1st Edition

The Technocratic Challenge to Democracy

Edited By Eri Bertsou, Daniele Caramani Copyright 2020
    340 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    340 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book represents the first comprehensive study of how technocracy currently challenges representative democracy and asks how technocratic politics undermines democratic legitimacy. How strong is its challenge to democratic institutions?

    The book offers a solid theory and conceptualization of technocratic politics and the technocratic challenge is analyzed empirically at all levels of the national and supra-national institutions and actors, such as cabinets, parties, the EU, independent bodies, central banks and direct democratic campaigns in a comparative and policy perspective. It takes an in-depth analysis addressing elitism, meritocracy, de-politicization, efficiency, neutrality, reliance on science and distrust toward party politics and ideologies, and their impact when pitched against democratic responsiveness, accountability, citizens' input and pluralist competition. In the current crisis of democracy, this book assesses the effects of the technocratic critique against representative institutions, which are perceived to be unable to deal with complex and global problems. It analyzes demands for competent and responsible policy making in combination with the simultaneous populist resistance to experts.

    The book will be of key interest to scholars and students of comparative politics, political theory, policy analysis, multi-level governance as well as practitioners working in bureaucracies, media, think-tanks and policy making.

    Introduction: The Technocratic Challenge to Democracy

    Daniele Caramani

    Part I: Concepts and Theory

    1. Technocracy and Political Theory

    Christopher Bickerton and Carlo Invernizzi Accetti

    2. Neoliberal Technocracy: The Challenge to Democratic Self-Government

    Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca

    3. Technocracy and Depoliticization

    Pier Domenico Tortola

    4. Technocratic Responsiveness

    Reinout van der Veer

    5. Measuring Technocracy

    Eri Bertsou and Daniele Caramani

    Part II: Institutions, Actors and Policies

    6. Technocratic Cabinets

    Marco Valbruzzi

    7. Technocrats in Cabinets and Their Policy Effects

    Despina Alexiadou

    8. Technocratic Cabinets in European Negotiations

    Silvana Târlea and Stefanie Bailer

    9. Technocracy in Discourse: The Case of Direct Democracy

    Jean Nava, Miguel Ángel Centeno and Larry Liu

    10. Technocracy and the Policy Process

    Claire A. Dunlop and Claudio M. Radaelli

    Part III: Comparative Perspectives

    11. The EU between Technocratic and Democratic Legitimacy

    Marina Costa Lobo and Ian McManus

    12. Technocracy in Latin America: Between Stability and Democratic Deficit

    Eduardo Dargent

    13. Technocracy in Central-Eastern Europe and Its Impact on Democratization

    Joshua A. Tucker and Jan Zilinsky

    Conclusion: Technocracy and Democracy: Friends or Foes?

    Eri Bertsou


    Eri Bertsou is Postdoctoral Researcher in Comparative Politics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

    Daniele Caramani is Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.