative assembly. both the formal and the quantitative approaches focus on the POLITY dimension.
it might be regarded as “acting for” only as a metaphor. to a certain extent. It has a qualitative character. (5) Political representation It is necessary to differentiate among various concepts of representation concerning the question to what extent they embody political or other (non-political) forms or representation. and cannot be deduced either from the empirical or from the spiritual/metaphysical world. Normative political aims of political leaders have their origin in the autonomous political sphere. There is a substantive meaning of the political actions of the chief executive. Mouffe.A. or from society. respectively. but it is not a reflection of the spirit of the political community or that of the Volksgeist or of a metaphysical world. the citizens’ opinion.27 27 Beside Carl Schmitt and Hannah Arendt see the contemporary „repoliticization” literature (Honig. as it is supposed by the theories of liberal parliamentarism and pluralist democracy. The substance of the policy in leader democracy is formulated and re-formulated by political leaders in the political process. it cannot be directly deduced either from the quantitative nor from the metaphysical world. Newey). not subject to any other sphere. Therefore representation in leader democracy is political representation. Action in a contingent political situation always has an arbitrary and subjective element. The concept of representation in leader democracy is a political concept. Representation in leader democracy is essentially a part of the process of POLITICS. Political leaders are political entrepreneurs as Schumpeter defined them: the policy they follow is their own innovation. autonomous dimension where the political process is self-evident. On the contrary. In leader democracy the political sphere is an independent. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 17 consideration. it is not something to be derived from science or ethics. . it is the innovation of the political leaders.
Principal actors of politics 3.Motivation for political action .The aim of political action 4. Type of representation – Representation means: transcendental (ethical) deliberation quantitative / descriptive (mechanical) mirroring aggregate citizens’ preferences responsive quasi-political (sociological) qualitative (personal) leadership selection of leaders responsible political 7.A. manufacturing of citizen preferences29 military council / political advisory board Institutional analogy where discussion takes place: 6. Political knowledge . Citizen preferences are of an ex post nature as a result of the political process. Imago / historical pattern 2. . Political action . Political process and discussion means: It aims: Deliberative democracy liberal parliamentarism notables (rational individuals) truth (ethics) consensus Epistemé Academy deliberation (rational debate) rational debate to find truth learned society Pluralist democracy party-based democracy parties Leader democracy presidentialization political leaders interest (sociology) compromise tekhné market bargaining (interest conciliation) aggregate citizens’ preferences28 expert committee will/opinion (politics) acquisition of support praxis Forum persuasion (rhetoric) persuasion of citizens.Institutional analogy 5. Function of democracy search for truth Leaders are: 8. Körösényi: Political Representation in Leader Democracy 18 Table 2: Representation in the three theoretical models of democracy Type of democracy 1. Nature of theory authorised / accountable anti-political (ethical) 28 29 Citizen preferences are of ex ante nature.
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