Endogenous Breakdown: The Conditions and Characteristics of Democracies Which Self-Destruct

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


This chapter challenges the ‘conventional position’ by putting forward the idea that democracy is innately fallible. Less an anomaly than a constitutive feature of democracy, this is a position which openly acknowledges that democracy is, at its peak, prone to being corrupted – by itself. Until now, this has not typically been a view shared by many supporters of democracy. Where democracies have suffered and collapsed as a result of illhealth, the tendency has largely been to see what extrinsic diseases has infected it. What very few have attended to is the prospect that that disease may just turn out to be democratic politics itself. And yet fewer still have chosen to remedy the maladies of democracy by first and foremost admitting to its constitutive failure. Laying the blame instead on other institutional, socioeconomic and political determinants, we have continued to misunderstand what ails democracy; thinking that it can, once removed of external impediments, be made perfect.


Democratic Politics Political Determinant Political Governance Democratic Life Endogenous Termination 
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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