UCL European Institute


The Will of the People: A Modern Myth

19 October 2018


The Will of the People: A Modern Myth

Albert Weale, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy, UCL

Democracies today are in the grip of a myth: the myth of the will of the people. New political forces use the idea to challenge elected representatives. Politicians, content to invoke the will of the people, fail in their duty to make responsible and accountable decisions. And public contest over political choices is stifled by fears that opposing the will of the people will be perceived as elitist. 

In this episode of our Talking Europe series, Albert Weale, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at UCL, discusses the origins and uses of the notion, arguing that healthy democracies require that choices be challenged, parliaments strengthened, and political leaders called to account. In conversation with Dr Uta Staiger, Director of the UCL European Institute. 

This podcast is based on a new book by Albert Weale, published by Polity Press in September 2018.

The podcast is part of our Talking Europe series.

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