Post-liberal and Post-populist Democracy: Rethinking Democratic Representation

  • Enrique PeruzzottiEmail author
Original Article


The triumph of democracy over its authoritarian adversaries inaugurated a novel political scenario in the democratized world increasingly characterized by the confrontation between “liberal” and “populist” forms of democracy. Each model is predicated on a specific reading of what democracy is and each, respectively, proposes strategies to realize their democratic ideal. In a way, liberal and populist conceptions of democracy reflect each other’s shortcomings: liberals accuse populists of authoritarianism and lack of respect for established institutions, while populists regard liberal arrangements as intrinsically elitist and conservative. The outcome is an apparent theoretical and political standoff between two antagonistic visions of what democracy should be. A central argument of this article is that despite their differences, populism and liberalism share some common assumptions regarding the workings and nature of democracy. They both rely upon variants of an electoral approach to democratic representation. To overcome the apparent standoff between those two allegedly contrasting visions of democracy requires breaking with some of their shared assumptions to develop a stronger understanding of what democratic accountability means. That notion should move beyond: (a) a purely electoral understanding to democratic representation; and (b) a notion of accountability as limited government. In brief, a democratic notion of accountability should be predicated on both post-liberal and post-populist presuppositions.


Democracy Liberalism Accountability Elections Post-liberal democracy 


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Copyright information

© Fudan University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Torcuato Di Tella-CONICETBuenos AiresArgentina

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