Elite and Liberal Democracy: A New Equilibrium?

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In contemporary democracies, the balance between the minority principle and democratic principles, one of the components underlying the relationship between liberalism and democracy, is being broken. This paper offers a reflection on this theme – crucial for the future of representative government – in relation to the importance of the theory of elites. The article is divided into three parts: the first part briefly traces the main phases of the theory of elites from the late nineteenth century to the present, indicating, for each, the salient features; the second part focuses on the elements characterizing the alliance between the minority principle and democratic principles, which forms the basis of liberal representative democracy, with specific consideration paid to the geometric architecture of democracy, comprising a horizontal dimension and a vertical dimension; finally, the third part argues the need for strengthening the logic of distance to consolidate the connection between the theory of elites and liberal representative democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Democracy
  • Disintermediation
  • Elites
  • Political Representation


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