DescriptionThis book is a highly original and provocative contribution to democratic theory. Zolo argues that the increasing complexity of modern societies represents a fundamental challenge to the basic assumptions of the Western democratic tradition and calls for a reformulation of some of the key questions of political theory.
Zolo maintains that, as modern societies become more complex and more involved in the `information revolution', they are subjected to new and unprecedented forms of evolutionary stress - as manifested, for instance, in the growing autonomy and power of political parties, and in new kinds of political communication which create and sustain the fiction of consensus. These forms of stress have become so serious that they threaten to undermine some of the values traditionally associated with democracy, such as the rationality and autonomy of the individual, and the visibility and accountability of power.
1. Some General Assumptions.
2. Complexity and Political Theory.
3. Complexity and Democratic Theory.
4. The Evolutionary Risks of Democracy.
5. The Principality of Communication.
6. Conclusion: Toward a Realist Theory of Democracy.
Index of Subjects.
Index of Names.
'... the most sustained and effective attack on orthodox democratic theory published in recent years ... a powerful antidote to liberal democratic complacency.' Times Higher Education Supplement
'Zolo's critique is powerful and based on a comprehensive reading of contemporary democratic theory. Fascinating book.' Government and Opposition