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Schumpeter: Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I say who wrote them.

Schumpeter. 1976. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. London: Allen and Unwin.

In Brief

Schumpeter is best known for advocating a procedural definition of democracy. Though his book touches on other points, the following summary focuses on those sections of his book.

Chapter 21

In this chapter, Schumpter sets the stage for his "proceduralist" definition of democracy by criticizing the implications of "the eighteenth-century philosophy of democracy," which is this: "The democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions which realizes the common good by making the people itself decide issues through the election of individuals who are to assemble in order to carry out its will."

Part I:

Part II:

Chapter 22: Schumpter's Procedural Theory

Part I:

Part II:

Chapter 23

Part I: Implications of Schumpeter's new theory

Part II: Four conditions for success

These conditions for democracy's success apply only to "great industrial nations of the modern type" (290).

Research on similar subjects


Schumpeter, Joseph (author)Comparative PoliticsDemocracyRegime TypeCapitalismSocialismDefining Democracy

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