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Institutionalization of Uncertainty

Ramlan Surbakti
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Ramlan Surbakti

Adam Przeworski formulated a minimalist definition of democracy as "a system of institutionalized uncertainty, or a regime where the rules are predictable, but not the electoral results" (1991).

This defines democracy as having predictable rules but unpredictable results. While Przeworski formulated this as a definition for “democracy”, which concerns more than its electoral system, other political scientists have viewed it as a definition for "democratic elections". A non-democratic election is marked by the opposite condition: the results are known long before an election is held, but the electoral procedures contain many legal uncertainties – or predictable results but unpredictable rules.