Machiavellian Democracy: Controlling Elites with Ferocious Populism

  title={Machiavellian Democracy: Controlling Elites with Ferocious Populism},
  author={John P. McCormick},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={297 - 313}
  • John P. McCormick
  • Published 1 June 2001
  • Political Science
  • American Political Science Review
This essay demonstrates that Niccolò Machiavelli’s political thought addresses the deficiencies of two opposite poles of contemporary democratic theory: As do formal or minimalist approaches, he specifies electoral mechanisms for elite control; and similar to substantive or civic culture approaches, he encourages more direct and robust modes of popular participation. On these grounds, I cull from Machiavelli’s Discourses a theory of democracy in which the populace selects the elites who will… 
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