ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”



Strategies of Secession and Counter-Secession

Democracy, Truthfulness and the Crisis of Representation: Richard Bellamy and Sandra Kröger

Democracy
 
Political Theory
 
Representation
 
Ethics
 
Brexit
 
Presenter
Richard Bellamy
University College London
Authors
Richard Bellamy
University College London
Sandra Kröger
University of Exeter

Abstract
Many would agree that lying undermines democracy. Yet, a long tradition of political thought contends that lying may not only be permissible sometimes, but also that the operation of representative democracy encourages politicians to lie. We disagree. Nevertheless, we shall argue that specific aspects of the crisis of representation currently confronting liberal democracies do promote a disregard for truth and truthfulness associated with bullshit and post-truth. We begin by showing how lying, bullshit and post-truth all involve a disregard for truthfulness in violating the two virtues of truth: accuracy (the information is false or misleading) and sincerity (the liar is dishonest and deceitful). We argue that under favourable circumstances two features of representative democracy encourage politicians to be truthful, namely competition for the people’s vote and accountability. However, certain features of the crisis of representation alter the ways these core components of representative democracy operate so as to foster a disregard for truthfulness typical of bullshit and post-truth, even if straightforward lying may be rarer. We illustrate our argument with evidence from Brexit politics.
Share this page