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Systemic CorruptionConstitutional Ideas for an Anti-Oligarchic Republic$
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Camila Vergara

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691207537

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691207537.001.0001

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Elitist Interpretations of the Republic

Elitist Interpretations of the Republic

(p.43) 2 Elitist Interpretations of the Republic
Systemic Corruption

Camila Vergara

Princeton University Press

This chapter traces the intellectual history and institutional iterations of the theory of the mixed constitution that originated as a critique of monocratic constitutions and offered a realist redress for systemic corruption based on the institutionalization of different forms of social power. It offers the genealogy of an elitist-proceduralist strand commenced by Polybius and Cicero, reinterpreted by Montesquieu, constitutionalized by Madison, and brought to its highest level of philosophical sophistication by Philip Pettit. It also analyses a plebeian-materialist strand originating in the political experience of the plebs within the ancient Roman republic and continuing in Niccolò Machiavelli's interpretation of the political praxis of the popolo during the Florentine republic. The chapter makes the distinction between elitist and plebeian constitutions based on who has final decision-making power in a given framework. It provides a visual representation of constitutional orders to better understand the distribution of powers and compare between different models of republics.

Keywords:   mixed constitution, systemic corruption, social power, elitist-proceduralist, plebeian constitutions, elitist constitutions

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