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Is There One Best 'Model of Democracy'? Efficiency and Representativeness: 'Theoretical Revolution' or Democratic Dilemma?

[journal article]

Novak, Miroslav

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Abstract Considers the degree to which various democratic models further the goals of efficiency & representativeness in the context of Eastern European democratization, providing a critical analysis of Arend Lijphart's (eg, 1994) thesis that consensus democracy is superior to majoritarian democracy. It is argued that efficiency in the sense of action capacity on the part of both government & governed is as important a criterion for the constitutional design of a democracy as is efficiency in the sense of socioeconomic performance, an assertion that adheres to Joseph A. Schumpeter's (1962) theory of democracy. Lijphart is criticized for privileging the socioeconomic definition of efficiency, the manner in which he contrasts efficiency & representativeness, & neglecting the importance of national context in selecting/evaluating a democratic model. Against Lijphart, it is concluded that a consensual model using a strictly proportional electoral system is undesirable for relatively homogeneous, nonpolarized democratizing countries (eg, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland), because it favors fragmentation & inhibits governmental action capacity.
Classification Political System, Constitution, Government
Free Keywords Political Development; Political Systems; Postcommunist Societies; Eastern Europe; Democracy; Representation; Efficiency; Lijphart, Arend;
Document language English
Publication Year 1997
Page/Pages p. 131-157
Journal Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review, 5 (1997) 2
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications