Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Towards a Deliberative and Associational Democracy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stephen Elstub

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627394

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627394.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Democratising Secondary Associations

Democratising Secondary Associations

(p.176) 5 Democratising Secondary Associations
Towards a Deliberative and Associational Democracy

Stephen Elstub

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter reinforces claims that in order to fulfil its potential democratic functions, associations in an associational democracy must themselves be internally democratic. It defends the desirability of this against two claims: that where costs of exit are low, the internal structure of the association is irrelevant; and that where applying external standards to the internal working of secondary associations would undermine the essential liberal democratic right to freedom of association. The chapter also defends the possibility of all associations achieving internal democracy against Michels’s ‘iron law of oligarchy’, citizens’ reluctance to participate and the empirical restrictions of size, geographic dispersion and time that makes associational democratisation challenging. Finally, it explores how the state and civil society could change associations to make them democratic through regulation.

Keywords:   democratic functions, internal democracy, oligarchy, associational democratisation, civil society

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.