Topoi 41 (1):33-43 (2021)

Alfred Archer
Tilburg University
Amanda Cawston
Tilburg University
Is there good reason to worry about celebrity involvement in democratic politics? The rise of celebrity politicians such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Zelensky has led political theorists and commentators to worry that the role of expertise in democratic politics has been undermined. According to one recent critique, celebrities possess a significant degree of epistemic power that is unconnected to appropriate expertise. This presents a problem both for deliberative and epistemic theories of democratic legitimacy, which ignore this form of power, and for real existing democracies attempting to meet the standards of legitimacy set out by these theories. But do these critiques apply to democratic elitism? In this paper, we argue that recognition of celebrity epistemic power in fact represents a valuable resource for supporting the legitimacy and practice of democratic elitism, though these benefits do come with certain risks to which elite theories are particularly vulnerable.
Keywords elitism  elite theory  celebrity  epistemic power
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Reprint years 2022
DOI 10.1007/s11245-021-09763-0
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References found in this work BETA

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1983 - University of Notre Dame Press.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
The Idea of Justice.Amartya Kumar Sen - 2009 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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