Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Diploma DemocracyThe Rise of Political Meritocracy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mark Bovens and Anchrit Wille

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790631.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 January 2021

The Consequences of Diploma Democracy

The Consequences of Diploma Democracy

(p.139) 8 The Consequences of Diploma Democracy
Diploma Democracy

Mark Bovens

Anchrit Wille

Oxford University Press

Why bother about the rise of diploma democracy? We discuss the consequences of diploma democracy for each of the elements of democracy—representation, responsiveness, accountability, and legitimacy—that we distinguished in Chapter 3. Descriptive representation matters for symbolic, heuristic, and democratic reasons. The over-representation of university graduates in parliament is simply not in line with the preferences of large parts of the electorate. Moreover, educational background is not politically neutral. Different levels of education may lead to diverging preferences and standards, particularly with regard to cultural issues. Because the higher educated are over-represented among political participants and politicians, the political agenda tends to be biased towards their priorities and preferences. This may cause cynicism and distrust. A diploma democracy may not remain stable if large parts of the population feel they are no longer represented politically, and if they have no hope of being able to improve their social position.

Keywords:   descriptive representation, education, democratic deficit, biased political agendas, policy incongruence, legitimacy, political distrust

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .