Alexey Titkov 1, 2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, Gazetny Pereulok, 3-5, Moscow, Russian Federation 125009

The Pulse of Non-Democracy?

2021, vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 262–289 [issue contents]
The article continues the discussion of Grigory Yudin’s book Public Opinion. The review considers Yudin’s arguments on the “plebiscitarian bias” in opinion-poll technology, on the linkages between opinion-polls, Rousseauist tradition and the “plebiscitarian model”, and on Gallup’s, Schumpeter’s, and Weber’s contributions to plebiscitarism. In the context of the proposed conceptual model, controversial issues in the interpretation of Weber’s and Schumpeter’s ideas, as well as an estimation of the Russian political regime in the 2010s are debated. Models of plebescitarism (including their principles and criteria) as proposed by Yudin, and by Urbinati in Democracy Disfigured are compared. The article highlights the differences between Gallup and Schumpeter, as well as between Schumpeter and Weber, in their insights into democracy and public opinion. The reviewer pays attention to the relationship between the classical doctrine of representative democracy by Schumpeter and the bourgeois public sphere by Habermas, and between public debates and the quantification of public opinion. We examine the argument about the continuity between public-opinion polls and the big projects of Modernity, such as representative democracy, public sphere, and biopolitics. Continuity argument is proposed as an alternative to Yudin’s hypothesis about the radical reinvention of ‘democracy’ and ‘public opinion’ during the inter-war period of the 20th century. Yudin’s insights on the social and political onthology of opinion-polls are preliminary, and are reconstructed for further discussion.
Citation: Titkov A. (2021) Pul's nedemokratii? [The Pulse of Non-Democracy?]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 20, no 1, pp. 262-289 (in Russian)
The Russian Sociological Review
Office A-205
21/4 Staraya Basmannaya Ulitsa, Building 1
Deputy Editor: Marina Pugacheva
Rambler's Top100 rss