Caesarism in Democratic Politics: Reflections on Max Weber

28 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2007

Date Written: 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.

Keywords: Caesarism, Max Weber

Suggested Citation

Casper, Gerhard, Caesarism in Democratic Politics: Reflections on Max Weber (March 22, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Gerhard Casper (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650-723-2482 (Phone)
650-725-9520 (Fax)


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics