David Van Reybrouck / David Van Reybrouck – Against Elections

David Van Reybrouck – Against Elections

David Van Reybrouck – Against Elections

Rights sold

  • Sciences Academic Press (China)
  • Tiderne Skifer (Denmark)
  • Al Arabi (Egypt)
  • Actes Sud (France)
  • Wallstein Verlag (Germany)
  • Gondolat (Hungary)
  • Feltrinelli (Italy)
  • Hosei University Press (Japan)
  • Galapagos (Korea)
  • Font Forlag (Norway)
  • Futura Publikacije (Serbia)
  • Krtina (Solvenia)
  • Taurus (World Spanish)
  • Natur och Kultur (Sweden)
  • The Bodley Head (World English) / Seven Stories Press (USA)
  • Editorial Ayine (Brazil)
  • Wydawnictwo Bia?y Kruk (Poland)
  • Al Arabi (World Arabic)
  • Ciela Norma (Bulgaria)


 Read a sample translation of Against Elections


About the book

Our democracy is suffering from anorexia. Whereas it once fed on various forms of participation, these days it tries to survive on the thin gruel of a puny ritual: elections. We are neglecting our democracy at a time when the world is undergoing radical change. The traditional pillars of society are disappearing, people are better educated, information travels faster, the media have become much more commercial and social media are creating new forms of political awareness. All this demands more involvement, meaningful participation and greater transparency. David Van Reybrouck, who founded the successful citizens’ initiative G1000 in Belgium, examines new ways of revitalizing our impotent democracy and involving citizens in everything that concerns us in society. Here he issues an urgent call for change.


Watch David’s video for a quick breakdown

Choosing our rulers by popular vote has failed to deliver true democratic government: that seems to be the verdict of history unfolding before our eyes. Cogently and persuasively, David Van Reybrouck pleads for a return to selection by lot, and outlines a range of well thought out plans for how sortitive democracy might be implemented. With the popular media and the political parties fiercely opposed to it, sortitive democracy will not find it easy to win acceptance. Nonetheless, it may well be an idea whose time has come.
- J.M. Coetzee

In compelling us to subject all our received ideas and deeply-held convictions to rigorous scrutiny, this fine iconoclastic work could not be more timely. David Van Reybrouck reveals the startling historical fact that the French and Americans chose the electoral method precisely because it was undemocratic and then goes on relentlessly to demonstrate that far from safeguarding our right to self-determination, elections are actually impeding our democracy.
- Karen Armstrong

Van Reybrouck wants to revive a system in which government is not just for the people, but really by the people … a persuasive description of a system designed to be soundly based in popular assent … A President Trump might focus attention on his views. - Financial Times

Van Reybrouck mounts a convincing case that we have wrongly conflated democracy with elections, and are in fact simply maintaining an outmoded system in a technological era that calls out for, and can provide, much more informed participation. -The Guardian


David Van Reybrouck (b. 1971) is a journalist, a literary non-fiction writer, a poet and a playwright. He made his debut in 2001 with the award-winning The Plague. His greatest success is Congo, a History, for which he received a slew of prizes including the Libris History Prize 2010, the Jan Greshoff Prize 2010 and the AKO Literature Prize 2010. The book was also a runaway success in Germany, France and Norway and was translated into many languages. A Plea for Populism won him the Jan Hanlo Essay Prize 2009 and the Flemish Cultural Prize for Criticism and the Essay 2009. 2013 saw the publication of Against Elections, an urgent call for the reform of democracy, which has been sold to ten countries to date.

© Stephan Vanfleteren

Additional book information

  • Political non-fiction
  • ISBN 978-90-234-4355-1
  • Number of pages: 174
  • World Rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 10,00
  • English sample available