Systematizing democratic systems approaches : seven conceptual building blocks

  • The notion that democracy is a system is ever present in democratic theory. However, what it means to think systemically about democracy (as opposed to what it means for a political system to be democratic) is under-elaborated. This article sets out a meta-level framework for thinking systemically about democracy, built upon seven conceptual building blocks, which we term (1) functions, (2) norms, (3) practices, (4) actors, (5) arenas, (6) levels, and (7) interactions. This enables us to systematically structure the debate on democratic systems, highlighting the commonalities and differences between systems approaches, their omissions, and the key questions that remain to be answered. It also enables us to push the debate forward both by demonstrating how a full consideration of all seven building blocks would address issues with existing approaches and by introducing new conceptual clarifications within those building blocks.
Author:Rikki John Dean, Jonathan Rinne, Brigitte Geißel
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2019/12/01
Date of first Publication:2019/12/01
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/02/17
Tag:deliberative democracy; deliberative system; democratic system; democratic theory; systems theory
Postprint von:
Dean, Rikki, Jonathan Rinne, and Brigitte Geissel. "Systematizing Democratic Systems Approaches", Democratic Theory 6, 2 (2019): 41-57,
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 32 Politikwissenschaft / 320 Politikwissenschaft
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht