Max Weber and the Modern Plebiscitary Democracy

Weber's legacy: at the crossroads of traditions




Max Weber, democracy, plebiscitary leader, legitimacy, plebiscite


The paper offers an interpretation of one of the most controversial concepts of Max Weber: the plebiscitary leader democracy (Führerdemokratie). In particular, it considers Weber’s views on the role of parliament and his assessment of democracy. The question of why the types of legitimate domination do not include democratic legitimacy is discussed, and the author also shows the connection between the conception of plebiscitary democracy and Weber’s theory of bureaucracy.

The presentation is not limited to the historical and philosophical analysis of Weber’s views. The main goal of the article is to show how the scientist’s ideas have again become relevant in modern politics. Weber’s concept of plebiscitary democracy is applicable both to analyzing the distortion caused by the crisis of traditional party politics in established democracies and to describing modern personalistic regimes, the legitimacy of which popular elections of a na- tional leader confirm.

Author Biography

Svetlana Shcherbak

Department of Social Philosophy, H.S. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 4, Triokhsviatytelska St., Kyiv, 01001


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How to Cite

Shcherbak, S. (2021). Max Weber and the Modern Plebiscitary Democracy: Weber’s legacy: at the crossroads of traditions. Filosofska Dumka, (1), 135–148.






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