Alternatives to Representative Democracy: Parallelization of Systemic Paradigm Through Heterotopias Cover Image

Alternative predstavničkoj demokratiji: paralelizacija sustavne paradigme skroz heterotopije
Alternatives to Representative Democracy: Parallelization of Systemic Paradigm Through Heterotopias

Author(s): Cirila Toplak
Subject(s): Government/Political systems, Comparative politics, Sociology of Politics
Published by: Fakultet političkih nauka Univerziteta u Beogradu
Keywords: representative democracy; heterotopia; Vevčani; Initiative for Citywide Assembly; the Old Believer
Summary/Abstract: Liberal representative democracy is considered the least bad and therefore the only acceptable political system in contemporary global social conditions. However, any discourse that denies alternatives is essentially a conservative discourse, while extraordinary demographic, economic and technological developments of modernity require innovations and progress in the field of political where institutions and systemic solutions of 200 years ago still prevail. As it appears rather obvious that the concepts and practices of representative democracy have been largely hollowed out and compromised in the context of transformed and rapidly transforming social conditions, alternatives to representative democracy also need be considered although this system is a rather recent systemic experiment for the Western Balkan societies. Numerous contemporary representative systems and especially those recently introduced, are actually more or less authoritative oligarchies representing a stage of transition to a „true“ democratic society. On the other hand, consolidated representative democracies also tend to turn into oligarchies, deemed the most suitable political framework to the (global) rule of capital. In other words, some societies have not yet developed a functional representative democratic system and are oligarchies for now, while other societies have gone past the peak of optimal functioning of the representative system and are being perverted into oligarchies according to Michels’s „iron law of oligarchy“. Since the dilemma around more or less or better or worse representative democracy would keep the academic discussion inside narrow ideological confines, and since it appears idealistic to work toward systemic reforms or wait for a (violent) revolution, this paper will seek for a path to a harmonious so ciety of optimal prosperity through analysis of heterotopias or „other (political) spaces“ where, according to Michel Foucault, alternative institutions and social relations are being formed and life is conceived under non-hegemonic conditions.

  • Page Range: 31-47
  • Page Count: 17
  • Publication Year: 2016
  • Language: Serbian