Against Elections

Against Elections

The Case for Democracy


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?


  • Riveting
    Irish Examiner

About the author

David Van Reybrouck

David Van Reybrouck is the author of Congo: The Epic History of a People, which won twenty prizes, sold over half a million copies and has been translated into a dozen languages. His book Against Elections has been translated into more than twenty languages and has led to the trial use of participatory democracy in numerous countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. His plays Mission and Para have been performed across Europe, and his novel Zinc won the European Book Prize 2017. Revolusi was first published in the Netherlands, where it was a major bestseller. David Van Reybrouck has been described as 'one of the leading intellectuals in Europe' (Der Tagesspiegel) and 'one of the most brilliant European intellectuals of the moment' (Le Soir). He is Belgian, writes in Dutch and is based in Brussels.
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