Max Weber on parliamentarism and democracy
Palonen, K. (2023). Max Weber on parliamentarism and democracy. In A. Sica (Ed.), The Routledge International Handbook on Max Weber (pp. 432-445). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003089537-40
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Democracy and parliamentarism have different and partly opposed histories. In Britain parliamentary government preceded the democratisation of the suffrage, in Germany the Reichstag was elected with manhood suffrage but parliamentarism was suspicious. During the early years of the 20th century several attempts to parliamentarise the government were made, although the federal structure and the Prussian domination within it made them difficult. In this political context Max Weber was among the few German academics who supported both, as counterweights to the universal tendency towards bureaucratisation. The chapter provides a historical account of Weber’s writings dealing with the conceptualisation and evaluation of parliamentary and democratic aspects of politics as well as their mutual relationships. Both concepts are mentioned in Weber’s early writings and correspondence, discussed more consistently in the first decade of the 20th century but become a main topic in his war-time publications, in particular in the books on suffrage and parliamentarism as well as in some of his post-war writings. ...
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