Issue 19 – Elections




One of the reasons for the “democratic fatigue syndrome,” as Van Reybrouck calls it, might be an extreme and paradoxical form of “dis-intermediation.” The latter would consist not in the endorsement of a (real or alleged) leader to the detriment of some intermediary units (churches, unions, parties, etc.) but rather in the coveted elimination of the duality of representatives and represented.The elimination would only minimally have to do with forms of direct or deliberative democracy and would instead be, to a much greater extent, a matter of an individual desire to be the leader. What would emerge would be the democracy of leaders, where everyone is moved by the will to rule alone or to rule without assumption of responsibility. Such a will could receive only (and aporetically) vicarious satisfaction through current leaders. The satisfaction would ultimately be always dissatisfactory, and hence the endemic discontent of the voters and the crisis of the electoral system would ensue.

The most recent elections have had largely unforeseen outcomes. Should this be regarded as vitality of the electoral machine, through which the people freely impart an unprecedented direction to history, or do elections turn out to be formless manifestations of discomfort, whose interpretation and formation remain nevertheless the task of the political class, which will do what it wills with the consensus it has received? Do elections provide political direction to the public life of a certain country and effectively shape the country’s future, or do they simply establish the conditions of power on the basis of which political groups will then operate?

Furthermore: In what ways can political elections in one or more countries affect the market and, vice versa, in what ways does or can the market condition political elections at the national level? How do elections find their form at the intersection of economy and politics? What corresponded, in the past, to the current urge of the economy to be at the center in matters of elections?

Is there “something new under the sun” as far as elections are concerned, or are the ones we mentioned aporias always already implicit in the concept of elections? SpazioFilosofico is foremost concerned with an investigation into the concept of elections and invites the bearers of technical knowledge to elaborate the theoretical cores implicit in their own disciplines. Currently, due to the magnitude and relevance of what is at stake, the concept of elections necessitates careful reconsideration.

What is the vocation, and is there a fundamental vocation, of such a concept? Is it a goal, a value in itself, or a means among many? What is the relation of such a concept to notions such as democracy, representation, and consensus? And to ideas such as sovereignty, governability, and participation? In what ways does this concept influence and is it influenced by such other notions? Is the electiveness of a position a warrantee against usurpation? Is it possible to think of a democratic system without elections? If so, what would its conditions be? What is happening to voters in democracies with universal suffrage? Are the voters voting “with their minds” or “with their bellies”? What is the role of parties with respect to elections?

The legislative, executive, and judicial branches, the Pope, the board of trustees, etcetera are all based on elections, albeit in various ways and through electoral systems and electors that vary in the various countries. What are the variations in concept that emerge from these or other similar cases?

What is the connection, if there is any, between the political and religious concepts of election, or between the political concept of election and the broader notions of electiveness and preference?

The essays that comprise this issue of SpazioFilosofico focus on this theme we have chosen, namely elections, with attention and circumscribed specificity and do not intend to be a mere pretext for a broad and general reflection on democracy or participation.

Enrico Guglielminetti

Luciana Regina

(translated into English by Silvia Benso)

Issue 19 – Elections

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Numero 19 ELECTIONS July, 2017 - Autore:,   Condividi


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