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"The Limits of Representative Democracy in Algeria".



There are many studies in the field of political science which have touched on the subject of the limits of representative democracy but most of these studies have not exceeded the abstract aspect of political representation as an idea. Thus, lies the importance of this study in its scientific aspect of being a new addition to the researches that relate to the Democracy in Algeria. In the practical sense, the study aims to interrogate the Algerian reality to highlight the shortcomings that limit the optimal application of representative democracy. This scientific methodology has been employed in this study "Functional Constructivism approach" to investigate the efficacy of the different structures that react with the process of political representation. The study concluded that the political, legal and cultural structures in the frame of overall social system suffer from many crises in terms of construction and function that lead to failure in the optimal application of representative democracy in Algeria.

keywords : representative democracy – structure – function.



تعددت الدراسات التي تناولت موضوع حدود الديمقراطية التمثيلية من لدن العديد من الباحثين في ميدان العلوم السياسية، إلا أن مُعظم هذه الدراسات لم تتجاوز الجانب التجريدي المتعلق بالتمثيل السياسي كفكرة. وعليه تكمن أهمية هذه الدراسة المقدمة، من الناحية العِلمية بكونها إضافة جديدة لمنظومة الدراسات التي تعني بالديمقراطية في الجزائر. ومن الناحية العمَلية تهدف الدراسة إلى استنطاق الواقع الجزائري لإبراز مواطن الخلل التي تحدُّ من التطبيق الأمثل للديمقراطية التمثيلية. وذلك من خلال الإعتماد على منهجية عِلمية تمثلت في توظيف اقتراب البنائية الوظيفية لاستقصاء نجاعة الأبنية المختلفة التي تتفاعل مع عملية التمثيل السياسي. وخصلت هذه الدراسة إلى أن الأبنية السياسية والقانونية والثقافية في نطاق النسق الاجتماعي الكلي، تُعاني أزمات من حيث البناء والوظيفة الأمر الذي أحدَّ من فاعلية الديمقراطية التمثيلية في الجزائر.

الكلمات المفتاحية: الديمقراطية التمثيلية – البنية – الوظيفة.

Introduction :

The concept of democracy is among the concepts that have been able to adapt with the times and different variables from its inception to the present day; so we find it does not stop its constant evolution. Furthemore, it is a mechanism of rule and scientific theory at the same time and also meaningfully ideological. There is no doubt that if we talked about democracy today, what would come in our minds would be the differences between them and the Athenian democracy in the sense that that democracy knew many of the adjustments in terms of form and content through its historical evolution. Proceeding from the above, the representative democracy comes as one of the most prominent aspects of evolution that democrasies have known in general, the model most followed by the various systems in the world.

It is clear that representative democracy as a model of rule knows many differences on the level of its applications in different regimes, and with the continuous and rapid evolution of societies from all sides, many voices have rose calling for reconsideration of representative democracy in terms of structure and in terms of the level of functionality. Consequently, the focus was on the issue of limits and crises of representative democracy through a variety of research. Where the first Harbingers of criticism was with the writings of John Dewey, who saw that democracy must take root in the social organization, hence, how democracy is an ongoing process, and not limited to every few year for a candidate to be voted in and then give up on participation until the next elections. Moreover, the sociologist Anthony Giddens through in "The Third Way: the renewal of social democracy" criticized the negative current situation of representative democracy. The same idea is indicated by the study of Paul Hirst, in "representative democracy and its limits". This was followed by a lot of literature which began with the attention to the problems of representative democracy in the various societies, where it found that the purpose of the application of representative democracy began to deviate from its path and ended up to creating large monopolistic structures.

This study, provides a scientific vision to the representative democracy limits in the Algerian reality, thus, the study gives us an answer to an important question: What are the reasons that limit the application of representative democracy in Algeria?

This study is based on the Functional Constructivism Approach to examine the reasons for the failure of representative democracy as a holistic structure through three levels: political structure, legal structure and cultural structure by focusing on the composition of these structures and its functionality.

Based on the problematic and theoretical approach underpinning this study, the study hypothesis is as follows: "the limits of representative democracy in Algeria is linked by the lack of specialization and differentiation of the structures (legal, political and culture) and the inefficiency of these structures in the performance of their functions within the political system."

Therefore, this study differs from previous studies mentioned in that it touches on the Algerian reality unlike other studies that were limited to the abstract side of the limits of representative democracy.

To answer to the problematic of the study and to check the hypothesis adopted in this study, we formulated the structure of our study as follows:

  1.  Definition of representative democracy.

  2.  The legal limits of representative democracy in Algeria.

  3. The political limits of representative democracy in Algeria.

  4. The cultural limits of representative democracy in Algeria.


  1. Definition of representative democracy

Representative democracy (also indirect democracy or psephocracy) is a variety of democracy founded on the principle of elected officials representing a group of people as oppose to direct democracy. All modern Western-style democracies are types of representative democracies. It has been described by some political theorists as Polyarchy(1).

Simply put, representative democracy is a system of government in which all eligible citizens vote on representatives to pass laws for them. A perfect example is the U.S., where people elect a president and members of the Congress, also elect local and state officials. All of these elected officials supposedly listen to the populace and do what's best for the nation, state or jurisdiction as a whole(2). The researcher Yvon Pesqueux provides a definition of representative democracy through its relationship with deliberative democracy, as follows: "Democracy is defined as the intersection of a representation principle with a deliberation principle. Representative democracy can be defined as a political system that places deliberation under the auspices of representation"(3)

Besides representative democracy as an aspect of electoral behavior and mechanism for determining government responsiveness to the public, representation has acquired the status of democratic institution in political science. Yet the picture becomes more complicated when we move from political practice to the representation in theory, because, according to Nadia Urbina the participatory democrats disdain representation because it justifies a vertical relation between the citizens and the state that promotes passive citizenry and an elected aristocracy.(4)

For a representative democracy to work, there are several conditions that have to be met. First, there has to be an opportunity for genuine competition in the selection of leadership (if people think that elections are rigged, or predetermined, there can be no meaningfully honest competition). Second, there has to be free communication, both among the people and in the press. Third, voters have to believe that a meaningful choice exists between candidates and that differences in policy are honestly reflected in each. The degree to which these three factors are presened go a long way in determining the effectiveness of a representative democracy(5).

Based on the above paragraph, the researcher Paul Hirst provides a definition of representative democracy through its criticis: "It is a powerful tool to legitimize the various actions of the government. It is therefore not absolutely good, because it serves largely the controlling party on the political equation. "(6)

Therefore, the question that arises in this context is where this representative democracy comes from? We find some preliminary answers in this context, such as those presented by Yvon Pesqueux through the following: "the representative democracy is correlative with the development of the nation state and the welfare state(7)", but in fact, the Greeks came up with the form of government that we call direct democracy, which is a precursor to representative democracy. In a direct democracy, all eligible citizens vote on every issue. For example, if a direct democracy were considering a tax increase, all the eligible voters would vote that decision. This form of government is often called 'participatory' or 'Aristotelian democracy.' In Athens, the concept of 'eligible' voters only included male citizens and excluded all others (slaves and women could not vote). However, imagine for a moment having to vote on every single thing that happens in a country - it would be impossible, for many reasons, especially in a country the size of Algeria. The Greeks thought so too, so they came up with a way to choose a smaller subset of individuals to do the voting. In Athens, for example, the citizens made use of a device called a kleroterion, similar to a bingo-ball selector. Each citizen would receive a token representing him; several hundred were picked each day, and for a time, they would make decisions for the entire city-state. This was an early form of the next evolution of democracy, called representative democracy(8).

After our discussion to the concept of representative democracy in terms of the definition and its evolution, we will move to the unit of analysis adopted in this study, which is the Algerian reality. We find in philosophical literature a hint by the English philosopher John Locke about the limits of representative democracy, considering that no one can confer Democratic legitimacy of political authority without citizens. This is what is visible in the Algerian reality. Since the Constitution of 23 February 1989 which devised the democratic system and political pluralism formally, Algeria is still looking for a Suitable formula for democracy, to gain acceptable legitimacy for political actors and new economic and social actors.

Since representative democracy has proved its failure in Algeria, based on the choice of the voters and their representatives in the expression of their interests, recognition that the issue of elections are not, in essence, a legal problem, but is linked to the conditions of cultural and political environment that contribute to the decline in the levels of representative democracy in Algeria.

  1. The legal limits of representative democracy in Algeria

There is no doubt that the laws and regulations play a prominent role in the decline of representative democracy in Algeria and in the decline of its functioning performance. It can be measured by the lack of representative democracy efficacy in Algeria through two types affecting those legal frameworks. Starting by the electoral law and the issue of supervision of elections*, Secondly, the laws relating to the legislative institution as a constitutional institution represent the basis of representative democracy as well as elected local councils, and laws concerning the judicial institution, which represent the cornerstone for representative democracy as an independent structure concerned with control and accountability.

We can say that the safety of democracy and its success depends on the integrity of the electoral process as Samuel Huntington refers to the importance of the elections, in that they "reflect the work mechanism of the system of representative democracy that weaken the dictatorial regimes and eliminate them, and a tool aimed at spreading democracy. Elections don't mean only life for democracy, but also mean the death of the dictatorship".

On this basis, the 1989 Constitution has pointed out in article 68  "President of the Republic shall be elected by secret and direct ballot" and win elections by getting an absolute majority of votes. Also it identified Article 95 of the same Constitution, that members of the People's National Assembly are elected by direct and secret ballot. Considering that pluralism elections mean political openness and the existence of democratic institutions and the peaceful transfer of authority in the central and local levels, and the renewal of the political elites.

The first multi-party elections in Algeria were conducted on 07 August 1989, to represent all currents in society by taking a system that combined the majority system and proportional representation system (hybrid)**. The first results of the application of this system in the local elections held on 12/06/90 saw the Islamic Salvation Front win a majority of seats, which as a result led to the abandoning of the system under Law N°91/06, and the establishment of the majority system. Thus required the candidate now required a win that exceeded 50% of the total number of votes in the constituency concerned. In the case that any of the candidates failed to obtain the percentage mentioned previously, the elections would need to be repeated in a second round to limit the participation of those candidates that had obtained the greatest number of votes in the first round. In this case the winner is one who gets the relative majority. Hence, the results of the application of this new model that Islamic Salvation Front has succeeded in winning the elections held in 26 december 1991. These results are not accepted by a lot of actors, which led to the cancellation of the results and the subsequent decision to stop the electoral process.

Therefore, the legislator decided to adopt the system of proportional representation after the issuance of the "Constitution 1996" under the order containing the organic law for the elections No. 97/07 and then rely on proportional representation with closed lists. After that, the organic law on elections was issued under No. 97-07 on 06 March 1997, and amended under the Organic Law No. 04-01, dated 07 February 2004(9).

This change of the electoral system to another can only be read in the light of the victory of the Islamic Salvation Front, despite bias of the proportional representation system in that period where the Algerian authorities not only abandoned its initial plans to hold its first parliamentary elections on the basis of proportional representation, but also engaged in an extensive process for the re-division of electoral districts for the interest of the National Liberation Front, the then ruling part.

 So, Algeria experimented with the majority system with two rounds at the beginning of political pluralism. According to these repeated adjustments and the lack of agreement on a specific model, the election results varied depending on the applicable model, for example, the majority system with two rounds, which serves large parties which concentrated their voices in certain areas, whilst the proportional representation focused on the distribution by the number of votes obtained by each list.

Those who have followed the path of evolution of the legal framework that regulate the electoral process in Algeria, find that it went through many modification and changes. This is due mainly to the political game rules in Algeria that suffer from a lack of competitiveness and the evidence that the political authority remain a hostage in the hands of ruling elite away from what is known as circulation or turnover of ruling elites. Thus, the traditions of political institutional games in Algeria is weak, and the relationship between ruling elites and the opposition is not equal. This requires distinguishing between the two concepts relating to the legal aspects of the electoral process : 1- Intra-system change – 2- Inter-system change.

The first, is the structural change, by modifying the text of the electoral law or more, and not the basic model of the electoral system, this type - Intra-system change- prevails all the amendments of the electoral laws in Algeria. While the second - Inter-system change- means the transformational change through amendments that eventually lead to a shift from the model electoral to another.

As Maurice Duverger confirms, the elections are the basis of pluralistic models where the global voting and parliaments become new foundations for the Legitimacy common in majority of today's systems. In fact, there is nothing more politicized than selection of the electoral system, thus, all political scientists agree that some form of vote leads to a type of democracy(10).

This special type that prevailed in Algeria, in which the executive Authority is characterized by the domination against other weak institutions, political authority remains in the hands of the ruling elite, which rarely face constitutional or legal restrictions. This elite become the only effective player in the political process as a whole.

The Algerian legislature also adopted in accordance with Article 101 of the Constitution 1996, Non-direct and secret ballots as an electoral system to the thirds of members of the Nation Council from the members of Local Councils, whereas the president appoints the other third of the members of the Nation Council. Therefore, the appointment of one-third of the Council Nation by the President of the Republic, is mainly away from the democratic which is based on elections. Ample spheres for the influence of the executive authority, through the requirement of the majority estimated three-quarters of the members in the voting, gradually reduces the independence of the council in making decisions independently(11).

These electoral laws, create a seasonal political participation to the Algerian citizen. Where the citizen's role is limited to electoral participation, which often are between spaced periods (every four or five years) then this participation stops until the next election. This situation, which created a crisis of confidence between the citizen and the elected, led to very low ratios of participation in the various electoral periods.

Moreover, this electoral system led to emergence of representatives based on public support, but who lack the necessary know-how and wisdom in parliamentary work. The adoption of a proportional representation system on the ballot of names on the list  may involve deceiving the voters by putting the name of a person with efficiency at the top of the list to attract the electorate and coverage on the other candidates, but who may not have the the necessary efficiency standards for the effective parliamentary performance. The voters in this system are not free to choose its candidates; they may select all the list or refuse it completely. Thus the elections in Algeria did not lead to a change at the level of authority, as it did not reflect the broad popular participation, however, the elections in Algeria turned into an occasion to renovate the legitimacy of the system.

Furthermore, the legal powers granted to the executive authority is considered an obstacle to representative democracy in Algeria, a state of siege declared by Decree No. 91/169 which expresses the encroaching on the functions of the legislative authority, giving the executive authority The right to practice legislative roles, such as amend or repeal existing laws or disrupt the application of those laws.

From another side, the issue of supervision of the elections represent the most important weaknesses of representative democracy in Algeria, considering that committees supervising the elections are not neutral and non-independent. Knowing that, this Committee is made up of judges, and judges in Algeria suffer from legal subordination to the executive authority, both in terms of the appointment or surveillance or termination of their tasks.

Moreover, representative democracy has shown its limitations in Algeria as a result of the current status of the legislative institution, which suffers from several legal impediments made in margin, far from its primary role in legislation and control. So, the laws guaranteed by the Constitution and various legislation represent a stumbling block in front of the legislature in Algeria as the most important structure in the Representative system.

Specifically, there is no control and no accountability to the government's activities in Algeria, where there is no parliamentary and judicial control over their work. In most cases, the Parliament becomes the adoption and approval institution where majority of the members support the government, and in these circumstances the ruling elites find ability to conduct a broader institutional reforms that serve only its interests.

The representative democracy in Algeria produces parliamentarians of special quality. Noticeably the practical application of the electoral system, adopted in Algeria duringthe Legislative elections, does not embody the idea of efficiency as noted above, so that the organic law of the election is equal in terms of the conditions between elector and elected, with the exception of the requirement of age. Thus, it does not achieve justice between the parties on the basis that the voter role ends at the end of the polling day to cast his vote, while the candidate who wins the seat in parliament bears the burden of responsibility for its direct participation in the management of public matters to the society. So the candidate who can bring the largest number of votes is luckier regardless of efficiency and effectiveness. This situation has led to emergence of deputies without the competence and responsibility, which affects directly the Constitutional Parliament function, in the control and accountability of government work. As statistics indicate that 28.26 percent of the deputies were without university level degrees, during the legislative period 1997-2002, and 22 percent in 2007(12).

Moreover, The Algerian Constitution of 1996 has expressly granted the right to appoint judges and the Head of state council to the President of the Republic. The Organic Law No. 04/11 has identified the conditions to be provided by the candidate for the post of the judiciary and article 03 of the same law confirms that judges are appointed by presidential decree on the suggestion of the Minister of Justice, after Supreme Judicial Council deliberation. Article 49 stipulates that the appointment in the upper judicial functions is also by presidential decree. The same is indicated by the Organic Law No. 98/03 in the text of Article 7,8,9 that the President of the Republic appoints the President of the Court and the judges of the disputes court, and the President of the Republic is then headed the Supreme Judicial Council; this presidency is not honorary but it enables him to exercise legal authorities. The investigating judges are also appointed by presidential decree according to the Article 39 of law No. 01/08 (13), and can issue a presidential pardon, reduction of sanctions or be replaced by the President of the Republic.

We can conclude from these legal texts that the Constitution and legal texts are all granted the executive authority through the President of the Republic in the appointment of judges as well as the upper functions in the ordinary courts and administrative courts, and at all levels. Through the above it can be said that the executive authority controls the administrative and financial side of the judges by the Ministry of Justice, which should then be on the occupants of the upper functions in the judiciary loyal to the executive authority.

In the latter, we can say that democracy can not be strong when the executive authority dominates the rest of the other authorities in the State, and focuses on the excessive power. This tendency towards what Gerhard Casper called "the rule of the Tsar" in which the executive authority flout the Parliamen, encircle the laws and procedures established under any emergency cover, and are then superior on other independent sources of government authorities and disregard for independent political minds. All these and other aspects pose a real problem and permanent to the state and democracy (14). Consequently, the legal aspects referred to previously, represent a stumbling block in front of the real application of representative democracy in Algeria.

  1. The political limits of representative democracy in algeria

Anyone who has followed the Algerian political reality, touches the penetration of the ruling elite and its hegemony over political life, by imposing a certain logic serves by all the other official and non-official actors. So anyone who has followed the path of elections in Algeria as the backbone of representative democracy, finds it legitimizes the ruling elite and its presence of  hegemony over political life as already referred to.

So, the elections in Algeria in general, have two functions: the first is to attempt to renew the legitimacy of the ruling elite, and the second function is to adjust the political and social arena alike. As is well known, the renewal of legitimacy is necessary, because it is no longer in the present of any political system that can dispense on the legitimacy of the ballot box.

In Algeria, and for more than 15 years, we are still seeing symbolic elections. The results are known in advance, and it reflects the partisan map in Algeria, which is controlled by two parties of the system, acting the functions of the one-party previously (FLN), always get a comfortable majority and above, the same thing with the parliament which is controlled by the regime.

Frankly, any tracker to the path of evolution of representative democracy supported by the constitutional, legal and political reform find that all those reforms serve the ruling elite. There is no surprise in this, because the preparation and implementation of reforms happen at the ruling elite level, and away from official and other non-official structures. In the sense that these reforms did not come from compatibility and and did not recognize the existence of shortcomings on the level of representation of groups or different social forces and the need to remedy these shortcomings, it came after all social mobility, affected in a way or another on throne of this elite, whatever internal (Constitution: 1989-1996) or external  (2011 reforms) - These reforms coincided with what the media termed the "Arab Spring"-, In the sense that these reforms were a reaction no more no less, or as he calls it the  researcher Salah Belhadj "crisis speech"(15).

It can also demonstrate the situation discussed in the paragraph above, by the constitutional amendment of  12 November 2008,which was considered by the organizers as a legitimate and legal amendment, but through a wide parliamentary majority represented a minority overwhelmingly popular. So that desputies who voted in favor of the amendment Constitution 1996, were themselves the outcome of the legislative elections 17 May 2007, which saw an estimated: 35.65% as a sudden participation. Where only 06.06 million voters out of 20 million eligible voters cast their votes in the fifth legislative elections in the history of the Algerian state, which was considered a lowest participation rate ever known Algeria since independence(16). We wanted to say through this example that an amendment that touches the essence of the Algerian Constitution, was supposed to pass through a popular referendum as defined in the Constitution. But the ruling elite took advantage of all the conditions to pass the draft amendment***, which was a further blow to representative democracy in Algeria to strengthen the executive authority in the face of the other representative structures.

This semi-authoritarian model contributed to the consecration of a multi-party fake - with the absence of democratic practices within it - and weakened the civil society institutions, and excluded and marginalized actors & organizations, so the representative channels that would enhance the representative performance becomes limited by such practices.

In this context, the Sociological thinker Robert Michels, highlighted the shortcomings of representative democracy, which has been evolving negatively until it became a represent minority. In his book he names "the political parties" as a law named "Iron oligarchical law or minority law" in that they oftentimes take major political decisions by a few political leaders. In turn, the theories of the elite believe that there is a minority in every community come through the ballot box, which holds alone the major decisions in society. Michels concludes that representative democracy in the maximum of virtues may restrain the minority rule, but does not prevent it(17).

This has led to a decline in political rights of the people (it became the citizen's role and the contribution to the governance and management is almost non-existent) under the control of a ruling minority. Knowing that, the government controlled by the people is the government which protects the rights of its citizens better than the government controlled by a part of the people.

Moreover, one of the main tools used by the authority to restrict freedom of expression, is the monopoly of the media strategy, radio and television, all communication channels are in the hands of the ruling elite. It is public in name and not in reality, as long as it is open to the pro voices, and closed to the others, through covering the activities of pro groups while marginalizing other non-pro groups. Therefore, the Algerian Audio visual as an important representative democratic structure in general, is far from its function abdhus, it is a closed field.

As is well known that, representative democracy takes its legitimacy by the elections, in turn, the Algerian reality proves each time the fraud of those elections and significant corruption taint the electoral process in favor of a party and against others, where it becomes the pathological phenomenon as forgery of the dominant feature on the Algerian elections, which puts representative democracy on the stake.

The decentralization are also considered one of the most important pillars of representative democracy, but the Algerian reality has stumbled this pattern in the administration and representation. With the dominance of the appointed on the elected, the appointed prefect ( AL WALI) has a wider range of powers, than the elected local bodies. This of course, does not serve representative democracy, but rather hinders its progress.

  1. The cultural limits of representative democracy in Algeria.

We can monitor the cultural obstacles that stand in front of representative democracy in Algeria on two levels, the first level is the citizen - the voter - and the second is the elected.

Where many researchers classified the political culture in Algeria as a subject culture, characterized by a modest contribution to the citizens in politics, sometimes it is an aversion in shaping the input to the political system, to the belief of the citizens of the futility of it. Although the acceptable level of political awareness of the Algerian citizen and their understanding of political life in general, the crack downs on freedoms by the system of government in terms of exclusion and marginalization of different social actors(18).

Moreover, the absence of the spirit of citizenship as the basis of representative democracy and the influence of traditional social structures that control the individual and groups behavior is characterized by the conservative nature and rejects the concepts such as democracy and change. Because it is considered the most important way to develop the initiative and political participation of citizens and to devote the political rights, which is given to the citizen the legitimacy of collective political action and influence in the content of collective decisions. So, the absence of the spirit of citizenship hamperes the path of representative democracy in Algeria, which leads to the emergence of a pathological phenomena in Algerian society and the disabled representation for the citizens. Especially the loyalties under-State and tribal, where the tribal structures dominate export of political elites to representative institutions especially the Parliament.

Perhaps it is due to the weakness of civil society institutions, as these institutions play a function of political socialization, so, weakness of those institutions reflect the most on citizens who do not realize the importance of the elections and the issue of the struggle and the membership in the representative organizations.

In addition, Algerian women's participation in political life does not reflect her real weight in the society, where women make up 49% of the demographic composition of the population, this fact some analysts bring back to the particularity of the political and cultural history of the Algerian society, and the conservative values and masculinity that characterize the society and importance of the political class. It thus reflects a real problem for the representation of all social groups without discrimination especially the high rates of illiteracy and lack of political awareness with considerable number of Algerian women, particularly those who live outside big cities. Exemplified below are the low percentage rates of women's participation in the National People's Assembly before political reforms of 2012:

Table 01: Percentage of women's participation in the National People's Assembly.

legislative councils




Deputies (men)




Deputies (women)




The total number of seats




the deputies percentage (women)




Source : Sawsan Mrabaa, human development in Algeria Reality and Prospects, unpublished Master Thesis, )University Mentouri 02 Constantine, Faculty of Economic Sciences and the Management science, 2012-2013( p. 151.

Furthermore, the representative democracy's success is linked by the political integration of the citizens. Although Algerian society has known huge transformations at the level of social structure and the level of political and cultural awareness,  the state hasn't, born as a rupture between these elites and the rest of society. Consequently, and under these circumstances, arise the distrust and popular support to the authority. Hence, the absence of what is known the political integration of citizens, which is the first road to political alienation, and as a inevitable result, has a negative reflection on representative democracy in Algeria.

Besides all that, we cannot hide another pathological phenomena concerning the cultural side that contributes to the limit of representative democracy in Algeria. Algerian society has its own culture that chooses through it their representatives in the sense that the elected in Algeria do not come through the ballot box, but are a product of a set of traditional values that come before the electoral operation. It is a kind of tacit consensus that arises between the various community groups based primarily on traditional considerations such as Loyalt etc that have become their own culture of Algerian society. To the extent that the emergence of an elected elite is not possible but only through traditional foregoing considerations such as loyalty, nepotism and others.

There is no doubt, that the aspects related to the cultural side like the Clientelism and Patrimonialism have also contributed to the decline of representative democracy in Algeria. Those patron-client relationship have produced more pro-government deputies than deputies representing the citizens. Through such deals between various authority structures and customer agent capable they ensure that voter voices raise the issue of representative democracy. Such is not correct in a society governed by patriarchal values, which leads to annihilate the will of the citizens and prevent them from exercising their political rights as minors.














To conclude, we can say that representative democracy limits can be studied through two sides: the first concerns the abstract aspect of representative democracy as an idea. In this context, the study of Paul Hirst is considered among other studies that have touched on the limits of representative democracy in its abstract form. The second aspect touches on the environment that adopts representative democracy in terms of suitability or not. The Algerian legal, political and cultural environment is not valid to the building of a democratic edifice in its representative part. Thus, the legal, political and cultural aspects as structures are not eligible functionally to contribute to the support of democratic choice. Recently, the official Algerian political discourse has focused on the issue of application of participatory democracy in Algeria. Taking into consideration the results of this study; the elite and the masses alike in Algeria, the real challenge lies in the answer to the following question: Is it possible to think of the adoption of participatory democracy in Algeria, despite the failure of representative democracy application? Considering that participatory democracy is the natural evolution of representative democracy, or that it requires a real pause to adjust the Algerian environmental on all its various structures, legal, political and cultural, is it able to carry out its functions to build the democratic edifice in Algeria?

















