Vol. 10 No. 20 (2020): Prospettive weberiane. Uno sguardo sul presente a partire da Max Weber
Monographic Section

Max Weber e le peripezie della democrazia

Furio Ferraresi
Università della Valle d’Aosta

Published 2021-04-08


  • democracy,
  • democratisation,
  • charisma,
  • masses,
  • power,
  • Weber
  • ...More

How to Cite

Ferraresi, F. (2021). Max Weber e le peripezie della democrazia. Cambio. Rivista Sulle Trasformazioni Sociali, 10(20), 53–63. https://doi.org/10.13128/cambio-10053


The essay analyses Max Weber’s thinking on democracy in both his theoretical and political writings. Weber examines democracy in relation to the themes of charismatic power and its transformation in an anti-authoritarian sense, as well as in relation to the theme of the minimisation of power and the problematic relationship with social democratisation and bureaucratisation. If democracy was historically born as an attempt to minimise the authoritarian power of command and to prevent the formation of a separate administration (direct democracy), it paradoxically ends up, in the so-called ‘mass democracies’, by becoming an instrument of centralisation of political command in a leader legitimised by popular recognition that assumes plebiscitary forms. A democracy, therefore, emptied of value content and reduced to a technique of shaping the democratic masses according to the head/apparatus model typical of modern bureaucratic enterprise. 


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