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The Problem of the Changing Demos


Jonathan Schött


This paper is inspired by Robert A. Dahl's theory of the democratic process as presented in chapters 6 to 9 of his 1989 book “Democracy and its Critics”. It will introduce the “Problem of the Changing Demos” (POCD). This problem necessarily occurs in a system that Dahl would hold to be fully democratic. It denotes a potential for violation of the principles that justify the adoption of the democratic process for making binding collective decisions. The POCD arises when the demos changes after a decision has been made, i.e. within a legislative period. The POCD and its implications will be explored in detail. After this, improvements to Dahl's criteria that a political process should fulfill, will be proposed. These improvements explicitly aim to reduce the occurrence and severity of the POCD
How to Cite: Schött, J., 2019. The Problem of the Changing Demos. Rerum Causae, 10(2), pp.3–21.
Published on 14 Sep 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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