Demokratiparadokset. Hvordan styre et folk som skal styre seg selv?

Jacob Torfing, Marte Winsvold

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In this chapter we discuss what we have conceptualized as “the paradox
of democracy”, pointing to the conflict between the idea of the sovereign people
on one side, and the idea that democracies need representatives and political
leaders, on the other. The chapter gives an overview of democratic arrangements
that encourage direct participation, including arrangements that feed into and
support and arrangements that challenge the representative system. Furthermore, the chapter provides examples of arrangements that actively and intentionally link together representation and direct participation. Lastly, we discuss
how the tension between participatory practices and representative democracy
can be solved. In a brief and subsequent chapter, a Norwegian Mayor reflects on
the conflict between representation and direct participation.
Original languageNorwegian
Title of host publicationFolkevalgt og politisk leder
EditorsAsbjørn Røiseland, Signy Irene Vabo
Number of pages26
Place of PublicationOslo
PublisherCappelen Damm Akademisk
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)9788202679187
ISBN (Electronic)9788202652319
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • political leadership
  • direct democracy
  • representative democracy
  • local government

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