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Caesarism in Democratic Politics: Reflections on Max Weber

Gerhard Casper

Stanford University

March 22, 2007

Max Weber argued that every mass democracy tends in a caesarist direction. Weber employed the term to stress, inter alia, the plebiscitary character of elections, disdain for parliament, the non-toleration of autonomous powers within the government and a failure to attract or suffer independent political minds. A hundred years ago - even before present-day modes of campaigning, before present-day modes of political fundraising, before television advertising - Weber was of the view that the position of the President of the United States lies on the road to a pure form of caesarist acclamation. After analyzing Weber's views, the paper examines recent trends in American presidential politics.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 28

Keywords: Caesarism, Max Weber

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Date posted: November 27, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Casper, Gerhard, Caesarism in Democratic Politics: Reflections on Max Weber (March 22, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1032647 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1032647

Contact Information

Gerhard Casper (Contact Author)
Stanford University ( email )
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650-723-2482 (Phone)
650-725-9520 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~gcasper/
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