Middle East Research and Information Project: Critical Coverage of the Middle East Since 1971

In representative democracies, elections allow the peaceful replacement of leaders, infuse government with new blood, legitimize both winners and losers, and restore public faith in democracy. More importantly, “the people’s voice” is cast as the ultimate check on national leaders whose power has grown too strong. In practice, there are a number of problems with this ideal—“the people’s voice” is identified with the majority, perhaps at the expense of minorities; it is inarticulate; and often it actually channels rather than challenges the wishes of rulers. [1] Do the twin general elections held in Turkey over the course of five months in 2015 confirm or rebut these key assumptions about representative democracy?

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How to cite this article:

Ümit Cizre "Leadership Gone Awry," Middle East Report 276 (Fall 2015).
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