Democracy is in bad health. Against Elections offers a new diagnosis – and an ancient remedy.
Fear-mongering populists, distrust in the establishment, personality contests instead of reasoned debate: these are the results of the latest elections.
In fact, as this ingenious book shows, the original purpose of elections was to exclude the people from power by appointing an elite to govern over them.
Yet for most of its 3000-year history, democracy did not involve elections at all: members of the public were appointed to positions in government through a combination of volunteering and lottery.
Based on studies and trials from around the globe, this hugely influential manifesto presents the practical case for a true democracy – one that actually works.
Urgent, heretical and completely convincing, Against Elections leaves only one question to be answered: what are we waiting for?
Very persuasive … There are few new big ideas in politics and few answers to the serious challenge faced by democratic politics ... invigorating and advance[s] a promising practical idea … fresh, challenging and uncomplicated
This fine iconoclastic work could not be more timely ... demonstrate[s] that far from safeguarding our right to self-determination, elections are actually impeding our democracy
Mounts a convincing case that we have wrongly conflated democracy with elections
Van Reybrouck wants to revive a system in which government is not just for the people, but really by the people … a persuasive description of a system designed to be soundly based in popular assent … A President Trump might focus attention on his views