Intensifying ecomic and political inequality poses a dangerous threat to the liberty of democratic citizens. Mounting evidence suggests that ecomic power, t popular will, determines public policy, and that elections consistently fail to keep public officials accountable to the people. McCormick confronts this dire situation through a dramatic reinterpretation of Niccol- Machiavelli's political thought. Highlighting previously neglected democratic strains in Machiavelli's major writings, McCormick excavates institutions through which the common people of ancient, medieval and Renaissance republics constrained the power of wealthy citizens and public magistrates, and he imagines how such institutions might be revived today. It reassesses one of the central figures in the Western political can and decisively intervenes into current debates over institutional design and democratic reform. McCormick proposes a citizen body that excludes socioecomic and political elites and grants randomly selected common people significant veto, legislative and censure authority within government and over public officials.
John P. McCormick is Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. He was educated at Queens College, CUNY and the University of Chicago. He has been a Fulbright scholar in Bremen, Germany; a Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence; and a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. McCormick is the author of Carl Schmitt's Critique of Liberalism: Against Politics as Technology and Weber, Habermas and Transformations of the European State: Constitutional, Social and Supranational Democracy. He has published numerous articles on contemporary democratic theory, Florentine political and constitutional thought, and twentieth-century German legal, political and social theory in scholarly journals, including the Modern Law Review, the American Political Science Review and Political Theory.
Winner of International Conference for the Study of Political Thought David and Elaine Spitz Prize 2013.