|About the Book|
In todays liberal democracies, does the political process focus on the people, or on the political leaders representing them? In Toward Leader Democracy, Jan Pakulski and Andras Korosenyi argue that there is a trend toward an increasinglyMoreIn todays liberal democracies, does the political process focus on the people, or on the political leaders representing them? In Toward Leader Democracy, Jan Pakulski and Andras Korosenyi argue that there is a trend toward an increasingly pronounced focus on political leaders, or leader democracy, which is reinforced by the prominence of electronic media, the decline of major parties, the centrality of electoral competitions, and the frequently aggressive actions taken by our political elites. This trend is compatible with predictions made by elite theorists such as Max Weber and Joseph Schumpeter, and contradicts the notion of a change towards a democracy that is more direct, participatory and deliberative. In spite of the concerns voiced by some critics, the model of leader democracy is fulfilling the key normative criteria and expectations of democratic rule.Toward Leader Democracy explains the shape and the workings of this new form of political action - that is, how it is motivated by the political will, determination and commitment of top politicians, and how it is exercised through mass elite persuasion that actively shapes the preferences of voters so as to give meaning to political processes. Competitive mass-mediated elections are the key elements of this process, providing voters with a sense of dignity by giving them the status of final arbiter in leadership contests. As the text reveals, this marks a definite evolution within the worlds advanced democracies democratic representation is today realized increasingly through active political leadership, as opposed to the former practices of statistically mirroring constituencies, or the deliberative self-adjustment of the executive in accordance with citizen preferences.