Constituted to Fail: Democracy and Its Self-Negation

  • Mark Chou
Part of the The Theories, Concepts and Practices of Democracy book series (PSTCD)


Despite experiencing what for many commentators constitutes nothing short of a ‘worldhistorical peak’, democracy also finds itself enervated by a number of interminable ailments. Widespread governmental torpor, strongarm executives, declining levels of political bipartisanship and an apathetic political culture are just some of the factors said to be responsible for the democratic disillusionment and authoritarian nostalgia felt in certain parts of the world today. In response to these claims, the conventional position put forward by democratic advocates has been to view such democratic setbacks as an anomaly; at odds with the ‘proper’ workings of democracy. This chapter challenges the prevailing wisdom and offers an alternative take on democracy’s failings. To do so, it critically reviews the recent works of a small minority of otherwise democratically committed scholars, before making the somewhat controversial claim that the fallibility of democracy is not now nor has it ever been an anomaly as much as a constitutive feature of democracy.


Liberal Democracy Political Reform Democratic Politics American Democracy Dark Time 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Mark Chou 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Chou
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Arts and SciencesAustralian Catholic UniversityAustralia

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