Self-Government in Our Times
Title: Self-Government in Our Times
Author: PRZEWORSKI, Adam
Series/Report no.: EUI MW LS; 2008/07
The eighteenth century ideal of self-government of the people was based on an assumption that renders it incoherent and unrealistic, namely, that interests and values are sufficiently harmonious that each individual needs to obey only himself while living under laws chosen by all. When faced with the reality of political parties, theorists of democracy recognized that some interests and values are inevitably in conflict and that nobody and no body can implement the will of all people. Yet even if no single government can fulfill the will of all the people, successive governments can implement the wills of different people in turn. Partisan alternations in office come as close as possible to fulfilling the ideal of self-government. Not very close, but the closest.
Type of Access: openAccess