Rerfence :

  1. "wikipedia, representative democracy" last modification March 10, 2015,

  2. "", what is representative democracy ?- Defenition, Examples, Pros and cons. accessed March 10, 2015.

  3. Journal of Innovation Economics and Management, Yvon Pesqueux, "Network, Stakeholder Theory and Deliberative Democracy", N° 4, 2009, p74. accessed February 10, 2015. Available on the following link : file:///E:/JIE_004_0063.pdf

  4. Nadia Urbinati, "representative democracy principles and genealogy", University of Chicago, United State of America, 2006, pp17-18.

  5. " ".

  6. Paul Hirst, "representative democracy and its limits" USA, Vol. 59, No. 2, April–June 1988, p199. Available on the following link :

  7. Yvon Pesqueux, "Network, Stakeholder Theory," 75.

  8. " ".

         There is no doubt that the electoral system adopted in any political system, plays a prominent role in influencing on the political pluralism and the enjoyment of those social groups by power and effect, the system of electoral determines the quality of the members of the legislature and political organizations, which could be up to representative bodies.

**        The hybrid systems are a mixed systems combining majority system and proportional representation system, and thus to achieve a political interests primarily. As it seeks to exclude certain parties from decision-making circles for her weakness or extremism, or other ideological reasons. Therefore, the hybrid system is a system that is not authentic, so that is a kind of strategy in the election more than an electoral system. Look ;

 الأمين شريط، "خصائص التطور الدستوري في الجزائر"، أطروحة دكتوراه غير منشورة، جامعة منتوري قسنطينة، كلية الحقوق، 1990، ص363.

  1. مجلة المفكر، أحمد بنيني، "أثر النظام الانتخابي على الأداء البرلماني في الجزائر"، العدد الثامن، بدون سنة نشر، ص287.

  2. مجلة الاجتهاد القضائي، عبد الجليل مفتاح، "البيئة الدستورية والانتخابية للنظام الانتخابي الجزائري"، العدد الرابع، بدون سنة نشر، ص169.

  3. بنيني، "أثر النظام الانتخابي على الأداء البرلماني في الجزائر"، ص288.

  4. المرجع نفسه، ص ص 291-292.

  5. مجلة المنتدى القانوني، رشيدة العام، "آليات رقابة السلطة التنفيذية على السلطة القضائية"، العدد السابع، بدون سنة نشر، ص49.

  6. لاري دايموند، روح الديمقراطية الكفاح من أجل بناء مجتمعات حرة، ترجمة عبد النور الخراقي، الشبكة العربية للأبحاث والنشر، بيروت، 2014، ص542.

  7. أنظر: صالح بلحاج، أبحاث وآراء في مسألة التحول الديمقراطي في الجزائر، مخبر دراسات وتحليل السياسات العامة في الجزائر، الجزائر، 2012، ص09.

  8. عصام ابن الشيخ، "انتخابات الرئاسة في الجزائر دراسة في السلوك التصويتي"، مقال منشور على الموقع الرسمي لمجلة الديمقراطية، القاهرة، 18-04-2012. تُصفِّح الموقع يوم 19-04-2015.  المقال متوفر عبر الرابط التالي:

  9. To view more see: Robert Michels, "Political Parties A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy", Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul, Batoche Books, Canada, 2001. Available on the following link:

***     Recall that, there was an alliance in parliament between the well-known political parties by its loyalty to the authority, and other parties known for its opposition to authority, when the regime was able to weaken the opposition by giving some of its members a marginal ministerial positions. Also records that before this amendment, there was raising the wages of deputies in the parliament, which many considered as a buy off of deputies.

  1. مجلة العلوم الإنسانية، محمد بوضياف، "الثقافة السياسية في الجزائر 1962-1988"، العدد الحادي عشر، بدون سنة، ص112.

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