'... What the Hell Do You Think You are Doing There ...?' Comparing Politicians' Practical Theories of Democracy

19 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 30 Sep 2009

See all articles by Jürgen Petersen

Jürgen Petersen

Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main - Institut für Politikwissenschaft

Jens Borchert

University of Frankfurt

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

To find out what politicians and other political actors think about democracy – or even, what democracy is in their conception – seems like a natural object of interest for political scientists. Yet, 36 years after Robert Putnam’s pioneering study “The Beliefs of Politicians” (1973) it is safe to say that this is not the case. We will argue that this omission is based on several conceptual misunderstandings of the relation between democratic theory and democratic practice driving the two ever further apart.

Keywords: democracy, politicians, representation, theory, culture

Suggested Citation

Petersen, Jürgen and Borchert, Jens, '... What the Hell Do You Think You are Doing There ...?' Comparing Politicians' Practical Theories of Democracy (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1450302

Jürgen Petersen (Contact Author)

Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main - Institut für Politikwissenschaft ( email )

Robert-Mayer-Str. 1
Frankfurt/Main, 60054
Germany

Jens Borchert

University of Frankfurt ( email )

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